Short-term health insurance (i.e, one month health insurance plans) may provide you with temporary medical coverage in certain circumstances. These temporary health insurance plans have a lot of features that are very different from traditional health plans. Short-term health insurance can provide you with temporary medical coverage in the event of an emergency when you are between health plans or outside enrollment periods. However, you need to know how a short-term health plan works, how much it costs, and what it covers in order to get the most out of it.
Coverage for short-term health insurance varies greatly from plan to plan and from insurer to insurer. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require these kinds of plans to be followed. Minimum essential coverage is the minimum level of coverage that ACA plans must offer. Short-term health plans do not have to meet the same standards.
Preventive care, doctor visits, urgent care, and emergency care are covered in some way by short-term medical insurance. Prescription drug coverage may also be available. A few plans likewise offer expense reserve funds for finding in-network suppliers. Before purchasing any plan, be sure to read the exclusions and limitations information. This will tell you which plans cover what and which do not.
One Month Health Insurance Plans
Private insurance companies sell short-term health plans. This kind of plan is not offered by every business. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits these plans from being offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can look for a private insurance company that offers a short-term medical plan to buy.
The following are typical initial costs for temporary health insurance:
- Premium: This is the cost you incur each month to have insurance. The level of coverage you select, including deductible and coinsurance, as well as the types of services covered, will influence the premium.
- Deductible: Short-term health plans may have deductibles that are significantly higher than those of more conventional health plans. Services are paid for out of pocket until you meet your deductible. After that, your plan begins to split costs.
- Coinsurance: This is the level of costs you share with your arrangement after you meet your deductible. It is frequently presented as a percentage. There is a deductible and coinsurance in most short-term plans.
- Copay: When you go to the doctor, you may have to pay this fee; usually paid during the visit. You may be required to pay a copay for certain doctor visits with some short-term plans.
- Additional out-of-pocket expenses: You may be responsible for all costs if certain health care services are not covered by your short-term plan. Services related to mental or substance use, dental, vision, or maternity care may not be covered by some short-term plans or have limits placed on their coverage. Each and every one of these services would be your sole expense.
Depending on the type of coverage you purchase, there may be additional costs. Before making a decision, carefully review all plan details to learn how much it might actually cost.
What are short-term health insurance’s advantages and disadvantages?
- Designed to fill short-term coverage gaps in the event of a need
- You can cancel coverage at any time without incurring penalties
- You can select a plan that covers you for up to a year if necessary
- Many different plan designs are available, depending on the insurance company
In some cases, approval for coverage may require completing a medical questionnaire.
- Because coverage is not required or standard, plans vary widely in terms of covered services and costs, and the government has very little control over them.
- Significantly higher deductibles than traditional health plans, in addition to other potential costs that are not anticipated.
- No coverage for pre-existing conditions and limited coverage for most services.
You should enroll in a traditional health plan for comprehensive benefits and coverage. This could be a plan that your employer provides or one that you purchase on your own through an individual insurance provider or the Health Insurance Marketplace.
ACA health plans versus short-term plans
Short-term plans were developed to help fill temporary coverage gaps that may occur in certain circumstances. Most of the time, these kinds of plans are not good alternatives to traditional health plans. They are not required to follow the ACA’s guidelines. They have few advantages and have much higher prices.
On the other hand, as mandated by the government, ACA health plans are required to provide certain types of coverage. They must fully cover maternity and preventive care benefits, as well as benefits for mental health and substance abuse. Make sure you know exactly what kinds of care and services are covered and not covered before you buy a short-term health plan. Carefully go over the information about limitations and exclusions.
Is it prudent to purchase short-term health insurance?
It is possible that long-term health insurance is not the best choice.
However, there are some circumstances in which a short-term health plan might be able to meet your needs:
- You turned 26 and recently left your parents’ health insurance plan.
- You missed the traditional open enrollment period for health insurance.
- You lost or quit your job
Try to anticipate your upcoming health requirements as a first step. Examine the options you have. The duration, types of benefits, and even prices of these plans can be very different from one insurance company to the next. Due to state regulations, plans may also differ from state to state.
The Best Short-Term Health Insurance Providers of 2023
Pivot Health offers a variety of affordable basic coverages and useful options so you can get the right policy at the right price. You can also include discounts on prescription drugs and eye care. HealthCare.com is a leader in technology-enabled health insurance solutions with a team of health insurers, financial experts, and technical experts of which Pivot Health is a division of. Its advantages include:
- Access to 24/7 telemedicine;
- Prescription discount options;
- No network restrictions;
- Low maximums on the cheapest plans;
- Requires emergency pre-certification within 48 hours;
- Does not cover pre-existing conditions.
By offering discounts of 15% to 30% on eye exams, frames, and contact lenses, the business stands out for its value. Also, the online tools at Pivot Health can aid in giving priority to the requirements of your insurance. There are $1,000 and $10,000 deductibles, with annual maximums of $100,000 and $1 million. Pre-existing conditions, vaccinations, routine physical exams, and injuries sustained in extreme sports are all excluded from the coinsurance coverage which has an out-of-pocket cost of between $3,000 and $10,000. In the case of illness, there are waiting periods of five days, thirty days, and six months, respectively, for services like a tonsillectomy.
- No Policy Types
- Maximum Coverage Cost: $250,000 to $1,500,000
- States that exist: Variables
Because some of the benefits of its plan begin to take effect after one day, Everest is the best option for avoiding lengthy wait times. Everest also has affordable prices, flexible physician networks, and low deductibles. Everest Reinsurance has been guaranteeing insurance beginning around 1973 and holds an AM Best monetary strength rating of A+ with different contract types available, including property, loss, forte, mishap, and medical coverage.
- Not confined to in-network choice
- Low co-Coverage limits for the FlexTerm range from $250,000 to $1,500,000.
- There are a variety of options for co-insurance and deductibles, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, with a $50 co-pay option.
- Unless hospitalized, prescriptions will not be covered
- Pre-existing conditions are not covered
- Not available in all states
- Best for the longest coverage
- Coverage Limit in dollars: $500,000 to $2,000,000
- of States that exist: 25
UnitedHealthcare gives TriTerm Medical, a short-term duration health insurance lasting for almost 36 months over three terms.
- Preventive care wellness checks are covered
- Large provider network
- Prescription options are available
- Only available in 25 states
- Limited to in-network care
- Waiting period for most services
UnitedHealthcare underwrites its policies through Golden Rule Insurance Policies and cover nearly 1,500,000 physicians, over 7,000 hospitals, and medical facilities with waiting periods that are part of the network. A $50 copay is included in a Copay Select plan which offers a variety of preventative care options.
Temporary stop-gap between plans provided by an employer or purchased on the market is the best short term health insurance policy. In addition, coverage for home health care, rehabilitation, and hospice is limited, while coverage for prescriptions is available with coinsurance.