If your life is going through a transition and you temporarily don't have health insurance, then short-term plans may help. This type of insurance can provide coverage under certain circumstances. However, it differs from traditional plans or those on the health insurance exchange. Here is more information about when you should get short-term insurance and what it covers.
Reasons to Get Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance is designed to cover people who have a short gap between policies. One of the most common reasons for an insurance gap is transitioning from one job to another. Your employer may not cover you until you have worked for them for a certain length of time.
Another reason why you may need short-term health insurance is if you missed an open enrollment period. This is common when you have major life changes like reaching the maximum age you can be on your parent's insurance. If this is your situation, then you may be able to get coverage until a new enrollment period is open.
Conditions Covered by Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance plans are not required to follow Affordable Care Act guidelines. This means insurance companies can put heavy restrictions on coverage. They can also deny you coverage for a variety of reasons. Pregnancy, obesity, AIDS, and diabetes are examples of reasons for denial of short-term health insurance.
Most short-term plans do not cover pre-existing illnesses. They also don't cover routine care such as office visits and physicals. Many plans only cover catastrophic or hospital-only coverage. Deductibles and co-pays are often high with these plans, though some offer competitive premium rates.
Applying for Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance policies are obtained through an insurance company or authorized broker. When you want to apply for coverage, you will fill out a questionnaire from the insurance company. This questionnaire helps determine your eligibility for coverage. Many companies have varying levels and types of insurance to choose from. Once you obtain a policy, you can cancel any time without penalties.
While short-term health insurance is a good idea under some circumstances, do your research first. Not all short-term policies are equal. In some states, short-term insurance plans are not allowed or not available. Some states also have restrictions on term length. In these cases, you may be able to sign up for special enrollment on your state's exchange for a life-changing event. For more information, contact a health insurance coverage provider.