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Is Temporary Health Insurance Right for You?

Is Temporary Health Insurance Right for You?

Posted Sep 27, 2013 by Author

Major medical insurance isn’t always an ideal option due to cost, health care needs, and life circumstances. Temporary health insurance, also known as short-term medical insurance, provides an alternative.

Temporary health plans offer individuals and families an affordable solution, a quick and easy application process, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have health insurance should an accident or unexpected illness occur. This type of coverage helps protect your health and finances when you are in between major medical insurance plans.

What is temporary, short-term health insurance?

Short-term medical insurance is health insurance coverage that lasts as few as 30 days or as many as 364 days, depending on personal needs and state laws. It is designed to be a temporary solution and is not intended as long-term medical health insurance coverage.

What benefits does this type of plan include?

Benefits vary, which means it is important to read plan brochures, ask questions of an agent, the carrier you intend to buy from, or a healthedeals.com health insurance agent. Covered expenses may include inpatient hospital care, intensive care, outpatient hospital care, outpatient emergency room visits, ambulatory services, surgical services and more.

Healthedeals.com STM plans include three budget-conscience designs with options when it comes to deductible and coinsurance percentage. The number of office visit copays you have depends on your plan’s duration. The coverage period maximum benefit varies by plan but typically ranges from around $1 million to $2 million.

Because temporary health insurance plans are not intended for the long term, their benefits are less robust than major medical plans. They are not considered qualified plans under Obamacare and, therefore, do not include the essential health benefits or fulfill the requirement that most Americans have health insurance. A temporary health insurance plan will not prevent you from owing a tax penalty for going without minimum essential coverage. Additionally, temporary plans may still deny applicants or limit coverage based on preexisting conditions.

What does temporary health insurance cost?

Short-term plans are designed to be economical. The average premium savings, compared to a major medical plan, is 50 percent. Of course, cost varies depending on the plan options selected. STM plans offered through healthedeals.com are not subject to premium increases for the duration of a policy’s length, which means your rate remains the same until it expires (if you reapply for coverage, your rate may vary).

Those insured by STM plans offered through healthedeals.com have the flexibility to choose their own health care providers. You can see the doctor you prefer without worrying about networks. However, you can save more money by seeing in-network providers who have negotiated discounted rates with the carrier.

Who is this type of coverage ideal for?

There are numerous life situations in which temporary health insurance may be ideal.

  • Seasonal or temporary workers
  • College students, including international students
  • Foreign travelers who have lived in the United States for 12 months
  • Self-employed individuals and their families
  • Unemployed individuals and their families
  • Recently divorced individuals and their dependents
  • Individuals and families who cannot afford major medical coverage at this time and/or do not qualify for Affordable Care Act tax credits and subsidies
  • Individuals and families who are exempt from obtaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and do not qualify for low-cost or free qualified health insurance coverage through Medicaid
  • Those in-between jobs with employer-sponsored health plans
  • People who are buying from a state-based or federally facilitated health insurance exchange and need temporary health insurance coverage until their qualified health insurance plan begins
  • Those who miss Obamacare’s open-enrollment period and want some level of health insurance benefits until they can secure a qualified health insurance plan

Are temporary health plans still relevant in the age of Obamacare?

Yes. As shown above, there are many short-term life situations in which committing to a major medical plan does not make sense due to time or budgetary constraints.

Furthermore, if you can’t afford coverage through an exchange, don’t qualify for a tax credit or subsidy or not enough of one to help, and/or just need coverage until your Obamacare plan kicks in, 2014, a temporary health insurance plan can help prevent a gap in coverage that puts your health and finances at risk. If you miss the open enrollment period or lose your major mmedical insurance and do not qualify for a special enrollment period,  temporary health insurance can also provide coverage until the next open enrollment period begins.

As with any health insurance plan purchase, it is important to look carefully at your budgetary and health care needs when considering temporary health insurance. Premium cost is only part of the equation. Your health history, frequency of doctor visits, prescription drug use, desired length of coverage and other factors will all help determine whether a short-term or major medical plan is the right fit.

What is the application process for short-term medical insurance?

You can shop for, apply for, and buy an STM plan online at healthedeals.com, as well as through an agent or broker or directly from a health insurance carrier that offers temporary coverage.

Visit healthedeals.com and enter the ZIP code, effective date, length of coverage, and the gender and birth dates of those to be covered for a list of plan options complete with no-obligation quotes for each. You do not need to provide any personal information until you apply.

The application process takes minutes and requires providing your contact information, answering a few short medical history questions, selecting plan options, and providing payment information. Coverage begins as early as the next day.

Have questions? Call 888-839-7679 to talk to a licensed health insurance agent from healthedeals.com.

A SHORT TERM HEALTH BENFIT PLAN IS NOT INTENDED TO QUALIFY AS THE MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE REQUIRED BY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA). UNLESS YOU PURCHASE A PLAN THAT PROVIDES MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACA, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO A FEDERAL TAX PENALTY. ALSO, THE TERMINATION OR LOSS OF THIS POLICY DOES NOT ENTITLE YOU TO A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD TO PURCHASE A HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN THAT QUALIFIES AS MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE OUTSIDE OF AN OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD.  THIS POLICY INCLUDES A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION EXCLUSION PROVISION.