Understanding Your Short Term Medical Insurance Plan

Short term medical insurance is a form of medical coverage that helps cover gaps in your long term policies. Many people who are between jobs or unemployed use this form of coverage to protect themselves against large losses. There are many different companies and options for you to choose from.

Short Term Insurance Basics

Short term insurance is designed to last for about six months. In some cases, you can extend it up to three years. However, beyond that you will have to find a long term insurance carrier. Short term insurance is usually cheaper than a standard plan. It does not cover pregnancy, child birth or preexisting conditions. 


Short term medical insurance has a few advantages over other forms of coverage. For one thing, you can use your policy at any doctor or hospital in the country. However, you have to make sure that you have everything pre-authorized. Another advantage is how quickly you can be covered. If you need insurance coverage, you do not want to have to wait for the coverage to kick in. With short term health insurance, you are covered the very next day after submitting your application. This will allow you to prevent any large losses that may occur before you get coverage. You can also choose a plan that covers preventative care as well as family benefits. You can get pretty much everything you get with a normal plan, with the exception of pregnancy.


While short term coverage can help you in a number of ways, it's not perfect. There are a few disadvantages. It does not fall under HIPAA jurisdiction so preexisting conditions are not covered. Also, you can only use it for a certain amount of time. Therefore, if you have trouble securing a job, you may not be able to get the insurance coverage you need. Lastly, you will not be covered to receive dental or vision coverage. 

Who needs it?

Short term health insurance is not for everyone, but there are several groups of people who could use it to their advantage. One of the largest groups that need the insurance is people who are in- between jobs. If your company offered group health coverage and you lose your job, you are also out of health coverage. Therefore, you need something for the short term, while you look for another job. 

Another common group is new employees. Many times, you cannot get on the company plan for up to six months because there is a company lapse period. During that time period, you want to be covered, so short term coverage fits the bill.

College graduates are another common group that utilizes short term health coverage. They know that they will not be looking for a job forever; therefore, short term coverage is a great alternative. 

Early retirees are another group of people that can use short term coverage. They are not yet old enough for Medicare, but they no longer have coverage from their job. They can use the insurance during the lapse time for their medical needs.

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