Short Term Insurance

Short Term Insurance

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Short term health insurance in California provides a flexible timetable in case you are transitioning between plans such as COBRA, Medicare, and others.

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Temporary coverage for a limited period of time, designed to fill in the gaps. 

What is Short-Term Insurance?

Short-term health insurance in California provides a flexible timetable in case you are transitioning between plans, are a college grad coming off your parent’s health plan, need something with a low premium, and/or are waiting for the next qualifying period to enroll in Obamacare or Medicare.

Short-term policies can run from 1 to 12 months, they're often more affordable than Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) plans -- and as with regular policies, the higher the deductible you purchase, the lower the premium costs to you.

If you miss(ed) the deadline to enroll in health insurance during Open Enrollment, you can still get a Short-Term policy.  At J.S. Downey Insurance Service, we can help you get covered immediately at a lower cost, in order to help you plan ahead in the case of any unexpected medical expenses.

Short-term health insurance is a temporary health option that is meant to provide coverage in-between other insurance options. Its benefits usually insure against catastrophic events, accidents, or major illnesses. This is different from comprehensive coverage, which typically includes preventive care, physicals, immunizations, and sometimes dental or vision care.

  • Short-term health plans are non-renewable, meaning your insurer doesn’t have to renew your plan.
  • Short-term health plans don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions, so you can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.
  • Short-term coverage doesn’t prevent you from being denied payment or dropped when you are sick if you didn’t disclose your pre-existing medical condition at the time of application.
  • Short-term health plans aren’t guarantee issue; you can be denied coverage for non-health reasons.
  • Short-term health plans also lack many other protections offered by the Affordable Care Act.

Short-term plans can help in the following situations:

  • Change of employment - short-term plans can help you get covered in-between jobs or employee benefits.
  • Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare - some short-term care policies can fill in gaps if you have a catastrophic plan.
  • Special Activities - you may need to show proof of coverage for certain jobs or special events if you have a unique job.
  • Before Medicare - if you are approaching age 65, you can get a short-term plan to fill in the gaps until Medicare takes effect.

Benefits of Short-Term plans:

  • Affordable rates - Short-term insurance plans can often have lower, more affordable premiums than traditional plans.
  • Peace of mind - Short-term plans offer you a safety net so you're never going without coverage for unexpected and catastrophic health events.
  • Quick approval - Many applicants for short-term policies are often approved within 24 hrs. and get proof of insurance quickly.
  • Flexibility - Short-term plans can cover you for any period from 30 days up to 12 months.
  • Between jobs - Short-term policies can provide coverage while waiting for employer group coverage to start.
  • Waiting for Marketplace (Obamacare) coverage to start.
  • Short-term insurance can provide coverage when traveling outside of a carrier's in-network plan.
  • Protection/Coverage for college graduates.
  • Short-term plans can provide coverage for temporary or seasonal employees.
  • Short-term insurance can fill the gaps for dependents no longer covered under parents' plans.
  • On-strike, laid-off, or a terminating employee could apply for short-term health insurance.

Here are some Downsides of Short Term health insurance policies:

  • Doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions
  • Doesn’t count as minimum essential coverage (i.e. you can still owe the ACA Penalty for not having insurance)
  • Doesn’t provide the essential health benefits of the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare
  • Primarily acts as catastrophic coverage only
  • Limited selection of doctors and providers
  • You can't qualify for ACA subsidies with a short term health insurance plan
  • Having this coverage may prevent you from getting COBRA or HIPAA

Final Important Reminders:

  • Short-term plans are temporary coverage with limited benefits.
  • They are not ACA-compliant and they don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
  • While it’s true that a short-term plan’s coverage doesn’t compare to the benefits, rights and protections offered by major medical, they could offer great protections and savings to a consumer who understands the product and works with a knowledgeable agent.
  • Short-term health plans are not minimum essential coverage and will not help you avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance.
  • Short-term plans often have a smaller list of covered providers than traditional, ACA-compliant policies.
  • Enrolling in a short-term coverage option can/will prevent you for qualifying for COBRA.
  • If you are eligible for any guaranteed-issue individual health plans, commonly known as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act plans, purchasing a short-term medical insurance plan will prevent you from qualifying for HIPAA plans.