Short Term Health Insurance
Short term health insurance is temporary medical coverage. Its features are quite different from the traditional healthcare plan. Despite the differences, it does offer medical protection that allows you to lower your overall healthcare expenses. In this post, we will talk about what short term health insurance is. We will also help you decide whether or not it is right for you.
Short Term Health Insurance – What It Is
It is a type of healthcare plan that offers temporary medical protection. Short term health insurance lets you have a healthcare plan while you are between health plans. It is also an ideal plan if you missed the open enrollment period of the major healthcare policies. And you can use it during an emergency.
But short term health insurance is not meant to be a permanent plan. To maximize its benefits, you must understand how a short term health plan works. Then, you should know how much it will cost and what coverage it can provide.
The Coverage of Short Term Health Insurance
Short term health insurance coverage will depend on the specific plan and where you buy it from. But do not expect it to cover those essential medical expenses, though. The reason for this is that this temporary health plan is not required to follow the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines.
All major health plans adhere to the ACA guidelines. That is, they must include minimum essential coverage. But short term health plans are not required to follow those standards.
However, short term medical insurance can go your coverage for the following items:
You can also find a short term plan that offers coverage for prescriptions. Furthermore, you can have a plan that provides cost savings options by receiving healthcare within the network provider’s area. When you buy a plan, you must read the limitations and exclusions of the plan you wish to obtain. It can tell you the items that are covered and not covered.
The Overall Cost of Short Term Health Insurance
You can only buy short term health insurance from a few insurance providers. Furthermore, not all insurance providers in the US can offer them. However, if you are considering getting one, here are the upfront costs you need to know:
It is the monthly fee that you must pay to get coverage. The cost will depend on the coverage you pick. Furthermore, the monthly premium will also vary depending on the coinsurance and deductible, as well as the services being covered by the plan.
Just like major health plans, temporary health plan has a deductible that you need to pay before your plan will start covering you. Compared with other traditional health plans, the deductibles for this plan are quite higher. You need to settle the overall amount first. If not, your coverage will not start and you will have to pay the healthcare services you receive using your own money.
It is the cost percentage you share with the plan after paying the deductible. You will see it as a percentage. Most of the short term health insurance policies have coinsurance and deductibles, just like major healthcare plans.
When you visit a doctor, there is a copay that you need to settle. You will need to pay for it at the time of the visit. Some short term medical plans will require that you settle a copay for specific doctor visits.
Out of pocket expenses
Although short term plans can give you sufficient coverage, there are still health care services that you need to pay using your own money. For instance, some plans may not give you coverage for maternity care. They may offer limited coverage for mental health or substance use services, as well as dental care and vision care costs. These are out-of-pocket costs that you need to pay for yourself.
You may also face other costs that you must pay for using your own money. But the costs will depend on the coverage you buy. You must read the plan information carefully. In that way, you are properly informed on the overall cost of the plan.
Pros and Cons of Having Short Term Health Insurance
There are pros and cons to using this type of plan. Here are some of them:
You can easily cancel it whenever you like and not to worry about paying penalties.
It fills short-term gaps in healthcare coverage.
You can pick a plan that gives you coverage throughout a year.
Different plans are available, but it will depend on the insurance provider.
The deductibles are higher than the major health plans and they also come with other costs.
It cannot provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. Plus, it offers limited coverage for the most essential services.
Before approval, you need to answer a medical questionnaire.
The coverage is not standard. In that case, some plans are not overseen by the government.
When you go through these pros and cons, you will find that they are not a good fit for everyone. If you want comprehensive coverage, you should consider enrolling in a traditional health plan. You can purchase this traditional healthcare plan through a private insurer or in the health insurance marketplace or you can get it from your employer.
What is the Difference Between Short Term Health Plans and ACA Health Plans
Short term plans are designed to give you temporary coverage. They are not meant to be replacements for traditional health plans. Plus, they do not follow the ACA standards. Furthermore, they have limited benefits and they incur higher costs.
ACA health plans are a type of coverage that is overseen by the government. They offer coverage for essential medical expenses, like preventive care and maternity. Plus, they give you coverage for mental health and substance use. Before purchasing a short term health plan, you should understand the type of care and services that are covered and not covered by the plan.
Does a Short Term Health Plan Pay for Pre-Existing Conditions
Short term health plans are temporary coverage and they are not categorized as Affordable Care Act (ACA). In that case, they do not adhere to the ACA standards. It means that they are not mandated to cover pre-existing conditions. In that case, if you have a medical issue, it will not be covered or you will be denied coverage for that health issue.
Is It a Good Idea to Obtain a Short Term Health Insurance
For a long period, short term health insurance is not ideal. However, there are cases that this temporary coverage is better. For example, if you missed the open enrollment period of a major health plan, then a short term health insurance is ideal.
If you have lost your job or between jobs, then this type of plan is ideal. It is also a recommended plan if you turned 26 and you are no longer part of your parent’s health plan.
This plan may or may not be ideal for you. You will be the judge of that. If you wish to know whether or not it is a good idea to obtain one, you should consider your health needs. Can the short term plan help reduce your overall healthcare cost? You should explore all the plans. Study the duration, benefits, and costs.
How to Purchase a Short Term Health Plan
You can buy short term health insurance plans from a private insurer. But not all insurance companies can offer this type of plan. Short term plans are not available through the health insurance marketplace and they do not adhere to the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To purchase a short term plan, you may search for a private healthcare company that sells them. Read the details of the plan before you enroll or buy it.
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