If you have a comprehensive health insurance plan that you can rely on, consider yourself lucky. Since the mid-2010s, enrollment in individual health insurance policies has been on a downward trend. According to recent studies, enrollment in individual health insurance policies declined by 4.3 million as of 2020. Many uninsured Americans may find that short-term health insurance is the solution they need when there are gaps in their coverage. Read on to learn more about what short-term health insurance is and what it covers.
What is Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance offers people with temporary gaps in their regular insurance coverage a short-term option. It’s essentially intended to provide coverage for a few general situations: visits to a traditional doctor’s office, admittance to emergency care, and hospitalization. Many people are required to pay a copayment, deductible, or coinsurance to access their benefits.
Who Can Benefit from Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance plans are ideal for people experiencing a gap in their regular health insurance coverage. This can happen for several reasons, including losing a job, being between jobs, being retired but under the qualifying age for Medicare, being self-employed, or being ineligible for a group insurance plan or special enrollment in an ACA-compliant plan.
Short-term health insurance provides welcome relief to some, but you can also be denied or asked to pay higher costs based on your current health or pre-existing conditions. For example, most short-term plans also put caps on their coverage amounts, such as hospitalizations up to $10,000. You would then be responsible for covering any costs beyond that amount.
What Does Short-Term Health Insurance Cover?
Short-term insurance policies may vary on the specifics of what’s covered, as well as capped amounts for specific situations. Providers each tailor different packages in varying price ranges. These plans are typically low-cost and have low coverage.
While short-term health insurance is supposed to cover inpatient doctor visits, hospital room and board, emergencies, and other unexpected medical needs that don’t qualify as part of a pre-existing condition, however, unlike ACA-compliant plans, short-term plans aren’t required to cover the same ten essential standardized benefits the ACA does.