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Short Term Medical
Temporary insurance can be a smart solution for those in relatively good health who want benefits to help with big, unexpected medical bills (think of those related to hospitalization or surgery) rather than smaller, more routine healthcare costs (for example: maintenance visits for an existing health condition).
Here are some other reasons for Americans to put short-term in the plus column:
Financial protection from the unexpected
When you’re in between Obamacare plans and looking for an affordable alternative, short-term health insurance policies include benefits for a range of healthcare services. While specifics vary by plan, covered expenses typically include hospital room and board, surgical services, emergency room treatment, intensive care, and outpatient surgery.
You’re in control
Temporary health insurance tends to be highly customizable and provides you with options. For example, you can:
- Choose your policy length, some states up to 3 years.
- Select your deductible and coinsurance amounts.
- Continue to visit your preferred healthcare providers—or access discounts when you use a plan’s partnering network providers.
- Decide to spend a bit more for more robust coverage, including plans with limited benefits for pre-existing conditions or certain preventive services.
Premiums can be more economical
All in all, short-term plans tend to cost less than Obamacare plans. When you compare the average ACA premium with the average short-term premium, the monthly savings averages $284 for an individual and $757 for a family. Furthermore, many short-term plans partner with national networks to bring you discounted care when you visit participating healthcare providers.
No enrollment periods
With short-term coverage, you don’t have to wait for open enrollment or qualify for a special enrollment period. You can shop and enroll year-round—and the process is relatively snappy.
- Get a quote within seconds
- Apply and enroll online 24/7, within just a few minutes
- Begin coverage as early as the next day, if you choose
When temporary coverage isn’t the right fit. Of course, short-term plans may not be the right fit for everyone. As you weigh your options, you will want to consider whether or not the following are important to you:
Coverage is limited
Short-term health insurance plan durations vary from state to state. Some are available up to 3 years. In some states, you can reapply; however, the policy is considered new and separate. As mentioned above, benefits don’t typically extend to pre-existing conditions or preventive care.
Short-term medical exclusions
- Some benefits, like maternity coverage, are not covered and excluded.
- There could be significant coverage restrictions for prescription drugs, if they’re covered at all.
- Essential health benefits or preventive care services as defined by the ACA may not be covered—that said, some plans do include a few covered preventive services
- Guaranteed issue coverage, factors such as age and health history can impact your eligibility
- No mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions
Obamacare subsidies don’t apply
Temporary health plans are not eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Only major medical plans sold through HealthCare.gov and state-based exchanges qualify for subsidies.
Short-term plans aren’t ACA compliant
Because short-term coverage is designed to be more affordable during temporary situations, it doesn’t qualify as minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Short-term health insurance plans can be a nice alternative if you’re looking for temporary coverage that helps protect against catastrophic medical expenses and costs less than major medical insurance.
It may not be a good fit if you need more comprehensive, long-term coverage or are eligible for a subsidy that could substantially reduce your Obamacare premium. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons to decide for yourself.