Temporary Health Insurance, an Option for Young Adults and Students in Between ACA-Compliant Plans
Temporary health insurance plans can be helpful in numerous situations, such as those in need of coverage in-between Affordable Care Act–compliant health insurance plans. Students are one such demographic. Those on a parent’s health insurance plan may be at a school out-of-network and decide to secure a short-term medical insurance plan, even though it is not ACA-compliant, and take the tax penalty. Others may find themselves with a brief gap in health insurance plans due to turning age 26 or graduating.
When Lola* turned 26 in November 2013, she was no longer eligible for her parent's health insurance coverage. As such, she found herself with a gap in benefits. As a graduate student and adjunct faculty member at a small university, she did not have access to employer-sponsored health insurance. She did have access to an Affordable Care Act–compliant student health insurance plan and thereby did not to sign up for exchange-based health insurance coverage. However, her student health insurance plan would not take effect until her spring semester began in January 2014. She did some research and decided to select a temporary health insurance plan that would provide some benefits until her major medical insurance became effective.
We talked to Lola about her experience purchasing temporary health insurance online through healthedeals.com.
Why did you decide to buy a temporary insurance plan?
Because there was a lapse between the time I was taken off my parent’s insurance when I turned 26 in November and when I could sign up for insurance through [my university] because that started at the beginning of spring semester.
What were your plans for health insurance once your short-term health insurance policy ended?
The student health insurance through [my university]. But it is a semester-long package, and you can’t start mid-semester.
Why was it important to you to continue having health insurance coverage until you started a long-term health insurance plan? Why not just have a gap in coverage?
Because I am a clumsy person, and I worry about getting hurt! Because anything can happen. Walking out your front door is so dangerous these days. But so is staying inside sometimes, too. Anything can be fatal. I hear most accidents happen close to home, which means that you aren’t really safe anywhere. And you can go into some serious debt if you do need medical care and don’t have coverage. Like, if you broke a bone or something. You would regret not having health insurance. Not having health insurance may seem like saving money until you need medical help and don’t have health insurance. You could potentially lose so much more money for not having health insurance than you could potentially save by not having it.
What was the length of the temporary health insurance plan you purchased?
Did you have health insurance before? If so, what type? Was it through an employer, a parent, etc.?
Yes, through my parents. They were both in the military for over 10 years so it was through TRICARE.
What attracted you to the plan you purchased?
It seemed to offer the most coverage for the amount I was able to spend.
You told me that you did not use the plan benefits, but what did it mean to you that you had the health insurance plan just in case something happened?
Relieved! Because then I could worry just about not getting hurt because I don’t want to get hurt but I didn’t have the extra burden of worrying about financial failure if anything happened to me.
What was the online shopping and application process like?
How soon after you applied did your coverage begin? Were your plan materials promptly sent to your email?
Like the next day or the day after. Yes, I got everything quickly and effortlessly.
Anything else you’d like to add about the experience?
It was surprisingly pain-free, and honest. There weren’t any hidden fees. I feel like I’m not a very practical person sometimes, not very good with practical things. I’m not good at figuring out complicated legal forms, and get very intimated by things like this, afraid I will miss something important in the process of choosing or that I will be overwhelmed by super-legal jargon, but it wasn’t like that at all. The website was set up to be easily accessible to the average American, and I felt like I was given the information I needed to make the decisions I needed to make.
Looking for temporary health insurance? Get a quick quote and enroll through healthedeals.com. Have questions? Need help selecting a temporary health insurance plan? Visit healthedeals.com for detailed information in the article and blog sections.
Some individuals may be eligible for a special enrollment period if they experience a qualifying life event such as getting married or divorced or losing employer or ACA-compliant coverage due to reasons other than missing premium payments; to learn more, contact your state’s health insurance exchange, a health insurance agent or broker, or a healthedeals.com health insurance agent at 888-839-7679.
*Lola’s last name has been withheld for privacy.