Since the health law took effect, short-term health insurance plans have become very popular, especially among young adults, people who have a gap in employer insurance or those who have missed open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.
There are a few major reasons why this plans are appealing:
- They cost much less than major medical plans;
- They can be purchased at any time during the year to provide temporary coverage while you are waiting for an employer or government sponsored insurance;
- They start almost immediately;
- They provide access to broader network of health service providers including many major medical centers;
- Often they are more flexible than ACA-compliant health plans.
But you should clearly understand that short-term health insurance is not for everyone. It can work well for one person and be a completely wrong choice for another. It is not recommended for people with poor health or certain chronic conditions because they won’t get sufficient coverage by short-term medical insurance. Also, people who have had serious health problems in the past two years shall look for other types of health insurance because pre-existing conditions are not covered by term policies.
Still short-term medical insurance can be a reasonable solution for many people in need of temporary health coverage while going through some of life’s transitions.
NEW EMPLOYEES WAITING FOR NEW JOB BENEFITS TO BEGIN
If you have recently found a new job, you may have to wait some time for your employer-sponsored insurance to begin. It can be a smart decision to buy a short-term plan for a month or two to avoid being completely uncovered during this period.
YOUNG ADULTS NO LONGER COVERED THROUGH THEIR PARENTS’ PLAN
Though the federal health care reform law allows children to be covered as a dependent up to their 26, some day children must be removed from their parents’ plans. If you are no longer covered through your parents’ insurance and still don’t have a permanent job, short-term insurance may serve you well, especially if you are healthy enough.
RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES
A lot of college students find themselves without a medical coverage after graduation. If you were insured under a university plan or under your parents’ one, you are no longer eligible for them after leaving a college. You may fill this gap in coverage with short-term insurance until benefits begin with your first full-time job.
PEOPLE BETWEEN JOBS
When you leave your job, you also lose your employer-sponsored health benefits. Many people find it too expensive to continue their employer-sponsored plan through COBRA. A short-term plan may be a good alternative for medical coverage while you are looking for new job.
PART-TIME OR TEMPORARY WORKERS
If you work on a part-time, seasonal or temporary job you are typically not eligible for employer health benefits, while private ACA-compliant plans can be too expensive for you. In this case short-term medical may give you reasonable coverage.
EARLY RETIREES TOO YOUNG FOR MEDICARE
Individuals who have retired before the age of 65, may be faced with a gap in coverage before their Medicare begins. You can consider a short-term insurance as a suitable solution until your Medicare coverage starts.
U.S. CITIZENS RETURNING FROM OVERSEAS
Term insurance offers reasonable temporary protection from medical expenses for people returning to the U.S. from living abroad.
If you have recently become a U.S. citizen, you may have a waiting period before becoming eligible to get a government-sponsored health plans. Short-tetm medical can be a good option for you to have U.S. coverage.
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