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How Short Term Health Insurance can Benefit you

Is Short Term Health Insurance for me?

Short-term health insurance provides medical coverage to millions of Americans. As the name suggests, its purpose is coverage for a specific period. Notably, the coverage provides a temporary benefit to meet a person's immediate needs while shopping for more comprehensive health insurance. Compared to traditional health policies, short-term insurance is not available in all states and not eligible for everyone. It is essential to understand how it works and why you should consider taking the plan.

In the past, short-term health insurance lasted for a period of up to six months. Today, the same health insurance will provide coverage for up to a year renewable for up to three years. In addition, some insurance providers offer on an ongoing monthly basis. The idea of a health plan is to protect you financially when you need medical attention. Your needs and the cost determine the extent of coverage. Insurance companies market short-term insurance as "bridging the gap" or offering transition for people.

Short-term insurance is ideal for healthy people and has been lauded for graduates who are entering the job market and might be transitioning from their family coverage. It is also ideal for you to gain new employment and are waiting for the group health coverage to start. On the other hand, you could be waiting for a permanent position in an organization. It works as the bridge between the transition by offering coverage in case of an emergency. If you have retired earlier than your medicare is set to kick in, you can benefit from the short-term health policy as it bridges the gap while you wait.

What is Covered by Short Term Health Insurance?

Coverage for short-term health insurance varies depending on a person's needs and the amount of money they are willing to spend. The more money you spend, the more coverage you receive. Also, different insurance companies provide different policies under the same short-term health policy. Most short-term will cover basic hospital visits and cover limited medical expenses such as doctor's visits, prescriptions, x-rays, and screening, among others, although not any pre-existing condition. The advantage is that there's some level of coverage on urgent care.

What is the Cost of Short Term Health Insurance?

Short-term coverage is more affordable compared to the standard health policies available. However, the cost generally depends on several factors, including your location, age, health status, and gender. Although a low-cost, short-term medical plan may cost you more than an individual health plan.

Benefits of Short Term Health Insurance

Low premiums - compared to other insurance health plans, the premiums are pretty low.

Readily available as there's no enrollment period. One can get health insurance at any time you want as it is available all year round.

International coverage - offers coverage across borders, an upside that most health insurance plans don't offer.

You can access basic health care, which is better than not having any coverage ultimately.

The Downside of Short Term Health Insurance

Limited coverage - The policy is generally very basic. However, it can end up being costly if you are involved in an accident or illness that would require comprehensive coverage.

Hefty charges - Due to the limited coverage, if you have to pay out of pocket, you will have to pay a large amount of money out of pocket.

Time factor - It is limited to a specific period. 

In most cases, coverage does not extend to pre-existing conditions.

Limited to specific individuals

Not available in some states.

Who qualifies for short-term health insurance?

Short-term health care is available in most states. However, the coverage varies. Some states have more stringent regulations than others when it comes to the coverage period. Additionally, some states allow short-term health insurance, but there are no insurance companies that offer coverage.

Although you may have access to short-term health care, other conditions may disqualify you for coverage. Some people who have easy access include a young person who does not need any medical care, any person who has missed the enrollment period and uses short-term health insurance as a bridge to the gap, and anyone who has no access to proper medical coverage.

Short-term health insurance is also available for families and has no restrictions on individuals. 

There are reasons why an insurance company will disqualify you. For example, if you fall under any of the following categories -

  • Not a US citizen

  • Have been diagnosed and treated for AIDS or HIV

  • Are pregnant

  • Insured by another health plan

  • Have a pre-existing condition

  • Don't qualify for Medicaid

Several factors will determine the question of whether short-term health insurance is for you. It has benefits that one can explore and limitations that you should be aware of without gambling with your health. Do not put yourself in a position where financially, your healthcare may end up being costly and cause your financial ruin. Unless it is for a limited amount of time, you can opt for the policy and know your limitations.