Insurance Health Insurance

Temporary Health Insurance - Is Short-Term Medical Right For You

Short-Term health insurance often times is much more affordable than a COBRA plan or even an individual health plan.
Although it may be substantially more cost effective, there is a right and a wrong time to purchase a Short-Term health plan.
Short-Term health insurance was created to fill a gap between coverage periods.
As group health insurance rates have increased, the cost of COBRA has become out of reach for some people.
If a person does not keep a continuation of health insurance over a period of 18 months, and try to enroll to a new group health plan, often times the new insurer will put a waiver on pre-existing conditions.
Short-Term medical insurance can be a great way to keep a continuation of coverage.
There are risks involved with a Short-Term health plan.
Short-Term health often will not cover any pre-existing conditions.
They usually ask very vague questions about past health history.
They approve the policies based on the honors system.
Generally if you can answer "no" to 6-10 questions, the policy is approved.
This does not mean that the insurance company is going to pay for any and all claims, especially pre-existing conditions and/or medications which are being taken at the time of enrollment.
Please read and understand the contract/brochure very carefully.
Remember a Short-Term medical plan is exactly as it is titled.
This is a temporary health insurance.
Most plans do not give you the right to renew the policy when the policy ends.
Even the ones which do allow you to renew are often not guaranteed renewable plans.
This means that if there were a substantial claim while being enrolled to the original plan, they may not allow you to renew the plan.
This is very important to understand.
If you were to obtain cancer while being covered by a Short-Term health insurance plan, you will be covered during the period originally purchased.
If you do not have a group plan lined up, and need to purchase another period to cover you, they will often not issue a new policy, you are then left uninsured at the most inopportune time, when you actually need the insurance.
If a person has another job lined up, but has a waiting period before the new health insurance plan will become effective, this is a great time to take advantage of a low cost short-term medical plan.
If anything were to happen during the period of coverage on the Short-Term health plan, you will not need to renew it, because you will have a group plan starting at the end of the Short-Term health plan.
Because you had a continuation of credible coverage in the Short-Term plan, the new group plan will likely not cover any pre-existing conditions you may have.
If a person was fired or laid off and does not have another job/insurance lined up, Short-Term medical may be a bad choice at this time.
Again, if you have that unlucky occurrence of a major illness and/or accident, you will only be covered for the original purchase period, afterwards you are on your own, with no health insurance.
Instead of Short-Term medical, a permanent individual plan may be a better answer.
Most individual health plans are not able to cancel your policy due to claim, therefore if you had a major illness, you will have coverage as long as you pay your premium.
If you have no major illness and become eligible for another group plan, you can always cancel the permanent individual plan.
Some Short-Term Health insurance plans now have a full year coverage option.
Some agents sell the plan as an affordable "individual" health insurance option.
This is likely not a good option.
If you do not have another plan lined up or are not between coverage, you should not consider a Short-Term Health plan a permanent replacement insurance.
Please keep in mind, there is not one health plan which fits everyone's need.
Do your research and talk to an agent if needed to ensure you find a plan which best fits your situation.

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