If you are in search of individual and family plans, then you should also give a thought to a short-term health insurance plan. There are chances that after knowing about the short-term plans in detail, you might consider this plan as the right option for you. To help you decide whether this plan is suitable or not for you, we will discuss this plan in detail that will help you make an informed decision regarding your health insurance. If you have looked at all the on and off-exchange options for availing regular health insurance options and think that you simply can’t afford any of the regular health plans, then it is worth to have a short-term plan that will provide some health coverage and will prove to be a far better option than having no health coverage.
What is Short-term Health Insurance
Short-term health plans are designed for healthy individuals and families to provide them affordable safety protection while moving from one phase of life to another without a comprehensive health plan. These plans use a very basic medical underwriting to evaluate your eligibility for coverage and these plans won’t cover any medical conditions that you had before your plan came into effect. Short-term health plans were designed to provide coverage to people who are in-between coverage, are exempted from the mandate to buy health insurance, want catastrophic health coverage outside of open enrollment. Short-term health plans protect you and your family against the crippling debt that can occur due to the expensive healthcare costs on the uninsured.
Short-term health plans are ideal if you are:
- In-between jobs
- Recently graduated from college
- Waiting for employer-based coverage to start
- A temporary employee
- A dependent no longer covered under a parent’s plan
- Traveling outside the plan’s network area
- Waiting for marketplace coverage to start
- Laid-off or a terminated employee
Changes in Short-term Plan
Before 2017, a short term health plan by the federal government was defined as a plan with a duration of less than one year but the federal rules changed in 2017 when short-term plan durations were limited to less than three months. Though short-term plans with longer durations were still available for sale through the end of March 2017, if they were scheduled to terminate on or before December 31, 2017. And it is on and after October 2, 2018, federal rules allow short-term plans to have initial terms of up to 364 days and also allowed renewal of these plans as long as the total duration of a single plan doesn’t exceed 36-month duration.
Advantages of Short-term Health Plans
Some of the advantages of short-term health plans are listed below:
Low Premiums – The biggest and prime advantage of short-term health plans is a lower monthly premium. There are several short-term plans available in different states of the U.S having premiums that range from a little more than $200 per month to around $1,400 per month. Some plans are of maximum terms of six months whereas some plans are of 364 days of coverage.
Immediate Coverage – Another advantage of short-term health plans is that you can secure immediate individual and family coverage and these plans can kick in as early as the next day. Besides, if you are aware of the number of days for which you want coverage then you can make a single payment for the entire covered period.
Flexibility – Short-term plans also offer a lot of flexibility, as these plans cover a range of physician services, surgery, outpatient and inpatient care. Besides, you can even choose your doctor and hospital without restrictions, however, for using in-network providers you may receive financial incentives.
Quick and Easy Enrollment – Short-term plans are quick and easy to enroll where you are required to answer just a few handfuls of yes/no questions regarding major health concerns.
Increased Durations – Short-term plans can now be availed for up to three years and the insurance companies also give an option to applicants to locked-in guaranteed renewability without any additional medical underwriting. This means that when you purchase the short-term plans, you just have to apply once and you will be covered for up to three years.