Short term health insurance plan is a policy that provides temporary medical coverage in certain situations. This type of health insurance plan provides medical coverage when you are between health plans, outside enrollment periods, and need some coverage in case of an emergency. Short-term insurance plans may not be an ideal choice for the long term, but they can be a wise choice if chosen carefully and after doing proper analysis.
Benefits of short term health insurance plan
Temporary term insurance plans can be a smart solution for those in relatively good health and who want to escape from big, unexpected medical bills related to hospitalization or surgery. Here are some reasons why one should buy a short term health insurance plan:
- Highly customizable
Short-term health insurance plans fall under one of the best term insurance plans, as they are highly customizable and provide many options to choose from as per the situation and need. The policy length of the plan is very flexible; one can choose any length from three months or a year. One can also cancel coverage whenever required without any extra penalties.
- Economical premiums
The premiums are affordable. Generally, a short term health insurance plan can cost up to 30% to 50% less than traditional health coverage or other savings plan.
- Easy availability
Short term health insurance plans are available to individuals to enroll at any time. These can offer a low-cost option to continue coverage during certain periods when long term coverage isn't available. However, this kind of policy covers only major illnesses and accidents.
- High liquidity
Short term health insurance plan provides high liquidity in investment and can be redeemed in quick time without extra penalties.
The process of health term insurance plans is very much transparent. An individual can choose among different plans available.
- Fills temporary gaps in coverage
Short term plans are mostly designed to fill temporary gaps in coverage. This temporary coverage may be required if the policyholder has missed open enrollment for a traditional health plan, has lost or left the job, or just needs temporary support in health coverage.
- No enrollment periods
With short term coverage, one doesn't have to wait for open enrollment or qualify for a special enrollment period. The process of enrolling is quite simple and quick. One can also apply online and find out if they qualify within minutes. And if qualified, one can begin coverage as early as the next day.
- Coverage for the unexpected
The coverage of a short term health insurance plan is applicable when the insurance carrier is between a serious accident or unexpected critical illness and is looking to pay medical expenses for such a case fully out of pocket.
Who should invest in a short-term health plan?
Considering all the benefits of this plan, it is no wonder that healthy people might get benefited from a short-term health policy. These are individuals who don't plan on using healthcare services often. Since the premium of the policy is low as long as they don't need health services, healthy policyholders benefit from this further. However, this plan may not be a good idea if the insurance carrier is looking to start a family.
Individuals with any illness like pre-existing conditions such as asthma or diabetes should avoid short-term plans mainly because these pre-existing conditions will likely lead to significant premiums even if coverage is provided. These pre-existing conditions that are chronic health conditions majorly include the following:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Congestive heart failure
- High cholesterol, and
- High blood pressure
In short, the short term insurance is for the following:
- Those who are unable to apply for the long term plan because they missed open enrollment or do not qualify for special enrollment.
- People who are waiting for other long term coverage to start.
- People who are looking for coverage to bridge to medicare.
- People who are coming off the parent's insurance.
- People who are stumbling between jobs or are waiting for benefits to begin at the new job.
- Who is healthy and looking for a temporary alternative to pay for the unexpected medical bills.
- People who are uninsured consumers and ready to address as many medical issues as possible during the length of the plan.
What does short term health insurance cover?
Short term health insurance plan is a temporary option that provides many benefits to those who need it. This plan provides the following cover:
As discussed earlier, this plan will give its insurance carrier emergency care and peace of mind from unexpected medical costs. This is one of the best term insurance plans that will cover hospital visits if the insurance carrier is seriously ill or injured. These plans also cover the follow-up care for acute medical issues until the coverage ends.
Primary care doctor
Short term health plans are accepted by almost all doctors, and the insurance carrier will receive many benefits after enrollment. Although the carrier has to pay for care on their own before hitting the deductibility, the cost for a visit after hitting deductibility generally gets lower.
Short-term plans also cover specialized doctors such as dermatologists, orthopedists, or neurologists. Medical imaging such as x-rays is one of the common short term benefits.
What does short term health insurance not cover?
Short-term health insurance plans do not cover the ongoing health problems. They are designed to take care of immediate health needs and are not suitable for long-term maintenance of health issues. These very rarely or don't cover medical devices, dental care, or vision care. Prescription costs are also not covered under this plan and are mainly the insurance carrier's responsibility outside of a hospital setting. Short-term plans don't need to include every federal essential health benefit due to its short coverage period and low premiums.
Common myths about the short term health plan
Short-term insurance can grant essential health coverage to those who need it, yet so many people hold themselves back due to various myths that are propagated mainly due to misinformation or half information. The main reason being its coverage period and low premium rate; many people wrongly interpret that a shorter period of coverage may not be beneficial, but this is not the case. Here are some myths that are debunked regarding the short-term health insurance plan:
- You must be young to qualify
Short-term health insurance plans are not only for young and healthy, but it's for everyone. People aged between 19-64 years of age are most likely to buy a short-term health insurance plan.
- The plan will last only a few months
The term "short" does not imply that the plan will only last a month, but it goes as far as the coverage goes. The insurer can find themselves covered for up to 12 months. Besides, the insurer can renew their coverage to stay secure for up to 3 years.
- Short term health plan coverage is only for dire emergencies
Although the plan is mostly used in case of dire emergencies, this plan functions like standard coverage for everyday use too.
- Doctors will not accept the coverage
Most people hold themselves back from purchasing a short-term health plan because they think that they will not be covered at a standard doctor's appointment, but almost all doctors accept all different types of health insurance. Though, the physician or the doctor must be in-network for benefits to kick in.
- Short term coverage is expensive
This is wrong, and many people wrongly believe that short term plans are more expensive than their marketplace counterparts. In reality, short term plans are much more economical than a marketplace plan. This plan is almost less than half the cost of other marketplace coverage or long term plans.
- Short term insurance plans are not worthy
Short-term plans offer some limited benefits than long term insurance plans, but it does not mean that they are completely unworthy and are junk. These plants can be of great benefit for certain kinds of people, such as those experiencing a gap in coverage due to job loss, divorce, or are waiting for Medicare benefits to start. While all medical services are not covered but short-term plans can help with medical expenses relating to illness, injury, emergency room, and more solely depending on the parameter of the plan.
Health insurance policy is becoming very crucial in this era of disease-prone population and expensive medical treatments. If one is looking for temporary options, he/she can settle for a short term health insurance plan. Although, there are many best term life insurance plans available whose premiums and other expenses are relatively higher than the short term plans. The short-term investment is indeed an asset for the people who are looking for temporary medical coverage.