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Maintaining continuous health insurance coverage is important for everyone. The consequences of suffering an illness or injury while uninsured can be far-reaching and potentially devastating. Not only will you face the possibility that you won't be able to access the care you require, but even if you do you may be saddled with a mountain of debt that can take a lifetime to pay down.
The difficulty is that many people will face situations in their lives that will make maintaining health insurance coverage a challenge. For innumerable reasons, you could end up with dangerous gaps in your coverage that could pose significant problems for you. Fortunately, there's an option called short-term health insurance that can help you stay protected when you have a lapse in your primary coverage.
What is Short Term Health Insurance?
When you're faced with a situation that is going to cause your insurance to lapse, short-term health insurance may be the solution you're looking for. If you find yourself asking "what is short-term health insurance?", there's a very simple answer. It's a special type of insurance plan that's specifically designed to keep you protected while you're transitioning between primary insurance providers. Short-term health insurance is a great way to make sure that you don't end up in trouble if you have a health emergency and have no primary insurance.
When to Choose Short Term Health Insurance
There are several common situations where short-term health insurance can be beneficial. You may wish to consider a short-term policy if:
- You've just become too old to be covered as a dependent and don't have your own plan yet
- Your employer provides insurance but you face a waiting period before you're eligible for it
- You're between jobs and have no current employer-sponsored coverage
- You've missed an open enrollment period and cannot purchase a new plan
- You're waiting to become eligible for Medicare
- You're willing to pay the ACA tax penalty but also want coverage for specific health concerns
Important Changes To Regulations
Until recently, the flexibility of short-term health insurance plans was limited by government regulations that capped their duration at three months. This restriction has been removed recently, allowing these plans to extend coverage to as long as 364 days in most states. This is an important change because it means that short-term health insurance plans can now cover the whole lockout period of those who have missed the open enrollment period for their healthcare exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
Doing Your Homework
Now that you know that you have the option of short-term health care insurance as a temporary measure to stay protected, you will need to learn about how to choose between the various available short-term health insurance plans. Start your search by making use of a firm that specializes in affordable short-term health insurance to learn about your options and obtain rate quotes from several providers. They also have a wealth of information available to help you choose the best short-term health insurance policy to suit your specific needs. You'll also have access to licensed health agents who can guide you through coverage options and are familiar with the healthcare laws.
Plan Ahead to Stay Ahead
Every moment that you spend without health insurance coverage is like a countdown to potential disaster. It's a complex subject that you simply can't afford to get wrong. Even if you don't need short-term coverage right now, you should definitely take the time to learn as much as you can in advance. If you have coverage currently, go through your policy to find out what is covered and what you could do without if necessary. That way, if you ever find yourself faced with a loss of health insurance coverage, you'll already know what to look for to find the best short-term health insurance plan for you.