Health insurance can be a precarious thing to have in the U.S. Many people have their insurance tied to a job, parental coverage, or another circumstantial reason. If you’re suddenly let go from your job or age out of a parental plan, that health insurance coverage can be canceled immediately. This is where short term health insurance can be helpful. If you end up in between healthcare coverage, this solution can give you temporary coverage until your regular health insurance plan recurs.
Applying for a short term health plan might be a helpful temporary solution for some of the 27.5 million Americans currently without coverage. Plans don’t cost a lot of money and there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing what you pay.
If you’re thinking about getting short term health insurance, here’s what you need to know.
The Benefits of Short Term Health Insurance
Short term health insurance, also known as temporary or term health insurance, is a plan that fills gaps in your healthcare coverage during transitional life periods. It’s a flexible solution that can get you covered when extenuating circumstances prevent you from getting regular health coverage.
Short term health insurance might be right for you if you are:
- Between jobs;
- Waiting for other coverage to begin;
- Waiting to be eligible for Medicare;
- Recently transitioned off your parents’ health plan, or;
- Needing insurance outside of open enrollment.
Since there isn’t an enrollment period, you can sign up for temporary insurance all year round. Even better, your plan could begin as soon as one day after applying. It’s even available to purchase for spouses and dependents, as long as all members meet the plan’s medical requirements. One thing that’s important to know, though, is most short term insurers will not cover pre-existing conditions.
Plans can give you coverage anywhere from 30 days to three months, or longer depending on your needs. These plans are usually not able to be renewed, though some states will allow you to purchase consecutive plans for longer coverage. This could mean that anything covered under a previous short term plan is now a pre-existing condition and won’t be covered, so make sure to understand the terms before renewing.
One of the benefits of short term health insurance is affordability. Most companies provide several different plan and deductible options that can make it easier to find coverage within your budget. Plans can also be cancelled anytime with no penalty.