Should I ever choose short term health insurance?
Although short term health insurance is not something the vast majority of Americans will ever deal with, the fact that it’s available on the open market means it does have its purposes. You may find yourself in a position where this type of health coverage is essential. When that time comes, you’ll likely be glad it was available to you.
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Keep in mind that short-term health insurance is just that – short term. Therefore, its scope and coverage will be limited as well. More often than not, short-term health insurance policies cover costs relating to most emergency care in some routine care. It’s important that you know exactly what a particular policy will, and will not, cover before you purchase it. Nothing is more frustrating than spending your hard-earned money on a health insurance policy only to find out that it doesn’t cover something you need in the future.
Is a short-term health insurance a good idea when traveling?
If you already have primary health insurance in the United States, it will most likely cover you wherever you go in the country. However, traveling abroad might be another story. To that end, the U.S. Department of State recommends Americans do not travel without adequate health insurance.
Before you leave the confines of our borders, you should always check with your insurance company to see what they provide. If they provide limited or no coverage outside of the U.S., purchasing a temporary policy is a wise idea. Such a policy will cover you against financial loss should you become injured or ill during your trip.
This type of temporary health insurance is becoming increasingly more important because medical costs are rising all over the world. It’s so important in fact, that it’s becoming more and more common for tourism related businesses to offer temporary health insurance as part of their normal services. For example, if you’re traveling to Europe you might be offered a health insurance policy through your travel agent or car rental firm. Even some major credit card companies are providing temporary health insurance as a consumer perk.
Should I purchase temporary health insurance if I’m between jobs?
When you leave a job that provided health insurance, you are allowed by law to continue paying for your coverage on your own under the government’s COBRA program. However, COBRA does have time limits and it can be more than you can afford without a job. In either case, you can elect to terminate your current coverage and purchase a less expensive temporary policy in its place. Keep in mind that temporary health insurance policies are by no means comprehensive.
Temporary health insurance is meant to ensure you against emergency medical conditions. Although some temporary policies also provide for routine doctor visits and the like, they most certainly will not cover pre-existing conditions, maternity care, and other high-end treatments unless required by law in your state. If you plan to drop your COBRA coverage in favor of a temporary plan, just be sure you know what you’re getting into first. Also, understand that you probably won’t be able to renew a temporary health insurance policy more than twice.
Why can’t I simply renew my temporary health insurance on an ongoing basis?
In order to prevent individuals from purchasing less expensive temporary insurance in place of standard health coverage, most insurance companies limit the number of renewals to a maximum of two. With an average policy period of about six months, the best you could do is to continue your temporary policy for 18 months. After that, you would not be allowed to renew again. In addition, any significant claims you make on against policy may prevent you from renewing in the future.
Are there any other circumstances that might prompt me to buy a temporary health insurance?
Temporary health insurance is popular among college students whose parents don’t have health coverage for them. This is especially true for students who are living far from home in an on-campus setting. Insurance companies are well aware of this and make temporary health insurance policies very attractive to students. They tend to be extremely affordable, portable, and include a decent list of benefits that college students would most likely access.
Interested students should check with their schools about temporary health insurance, as many of them provide such coverage through local or regional companies.
You can search for temporary health insurance quotes online by entering your zip code in the box below.