What are Short-Term policies?
Short-Term Plans are used if you want that at ease and peace of mind that insurance provides for a fixed period of time. Many times there is a gap before employer coverage starts, or maybe you have recently lost coverage and have a short wait period for your new plan to start. Short- Term plans are also good when you aren’t in a situation in which you can get longer term major medical plans. This can happen if you have missed the open enrollment period for major medical insurance or missed your special enrollment window. Are you waiting for your major medical plan to start?
The coverage you get with Short-Term policies are different from ACA plans. The benefits are conferred by major medical policies that comply with the ACA, also referred as “Obamacare”. Short- Term plans normally cover the services and treatments related to the unanticipated illness and injury, such as outpatient visits to the doctor, emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and related x-rays and labs services that are needed. Some short-term plans even include coverage plans for prescription drugs and other great benefits. Some of those additional benefits cost a little extra and of course the extra benefits depend on the plan level you choose and the carrier you end up going with. Almost all insurance companies have all individuals answer a medical questionnaire when they apply for a short-term plan to determine their eligibility. Insurance companies can decline you for coverage if you do not meet there requirements or standards unlike ACA plans who cannot decline you for prior medical conditions. If you end up getting approved for a short-term plan, you can usually expect to get your coverage very fast typically the very next day.
You do need to be aware of that short-term policies can and will only cover you for a period of 30 days through 12 months. Although carriers are now opening up the ability to extend these coverage periods. If during the year you want to switch back to Major Medical coverage you can during open enrollment which starts November 1st – December 15th. This allows most individuals and families plenty of time to sign up with an ACA health insurance plan during the open enrollment period if you are paying attention and submit your application before the deadline.
The short-term plans do not include all routine medical needs. The two major exclusions are pre-existing conditions and maternity coverage. Most of the time your drug coverage and services for preventive, and mental health services are eliminated from your policy. Any pre-existing health conditions you currently have, make sure you disclose to your insurance agent before you move forward with coverage through them. If you neglect to tell the company that you are going with for insurance they can automatically cancel your policy and your pre-existing condition will not be covered regardless.
Overall short-term policies provide great care for anyone who is looking for something for the time being(short) until they can enroll in open enrollment. They also provide a great alternative for healthy individuals that only need minimal ongoing care during the year.