Recent changes that effect Short-Term Health Plans may make this an option for you under certain circumstances. They tend to have lower premiums but offer less coverage. These plans tend to be in cases of being between jobs as it is often less expensive than Cobra.
Here are some facts you need to know about short-term health plans.
- Available for up to 1 year – this type of insurance can now be renewed twice so one can have coverage for 3 years.
- Low cost Low coverage – These plans cost considerably less but they also cover less. You need to be sure the plan offers you the protection you need.
- Pre-existing conditions – These plans do not usually cover pre-existing conditions. Many do not offer coverage of mental health services, substance abuse treatment, outpatient prescription drugs or maternity care
- No basic coverage requirements – While ACA plans have basic requirements as to what must be covered, short-term health plans do not have these requirements.
- Cost Caps – many of these plans have a cap on what they will pay annually or for lifetime for covered costs. You need to check the policy carefully
Short-Term Health plans under the right circumstance can be an affordable option. If you are young and healthy and coming off your parent’s insurance, this may be an option until you find a plan that is right for you or your employer plan begins. If you are between jobs, this may be a short-term solution. If you do not have coverage at all and need a low-cost option for accidents or emergencies, then this may be an option for you.
There are some things you need to consider when shopping for a short-term health plan as all plans are not created equal.
- Check what the plan does and does not cover to make sure it is the right plan for you.
- Some plans have a network of health care providers, make sure the providers you are using is in their network
- All plans have different deductibles, co-pays and caps on amounts they are willing to pay. You need to take these into consideration.
- Short-term health plans are not guaranteed issue so if you have pre-existing conditions you may not be eligible for coverage.
Short-term health plans have their place in the health care market. You just need to make sure it is the right option for you. If need help navigating short-term plans please feel free to contact us.