Approximately 44 million Americans do not have health insurance.
Are you part of this group? Has your health insurance lapsed recently, leaving you without any coverage to help with your healthcare expenses?
Sometimes, the right approach when you’re in this situation (especially if you’re short on cash) is a short term policy.
Not sure what this is? Are you unsure of how to choose a good one?
Explained below is everything you need to know about choosing the best short term health insurance policy.
What Is Short Term Health Insurance?
Short term health insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides you and your dependents with coverage for a short period of time. In most cases, these policies provide coverage for anywhere from a few months to just under a year (364 days).
Short term health insurance is also known as temporary or term health insurance. It helps to fill gaps in your coverage if you’re between jobs or waiting for a new policy to kick in.
Some people also pair their short term policy with another policy to help round out their coverage.
Benefits of Short Term Health Insurance
There are some noteworthy benefits that come with investing in short term health insurance. The following are some primary reasons why people choose it over another type of policy:
The main draw of short term health insurance policies is their price. In most cases, these policies are much more affordable than other, long-term plans. This can be especially beneficial to those who are looking for coverage while they’re in between jobs or waiting to become eligible for government assistance.
No Longterm Commitment
Some people only need short-term coverage until their new insurance policy kicks in. For these people, it wouldn’t make sense for them to pay a ton of money for a long-term policy. Short term coverage gives them the peace of mind they need without draining their bank account.
Short term coverage can also be a huge blessing to people who don’t qualify for government subsidies but also can’t afford other, higher insurance prices. For these folks, short term health insurance provides them with some coverage and peace of mind, even when other options aren’t available to them.
Choosing the Best Short Term Health Insurance
Now that you know more about short term health insurance and the reasons people seek out these benefits, does it seem like a good option for you? If you’re interested in purchasing a short term policy, you may have questions about how to know whether you’re buying a good policy or not.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you begin shopping to ensure you’re making the right decision for yourself and your family:
Does My State Allow Short-Term Plans?
Start by finding out whether or not your state allows for the sale of short-term insurance plans. Some states have banned them, including the following:
- New Jersey
- New York
Other states have strict regulations in place regarding short term policies. For example, in Colorado and Illinois, your policy can only cover you for six months.
What Does the Plan Cover?
Once you’ve found a plan that seems promising (and is allowed in your state), do some digging to figure out exactly what it covers.
Some short term policies can be lacking when it comes to types of coverage, including mental health, substance abuse, and maternity care. Look closely to ensure it covers the type of care that you anticipate needing.
How Much Does it Cost?
Be sure to find out how much you’ll be paying for your health insurance with a short term policy, too. Look at the premium, as well as the out-of-pocket costs.
This way, you can have the clearest picture possible on how much it’ll cost you for the policy itself and any medical care you receive while you’re covered by it.
What Does the Fine Print Say?
Always read the fine print associated with any insurance policy (short-term or otherwise) before you agree to it. Check for anything questionable hidden there that could affect you or your family later on.
If you notice anything that you don’t understand, always ask your insurance agent to clarify it before you give away your signature.
Which Doctors Are Included in the Network?
If you have specific doctors that you or your family members see, try to find a policy that includes them in their network. This isn’t always possible, but it’s worth checking.
If your doctors aren’t included, check to see who is and do some research to learn more about them. This can help you ensure they’re a good fit for you or your loved ones.
Are There Caps on Coverage?
Be sure to check and see whether there are caps on your coverage before you say “yes” to a specific policy. What is the lifetime benefit maximum for that policy? Does it make sense for your family and your needs?
What Do Other Customers Have to Say?
Finally, do some digging to see what other customers have to say about the short term policy they purchased through a particular insurer.
Do they seem generally happy with their coverage? If they have complaints, what are they, and do they raise any red flags for you?
There are lots of third-party sites you can use to review policies and compare different types of coverage. Check these out before you end up stuck with a policy that doesn’t work for you and your family.
Find the Best Policy for You Today
Now that you know more about what short term health insurance is and the benefits that it has to offer, are you ready to choose a policy that makes sense for your needs?
Keep this information in mind and it’ll be much easier for you to choose the best short term health insurance policy and ensure you have coverage to help pay for your medical expenses.
Do you want to learn more about health insurance and choosing a good policy? If so, check out some of our other insurance-related articles today for additional information.