|Life comes with situations that don’t always mix with regular health insurance plans. When these situations happen, short term health insurance may be your solution. What is short term health insurance?
Short term health insurance plans cover individuals for certain health care services for a defined period of time—usually less than 36 months. Short term health insurance may also serve as a lower-cost alternative to coverage available under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA).
Who is Eligible for Short Term Health Insurance?
Healthy individuals who for any of several reasons are not eligible for a regular health insurance plan. Common purchasers of these plans are part-time and temporary workers, unemployed persons, recent college graduates and anyone temporarily without health insurance.
What Does Short Term Health Insurance Typically Cover?
A short term health insurance plan can cover much of the same expenses as a group health insurance plan. Coverage is typically available for surgery, emergency care services, prescription drug plans and other health care expenses. Short term health insurance plans usually do not cover preventive care services, such as routine doctor visits.
Limitations of Short Term Health Insurance
A major limitation of short term health insurance policies is that these will not cover costs associated with pre-existing medical conditions. A pre-existing condition is usually defined as any medical condition that existed for a defined period of time (usually 36 months) before the coverage was purchased. Most group policies will have a similar limitation but only for a limited period of time. Also, these policies often are full of limitations and exclusions for other types of expenses and should be reviewed carefully before purchasing.
Why Should You Buy Short Term Health Insurance?
Although it will not last forever, short term health insurance is an excellent way to cover health care expenses during gaps in health coverage. Most plans have low monthly premiums and high coverage limits. The application process is simple and most plans allow purchasers to pay for and extend coverage on a monthly basis—a good benefit for someone who needs to drop the coverage when they become eligible for a group plan.
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