Temporary, or short-term, health insurance plans are ideal for individuals experiencing a transitional time period. Typical instances of this transition include being in between jobs, waiting for employer coverage to become effective, or recently graduating. Short term health insurance plans give you coverage for a limited number of months, which can be anywhere from one to 12 months depending on the insurer.
East Coast Health Insurance can connect you with short-term health plans in your area. Simply select “Short-Term” from the insurance types in the box above and get a quote for temporary coverage.
Short-Term Health Insurance Coverage
Short-term health insurance has many of the same benefits as a managed care or fee-for-service plan. Operating like a PPO plan, temporary policies allow you to see any provider of your choice, whether they are in-network or not. Network providers will be offered for a discounted rate on covered services. Most plans require an authorization prior to using hospital care, with the exception of emergency room visits.
The following are standard included services for a short-term policy:
- Physician office visits
- Inpatient hospital care
- Outpatient hospital services
- Diagnostic testing and labs
- Prescription medications
Times to Use a Short-Term Plan
Various life circumstances can result in a coverage gap with your health insurance. Being prepared for those times and keeping yourself insured is important, though it is also crucial to know whether or not you should receive temporary coverage or apply for a regular medical plan.
- Pending approval on health insurance application
- Recently graduated from college
- New employee waiting on benefits
- Between jobs
- Reached age limit for dependent coverage
- Military discharge
- Retirees waiting on Medicare
- U.S. citizens returning from living abroad
Advantages of Short-Term Plans
You can choose your own length of coverage time, between one month and under a year in most states through most insurance companies. Members are also free to drop their coverage at any time without a penalty fee. Premiums are significantly lower than a traditional health insurance plan. It is a great way to prevent against high medical bills and create a smooth health insurance history by filling any coverage gaps and acting responsibly.
The application process for short-term coverage is typically much more efficient and less complex than applying for standard, longer term plans.
Because short-term plans are structured to offer protection against unexpected accidents or illnesses, they do not cover preventive care, which includes physical exams and immunizations, nor do they cover dental or vision care. They simply provide basic coverage on a few select services for several months, as opposed to comprehensive coverage.
Short-term plans are not renewable. Due to their intended purpose as a temporary, break-filling source of limited coverage, they cannot be renewed after the limit has been reached.
By purchasing a temporary health insurance plan, you will be considered ineligible for any guaranteed issue individual health plans, or HIPAA plans. If you are otherwise HIPAA-eligible, short-term coverage is not the best plan of action.
Short-term health insurance also does not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. If you were previously covered by a employer’s group policy that covered a pre-existing medical condition, you may seek COBRA coverage for continuous benefits, or seek help through another government program, such as PCIP.