Understanding the Extent Of Temporary Health Insurance Coverage

Temporary health insurance is something that a lot of people will need at some point in their life. There are many circumstances in life that lead to a need for temporary coverage. Gaps in coverage occur between jobs or for other reasons and temporary health insurance helps fill that need. So what exactly does temporary health insurance cover? What are the advantages and disadvantages of short term health insurance?

Who Needs Temporary Health Insurance?

Anyone who is in transition could probably use temporary health coverage. Those that are between jobs are a common group that can use short term coverage. If you just lost your job or are between jobs, you will probably need some form of temporary health insurance. Even if you just landed a new job, you likely will not be eligible for group coverage until a few months down the road. Another common group is college graduates or those that have just gone off of their parent's insurance policy. Anyone who is in flux as to what they will be doing in the future and needs to prevent against large medical losses is a good candidate for temporary health insurance. 

What Does It Cover?

Your temporary health coverage will cover almost everything that a normal policy does. One thing that it definitely will not cover is pregnancy or childbirth. If you get pregnant while on temporary coverage, you are on your own. Another thing that it will not cover is any preexisting conditions. If you have a preexisting problem, it might be wise to get it taken care of before you go off of your previous group insurance plan. Otherwise, you will not be covered by any of your next insurance plans for that condition.


There are several advantages to getting a temporary insurance plan. For one thing, you can be covered immediately. In most cases, you will be covered the very next day after you submit the application. If you are in a position where you need coverage immediately, this would be the way to go. Even if you are waiting on a regular insurance plan to kick in, you can be covered by this type of coverage in the meantime.

Another advantage is that it is usually cheaper than regular insurance. They know that you will only be covered by them for a certain amount of time, so the premiums are not as large as normal. It is a great way to save money while you're waiting for another insurance policy to kick in. 

Another advantage to this type of policy is that it can cover gaps up to three years in some cases. They are designed for about six months, but you can get it extended in some cases. 


The downside is that anything you incur during the temporary coverage, will not be covered when you get a new plan. It will be treated as a preexisting condition. Not covering pregnancy can be a bad thing if something unexpected were to happen. 

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