Short-term health insurance, also called short-term limited duration coverage (STLDI), provides affordable medical care for a temporary period. They are used to bridge gaps in coverage, such as when someone misses open enrollment for a health plan or is out of work and doesn’t qualify for employer group coverage.
But because they aren’t ACA-compliant, they can be risky for people who have preexisting conditions or high health risks. In addition, many short-term plans exclude essential health benefits or severely limit their coverage for mental health and substance use services.
What is a short-term policy?
A short-term policy is a type of health insurance that lasts for a limited time (up to one year). It’s often used to fill gaps in coverage, such as when someone is waiting for a long-term plan to be approved or while someone is between jobs.
However, these plans differ from ACA-compliant major medical plans in several important ways. In particular, they are not regulated with the same consumer protections as ACA-compliant plans.
In addition, they may fail to cover ACA essential health benefits, including mental health services and substance use disorder treatment.
These limitations mean that people who purchase short-term policies today are taking a risk that they could find themselves without adequate coverage in the future if they need any health care at all. These risks are especially high if a new medical condition causes them to become ineligible for an ACA-compliant plan at the next open enrollment period or under their employer-sponsored coverage.
Why do I need a short-term policy?
Short-term insurance provides quick and affordable health insurance coverage when you need it. It can help fill a gap in your existing plan or provide proof of coverage.
Many people who qualify for a short-term policy have missed the enrollment deadline for ACA coverage, are between jobs, or have aged out of their parents’ health plans. Others may have been denied health insurance for a preexisting condition or if they have high medical risks.
In addition, some short-term health policies don’t meet ACA requirements or consumer protections and may raise costs for consumers who need care Short Term Medical Insurance Florida. They often don’t cover maternity care, mental health services or prescription drugs, and they can deny claims.
Federal regulators have stepped in to crack down on these skimpy short-term plans. In some states, insurers are now allowed to offer them for one year and renew them up to 36 months.
How long do I need to have a short-term policy?
Short-term insurance is designed to cover you when you need it most. It can be used to fill a coverage gap, for example if you are between jobs, or if you are looking for a better rate on your long-term policy. The duration of your short-term insurance policy can vary, from a few months to up to a year, depending on the type of plan you choose.
Most short-term policies are not renewable and do not cover pre-existing conditions. This means that if your short-term policy ends and you want to purchase another one, you will have to answer the same health questions again and submit new medical information. This is why it’s important to read the fine print carefully before buying a short-term policy.
How do I get a short-term policy?
Short-term health insurance plans are designed to meet the needs of individuals who are looking for coverage that lasts a relatively short time period, from 30 days to 364 days or less. You can buy a short-term policy from any number of companies, and most providers offer online tools to make the process as easy as possible. Some companies even offer a free no-obligation quote.
However, be sure to carefully read the fine print to ensure you’re getting the right plan for your needs and budget. A short-term policy might be the best way to get the coverage you need at a price that works for you.