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Ideally, everyone would already have a full health insurance policy that lasts the whole year and is renewable at year's end. But what if you are without health coverage and it's between open enrollment periods?
In this, and certain other situations, short term health insurance may be the answer to bridge the gap till you're able to get a "regular" health insurance policy.
Is Short Term Health Insurance For Me?
If you missed getting insured during the ACA open enrollment period, as mentioned above, you may want to get a temporary health policy to tide you over to the next open enrollment.
But there are a few other situations where temporary, short-term health coverage makes sense as well, including:
Since short term health insurance is not ACA compliant, it is more flexible, not tied down by ACA requirements. That's why you can apply for it at any time, not just during open enrollment.
You can get covered almost immediately, with no significant wait period between signing up and the policy going into effect. You can drop the policy at any time without a penalty.
You will have several deductibles to choose from, access to a large network of healthcare providers, and will have very low premiums.
However, you do not get the full benefits of an ACA plan with short term plans. Pre-existing conditions are not typically covered and you aren't guaranteed approval for the policy if you have such a condition.
Short term plans don't necessarily cover the "ten essential health benefits" of ACA, including mental healthcare, maternity and newborn, and more. You have to check each insurer and policy to know what is and is not covered - because there are no government controls on what has to be included as under ACA.
You and to-be-covered family members may have to answer some health questions and meet medical requirements to be approved.
Short term plans may cover some preventative health care services, but often, this aspect of coverage is very limited if present at all. Prescription drugs can be covered too, but that varies from plan to plan.
As to whether you can keep your current doctor and get the full policy benefits under a short term plan, it varies. But since networks tend to be large, there's a good chance you can.
To learn more about both short and long term health insurance policies and to better explore your options, feel free to contact Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!