What Does Short-Term Health Insurance Cover?

February 19, 2018

During a time of transition, you may be without health insurance. This is risky business. Rather than taking a chance, you can secure short-term health insurance. While it won’t be the same as your standard health insurance, it can help prevent financial destruction in the face of serious illness or injury.

[sc_content_link label=”Get today’s insurance rates.” cat=”health”]

What is Short-Term Health Insurance?

You may hear short-term health insurance called other names, such as ‘term health insurance’ or temporary insurance.’ As the names suggest, it’s a temporary filler for times when you are between insurance policies. This happens most often when you are in between jobs, just getting out of college, or you miss open enrollment at your company for your insurance plan. Any reason that you are without medical insurance, though, is a reason to consider temporary medical insurance.

What Does it Cover?

Now, let’s look at what a short-term health insurance policy may cover. Keep in mind that every policy is different. You must read the fine print and discuss the coverage with your insurance agent before purchasing a policy.

Short-term insurance is not the same as Obama care or a major medical plan provided by your employer. It basically provides coverage for emergency or unexpected situations. A visit to the emergency room, surgery, or an unexpected visit to the doctor for an illness are the most common things short-term insurance covers.

Some plans may provide a small amount of coverage for preventative care or prescription drugs. Again, you’ll have to shop around and read the fine print. Generally, short-term coverage is not for routine care or even medications. If you need that type of coverage, you’ll likely pay higher premiums.

[sc_content_link label=”Shop and compare insurance quotes.” cat=”health”]

What Does it Not Cover?

There are plenty of things short-term health insurance does not cover. As we stated above, preventative care is very rarely offered.

One thing that no insurance company offers for a short-term policy, however, is coverage for a pre-existing condition. Any issues you have had medically treated or diagnosed in the past are excluded from the policy. You’ll go through a medical interview with your insurance agent before you get coverage. During this interview, you must disclose all of your pre-existing conditions. The agent will also obtain your medical records from the medical clearinghouse. This lets the insurance company know of any pre-existing conditions you have. In other words, there’s no getting around finding coverage for a condition you had before.

Short-term insurance policies usually also exclude maternity coverage and routine care for vision, mental health, and dental.

Does Short-Term Health Insurance Cover Families?

The good news is that short-term health insurance can cover an entire family. The bad news is that every family member will have to undergo the medical interview. In other words, every family member will have to qualify for coverage. If someone in your family has a pre-existing condition, it will be excluded from your policy.

Finding the Right Policy

It is important that you find the right policy that fits your needs. Just like major medical insurance, you’ll find that you have options for different deductibles and premiums. You’ll want to find the plan that fits within your budget as well as gives you the coverage you need. For example, if this policy is just to tie you over for the next 3 months, you probably don’t need to pay extra for routine care coverage. Again, make sure you read the fine print so you know exactly what the policy covers and what you are paying for.

When Does Coverage Start?

A unique aspect of short-term health insurance is how fast it can start. Usually, you can get coverage one day after you apply. It cannot start the day of application, but the day immediately following is eligible for coverage. We recommend that you start shopping for overage as soon as you know you have a need. This way you can shop around for the best rates and find the coverage that fits your family’s needs the most.

As with any other insurance, the higher the deductible you take, the lower your premium. Give the reason you need short-term health insurance coverage ample thought. Is it truly an emergency plan? Then you can probably take the higher deductible and take your chances. If you need coverage for frequent doctor’s visits, though, you may want the lower deductible and higher premium to help minimize your costs.

[sc_content_link label=”Get the right insurance coverage.” cat=”health”]