What is temporary health insurance?
Temporary health insurance is also called short-term health insurance and works in the same way as traditional health insurance, but is designed primarily to prevent lapses in medical coverage. This type of insurance plan covers you for anywhere from a few weeks to several months. There are a variety reasons why a person might require a temporary health insurance plan and several considerations to take into account before purchasing one.
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Who might require a temporary insurance plan?
Temporary insurance plans prevent lapses in insurance coverage if you find yourself in a variety of situations. While some people may feel they can allow their coverage to lapse for a short period, this is a dangerous way of thinking. Just one medical emergency leading to hospital care could cost you thousands of dollars. Medical bills are now the leading cause of bankruptcy filings in the U.S.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, you will want to consider temporary health insurance:
- Individuals who are in between jobs
- Those waiting for their employer benefits to begin
- Those who work seasonally and are not covered all year long
- Recent college graduates who have not yet secured a job
- Retirees waiting for Medicare benefits
What are the benefits of temporary health insurance?
Many people who consider using COBRA, which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, to continue their medical benefits when they leave a job, may want to think about temporary health insurance instead. COBRA allows you to keep your current insurance plan for up to 18 months after leaving a job. However, because you will now pay your portion and your employer’s portion of the premium, it is expensive. Temporary health insurance will cost significantly less money in most cases. Additional benefits of temporary health insurance include:
- Flexibility to stop the plan whenever you wish without penalty (No long-term contract)
- Typically, you can choose your plan length from one to twelve months
- Plans customizable to meet the needs of your family
How do temporary insurance plans work?
Temporary health insurance plans work just like traditional health insurance plans but are only in place for a short amount of time. You have the option of a variety of basic plans, which you can then customize to meet your needs. The cost and plan options will depend on the company so you should do your research before deciding on a plan. Several companies specialize in temporary health insurance.
What types of temporary insurance plans are available?
The same types of temporary health insurance plans are available that are available with regular health insurance. These include:
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
- Managed Care Plans
- Fee for Service Plans
When researching temporary health insurance what should I consider?
You must keep several factors in mind when purchasing temporary health insurance in the same manner you would when purchasing a long term insurance plan. Understanding your needs and the needs of your family members will help you choose a plan that fits your budget and allows you and your family members to receive necessary health care services.
Factors to consider include:
- Your budget during the time you require temporary insurance
- Your current health needs and those of your family
- Specific health needs that may arise during the coverage time period
- Risks you or your family may encounter
- Your ability to pay for some services out of pocket or not
Where can I find more information about specific companies selling temporary health insurance?
There are several online resources, which will allow you to compare health insurance providers based on unbiased ratings and reviews. A.M. Best has financial stability ratings for all insurance providers. You do not want to settle with a company only to have it declare bankruptcy and sell your policy to another unknown provider. For a more detailed look at service reviews and potential consumer complaints, visit the Better Business Bureau and research the companies you are considering.
Begin your search for a temporary health insurance company now. See online health insurance quotes by entering your zip code.