Short term medical; also known as temporary health insurance, is a product that provides health insurance for 12 months or less.
This type of short term health insurance is typically purchased by recent college graduates or individuals in between jobs. Short-term health typically does not include coverage that is found in a comprehensive health insurance plan. As a result this insurance should only be used as an option to fill a temporary gap in coverage.
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The duration of coverage for short-term health is typically from one to six months and can be as long as 12 months. Policies can typically be renewed. Short-term health insurance policies generally do not provide coverage for a pre-existing condition. This includes any health condition that existed up to 12 months prior to the start of coverage. Policies typically provide coverage for surgeries that are required, hospital care, emergency room visits and prescription drugs.
The costs of a short-term health policy vary depending on various factors. These can include the amount of coverage that is required and the amount of the deductible that applies to the policy. Individuals under the age of 30 who do not smoke may pay around $150 (or less) per month for a short term health insurance policy. Premiums for a policy can be paid up-front, with a discount, or once per month.
There are several advantages to purchasing a short-term health policy, some of which include costs that are lower than those for a traditional health policy and coverage that is typically available the day after the policy is postmarked. Another benefit to this type of health insurance plan is that there is no provider network in which a specific physician needs to be used.
Short term health policies also have a disadvantage; pre-existing conditions are not covered. In addition, they do not provide dental or vision coverage and do not cover maternity.
Many insurers have various eligibility requirements for a short-term health insurance policy to be issued. Most individuals who apply for a policy need to be under the age of 65 and must not have been denied health insurance coverage in the past. Insurance companies may also have guidelines such as being within acceptable height and weight limits.*Short-term medical plans are intended as interim or "gap" coverage, i.e., for people who know, with certainty, that they will have standard, long-term coverage (or coverage through an employer) at a future date.
Short-term plans are designed to provide protection from unforeseen illness or injury; they are not meant to cover routine exams, preventive care, dental or eye care, or immunizations. Short-term plans are exempt from HIPAA legislation. This means that when issuing a Short-term medical policy, insurance carriers do
not have to: guarantee renewal, guarantee issue, or waive the pre-existing condition limitation for federally eligible individuals. Most importantly, short-term medical plans provide coverage for a limited time frame only. Once this time frame ends, you may or may not be able to buy additional health insurance, depending on your health at that point in time.
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