Choose the right short term medical insurance
Tony Novak,, CPA, MBA, MT,
Certified consumer-driven health plan adviser
Since passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act of 2010, the importance of coverage under short term
medical insurance. An average person has a gap in health
insurance seven times during their working career, according
to the health insurance industry reports. This gap can be
caused by a change in employment. Under the law, maximum
protection is available only to those individual who
minimize the gaps to no longer than 63 days and provide
proof in the form of a "Certificate of Creditable Coverage"
for prior periods. Without this proof, employer and
individual insurance plans require a waiting period of up to
18 months before coverage is provided for pre-existing
medical conditions. The new federal law and various state
laws strengthen this key provision of health insurance.
Fortunately most Americans are eligible for affordable short
term coverage for periods of one to twelve months. These
plans are primarily offered online with printable ID cards
and policy documents delivered electronically to ensure
efficient service and privacy of personal information.
Since most state insurance exchanges offer more than one
type of short term medical insurance, how can you make sure
to find the best policy? What is the best choice to save
money now but maximize coverage for the future? To save
search time and arrive at the best decision, focus on these
five key issued in the order they are presented to arrive at
the best policy.
available in your state. State laws about required coverage vary and so even
policies from the same insurance company often differ in
price and coverage from one state to another. The
majority of states offer three or more short term
coverage choices. Six states do not authorize any type
of short term medical insurance. See a summary of
choices on the state insurance exchange pages at
www.FreedomBenefits.net for the plans available in
- Consider your specific medical situation. If weight is an issue, for example,
term medical insurance is currently the only plan that does not have body build
and weight limitations and does not inquire about whether an applicant has been previously declined for
other health insurance. If this applies to you, the choice is easy. Coverage can be offered for up to 12
months, but some states require this coverage to be
provided through a combination of two successive
separate six month
policies. Individuals under treatment for high blood
pressure, cholesterol or non-insulin diabetics should
Secure Short Term Medical Insurance from
Standard Security Life Insurance.
- Consider cost-saving options. For
healthy applicants who have several choices of coverage,
price may become the most important consideration. Standard
Security Life offers plans with design options geared toward
trimming cost without losing the most important
catastrophic coverage. One called "STM Lite"
limits benefits to $750,000 to reduce premium cost.
- Consider other states' plans. Since short term insurance plans are designed to be
portable, it might be worthwhile to obtain coverage
while travelling in another state. There is no
requirement that the policy be issued at your permanent
legal residence so applicants commonly purchase coverage
while on vacation, at school, or while travelling for
other purposes. In this case the availability of
coverage is governed by the address of current short
term residence, not the permanent legal residence. Once
issued, however, the coverage is valid in all 50 states,
including the location of the permanent legal residence.
- Be aware of
the implications of limited benefit medical insurance
plans. The growth in popularity of
mini-med plans, also referred to as student health
plans, supplemental insurance or scheduled medical
benefit plans, can be a trap for some. While these plans
represent valuable coverage in many cases, they do not
provide an acceptable Certificate of Creditable Coverage
and therefore do not satisfy the continuity of coverage
requirement of public or commercial health insurance
plans. When finances permit, remember that limited
benefit plans can be combined with short term or
renewable major medical insurance to boost the overall
level of coverage. This can reduce or eliminate the
financial risk of high deductibles and co-payments and
even provide some extra cash to replace lost income
during periods of medical treatments.
Some short term medical plans offer ancillary dental and
vision benefits and a choice of prescription plans.
Regardless of the plan or options you select, remember that
the primary benefit is to protect your right to resume
immediate full coverage of pre-existing conditions once you
return to a regular renewable group or
individual health plan. The goal is to get the most benefit
possible - both now under the less expensive short term
coverage and then later under a more expensive renewable
This brief article does not cover the many coverage
interactions and limitations of possible combinations with
COBRA, HIPAA, PCIPs and other public health plans.
For help with specific questions about insurance and your
medical insurance options, OnlineAdviser independent
enrollment support service offers free e-mail support 24/7
for fast response and limited toll-free telephone support.