The Basics of Short-Term Health Insurance
Also known as temporary health insurance, short-term health insurance is there to help if you have any drop-in coverage due to changing plans. This can be a very valuable resource, especially for those who have a medical condition that requires them to be on prescription medication or see their doctor regularly.
Short-term insurance isn’t meant to replace your healthcare coverage, and many times it will not provide you with the same level of coverage that you had in the past. It is simply a temporary option to use as a backup. The good news is that these plans are often inexpensive, and coverage can start as soon as the following day. And when it is time for your new health insurance plan to go into effect, you can drop the short-term insurance without worrying about penalties or fines.
Who Should Consider a Short-Term Health Insurance Plan?
A short-term health insurance plan can be useful to anyone who anticipates a drop in their coverage. However, there are some groups of people who may benefit from this type of policy more than others including:
- Young adults who are no longer going to be on their parent’s insurance plans
- Individuals who are in-between jobs those without health insurance
- Missed Open Enrollments
- Those who do not qualify for Special Enrollment
It can also be useful for anyone who is waiting for their new health care coverage to begin or waiting for new benefits to begin at their new place of employment.
Seniors who have recently applied for Medicare could benefit from taking out a short-term health insurance policy. This can ensure that they don’t experience a loss of their necessary medical care. Also, if you need an alternative to COBRA insurance, or if you have recently lost health care coverage due to a recent divorce, short-term health insurance is the right choice for you.
Short-Term Health Insurance and ACA Requirements
There are many people who wonder if a short-term health insurance plan can help them meet the ACA requirements and avoid paying a penalty. However, short-term insurance doesn’t meet the minimum coverage requirements that are under the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, if you only have short-term health insurance and don’t plan on taking out more, you could face tax penalties. Remember that short-term health care insurance is only designed to provide you with temporary coverage during those unexpected gaps in coverage. To avoid any unwanted tax penalties, it is best to apply for an ACA health insurance plan as soon as possible.
What Type of Coverage Does Short Term Health Insurance Provide?
The type of coverage that you will receive when you take out a short-term health insurance plan will differ from one company to another. It is important to remember that the type of coverage you receive from your short-term plan will not be equal to the insurance you had in the past or what you are planning on starting in the future.
Most short-term plans offer coverage for the unexpected treatment and services provided by a doctor or other medical staff member. This can include but isn’t limited to outpatient visits to the emergency room, hospital stays, surgeries, x-rays, and any related lab tests.
There are some short-term plans that offer coverage for prescription drugs and other benefits such as routine visits to your doctor. However, these extras will usually cost you more, and some companies do not provide you with these options at all. That is why it is best to shop around, read up on reviews, and learn as much as you can about short-term health insurance before you decide on a company.
Short-term health insurance can be a great benefit to people who fear that they will experience a gap in their coverage. But you should keep in mind that this coverage is only temporary, and it will not provide you with the essential benefits that you need, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.