What is Short Term Health Insurance
Can short term health insurance help with filling gaps in coverage?
Short term health insurance can provide you with a temporary solution for your medical coverage issue. Also known as temporary short term health insurance or term health plan, short term plans can fill gaps in your healthcare coverage.
Because of its nature, it is ideal for those who are between jobs. For instance, if you are waiting for your employer’s coverage, this short term plan might be ideal. You can also purchase it if you are self-employed.
If you have applied for a major health plan but the coverage does not start yet, then temporary health insurance can fill the gap. You may also consider this plan if you are waiting for your eligibility for Medicare.
Then, if you missed the deadline for the major health plan, you can obtain a temporary coverage so that you can have coverage while waiting for the open enrollment period to start.
These are just some of the situations where you can consider temporary health insurance.
Is Short Term Plan Renewable?
You cannot renew your short term plan. It will only cover you for a specific time frame. However, when the coverage is over, you can purchase a new short term plan to give you another coverage for a certain period. The length of coverage will depend on your healthcare requirements. When you purchase another plan after the previous plan has expired, you will get a new policy or separate policy from the previous plan.
Can my family be covered as well?
Under temporary health insurance, you can cover your spouses or children. But they need to meet certain medical requirements because short term plan is medically underwritten.
When would the coverage start and expire?
Short term plans are different from major health plans. That is, your coverage may start the next day. However, not all plans can give you such quick coverage. Coverage will become effective from the time you purchase your plan. You can even buy a plan for 90 days in advance. You can also choose its expiry date. It must be greater than three months. But it must be within 11 months of the beginning date. You can find the starting and ending date of your coverage in your documentation.
How will short term plans cover preexisting conditions?
Unfortunately, short term plans are not under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It means that they are not mandated by law to give you the minimum essential coverage. In other words, short term plans will not cover you for your preexisting medical conditions. But it still depends on how your state defines a pre-existing health condition. Generally, a preexisting condition is something that you get treatment or received a diagnosis within the last two to five years.
Thus, if you have been diagnosed with a certain condition, for instance, you cannot use your short term plan to receive treatment related to that condition. Most individuals with serious preexisting conditions choose to buy a major health plan or explore other healthcare options.
Does short term health insurance cover preventive care?
Some plans will give coverage for preventive care. You must choose the plan that can cover you for preventive care if this is vital to you.
Short term plans may also cover your prescription drugs. However, you need to pick that plan that specifically states it.
Do I need to look for another doctor?
Short term health insurance has a network of doctors. But your current doctor may be covered under your plan. To be certain, you must study the options of your plan before you buy it to ensure that the doctor that is important to you is part of your plan.
Do I Have to pick a Primary Care Physician (PCP) or obtain a referral to seek a specialist?
Some short term plans may require its subscribers to pick a PCP as your main point of contact in managing your health. However, many short term plans are flexible. It means that you can see any health care provider who is part of the network of your plan.
Most of the time, you do not need a referral from your PCP to seek a specialist.
Can I cancel the plan before its expiration?
You may cancel the insurance at any time without any penalty. If you wish to have coverage, you can apply for another plan. But you must take into account that if you received treatment under a previous plan, the subsequent plan will consider it as a preexisting condition and will not cover it.
Does short term plan meet federal requirements of the ACA?
It is not a major plan. Thus, it is not categorized as a minimum essential coverage defined by the ACA. But there is no need to worry about the tax penalty as it no longer applies since January 31, 2019. But tax penalties may still be imposed at the state level.
Is it possible to apply for a tax subsidy for your short term plan?
Short term plans are not major health plans. Thus, they cannot get a tax subsidy, unlike an ACA plan. Then again, if you consider the overall cost of short term plans, they are still cheaper than ACA health plans. Thus, they still make sense when you need affordable medical coverage without a tax subsidy.
Can I save money on this plan?
Yes, short term plans let you choose fewer benefits to lower your premium. You may also opt for a higher deductible so you will pay a much lower price for your monthly premium. Or you can choose to stay within the network to receive medical care. These are just some of the ways to help you save money significantly.
Is it compatible with other health plans?
Short term plans can be used with other supplemental health plans. They are commonly paired with accidents, dental vision and critical illness plans.