Everyone has a right to lead a healthy life and a personal responsibility to implement the same. Healthcare needs continue to evolve, and so are the structures or regulations centered around the system. Although no one wishes to fall ill, it is important to prepare for such times and take the needed measures such as having a medical plan.
A long-term plan has a tenure of up to 2 or 3 years, unlike a regular plan covering 6 months or a year. However, you may need a short-term medical plan due to life changes such as losing a job, changing job, and transitioning from your parent’s cover. The information below helps you understand what short-term health insurance involves and whether it is worthwhile.
What is a short-term medical plan?
It is a type of health plan that gives you temporary coverage during certain situations, such as transitioning from one job to the other. A short-term plan has striking differences from a traditional health cover, including its tenure and what it covers. To get the most out of it, you need to evaluate your options, understand how they work, their differences in costs and what they cover.
What services does a short-term health plan cover?
Since every short-term plan is different from the other, expect different coverage from one plan to another. Just because a plan covers a particular service does not mean that the rest of the plans cover the same. It is majorly because short-term plans do not have to comply or adhere to the Veteran Administration Claims, so these plans have different standards.
Most of these short-term insurances cover doctor visits, primary care, prescriptions, preventive and emergency care. Since each plan varies, it is important to read and understand the exclusions and limitations information before purchasing any plan. Weigh the benefits of each plan before you settle for the one.
Is a short-term medical plan good for me?
Short-term medical insurance may not be ideal in the long run but can salvage a situation where you need temporary coverage after a lapse in permanent coverage. It saves you from accumulating medical bills during your transition period. A short-term medical plan can be the right option for you if:
- You are starting a new job and waiting for the benefits
- You have turned 26 and are no longer under your parent’s cover
- You have lost your job
- You missed open enrollment to apply for the Affordable Care Act and are not qualified for special enrollment.
Although this medical plan costs less, try to think of any upcoming health needs before making the final decision. Understand whether a short-term plan will lower the expenses or not. Do background research on the different plans that are available to you.
Consider factors such as the benefits and duration of the cover. Insurance companies have different policies, and the one you select should best suit your needs. Your state’s regulations can also influence the plan’s policies.
What are the pros of a short-term medical plan?
- Flexibility. Unlike traditional health insurance, you don’t have to pay for all essential medical benefits. Depending on the type of service you think you will need the most, there are different plans to choose from. For this reason, you may spend less than you would with long-term health insurance. Some plans allow you to choose your caregiver and type of facility, but this comes at an extra cost.
- Lower premiums. The most significant benefit of short-term health plans is that they cost way less than ACA-compliant plans that offer comprehensive coverage.
Cons of a short-term health insurance
- Limited coverage. Selective coverage has to be a major downside of such plans. Some of the services rarely covered by short-term plans include pre existing conditions, mental health, prescription drugs and routine care.
- High deductibles. Besides limiting the number of services they cover, short-term health plans also pay less for each care they cover. Most of these insurance plans have high deductibles, which means you pay more money before your insurance kicks in.
While short medical plans can save you from piling medical bills, it is of essence to consider different factors such as types of services covered before buying a plan.
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