Term health insurance covers you when you have a gap in health coverage and need insurance for a short period. When coverage from one provider ends, you will want to make sure you are protected in case of illness or injury.
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There are term health insurance options to fit different health needs and financial requirements. Term insurance is generally cheaper than regular health insurance. Those who should get term health insurance are:
- Those who are between jobs
- Adult children who can no longer receive coverage from a parent’s health insurance
- Anyone waiting through a grace period before an employer’s benefits begins
- Those who receive seasonal benefits from an employer
- Retirees waiting for Medicare coverage
- Those unable to pay for COBRA health insurance from an employer
- Anyone who needs health insurance for a short period
What are the different options available?
Copay plans are a good choice if you see a doctor regularly and have many prescriptions to fill every month. They will have a higher monthly premium, but they will still be cheaper than paying all of your medical expenses out-of-pocket.
Set deductible plans allow you to know the exact expenses you will have to pay for medical services. They are dependable plans for those who are on a budget.
Value plans offer lower premiums with lesser coverage. These plans are a good bet for those who do not need to go to the doctor often and have few or no prescriptions; the inexpensive insurance protects financial stability in the event of an accident or illness.
Most term health insurance will cover doctor’s visits, hospital costs, and prescription coverage. The out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, and premiums will vary depending on the amount of coverage and the plan you choose.
Term insurance packages generally do not include additional benefits such as vision and dental. Usually, dental and vision insurance can be purchased in addition to a health insurance plan.
What are the time limits for term health insurance?
Time limits for term health insurance vary from state to state, but generally, the shortest amount of time that an insurer will offer term insurance is one month; the longest it can last is eleven months. Most insurers have relaxed rules about cancelling or changing term insurance versus annual contract insurance.
Are there other limitations for term health insurance?
Everyone who wishes to purchases term insurance must fill out an application. Not all applications will be accepted. Variables such as current health, risk markers such as smoking and pre-existing conditions will affect the availability of short-term plans and their premiums.
Applicants must also indicate how long they would like to purchase insurance; once the term has expired, a new application must be submitted to obtain more health insurance coverage.
What is COBRA?
COBRA insurance is a short term insurance option for those who have lost their job through quitting, being fired or through a lay-off. It stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. According to the Insurance Information Institute, COBRA is the result of a federal law that requires most companies to allow ex-employees to continue their insurance coverage provided by the company.
Under COBRA, you are required to pay the total monthly premiums; usually that cost was split between you and your employer. COBRA is an expensive short-term option, as you must bear the full cost of the premium. It can be extended up to 18 months of coverage.
Can I get term health insurance for traveling?
Travelers’ insurance is a form of short-term insurance that can include health coverage. Many countries require travelers, students and those traveling for business to purchase health insurance while staying in the country for an extended stay.
Travelers’ health insurance will cover doctor’s visits and hospital expenses that you incur if you get ill or have an accident while abroad. Some will even pay for unplanned travel back home in the event of an illness. This insurance is considered term insurance because it is for a designated period.
Can term health insurance cover the gaps in Medicare?
Sometimes term health insurance is referred to as retiree insurance because it covers those who retire before they are eligible to receive Medicare benefits. This label can be confused with supplement insurance for those who currently receive Medicare.
Many retirees find they need additional insurance to provide for areas that are not covered by Medicare; this insurance is called Medicare supplement insurance, and usually term health insurance does not work like Medicare supplement insurance.
There are specific rules about purchasing plans to supplement Medicare. Go to https://www.medicare.gov/ to find answers to your Medicare-related questions concerning additional insurance to cover the gaps in Medicare.
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