What is a Short Term Medical Plan?
Short-term health insurance plans provide you with coverage for a limited period of time, and may be an ideal solution for those between jobs or those waiting for other health insurance to start. Typically, short-term plans offer coverage up to six months, although some plans may offer coverage up to 12 months. If you think you’ll need coverage for a longer period of time, you may want to look at a standard, longer-term health insurance option like our individual and family health insurance plans.
The application process for short-term health insurance is usually simpler than standard, longer-term health insurance. Short-term health insurance plans are designed to protect against unforeseen accidents or illnesses, rather than to provide comprehensive coverage, and, as such, typically do not include coverage for preventive care, physicals, immunizations, dental or vision care.
Purchasing a short-term medical insurance plan will make you ineligible for any guaranteed issue individual health plans commonly referred to as HIPAA Plans. HIPAA plans are usually very expensive and are generally intended for people with pre-existing medical conditions who would have trouble getting health insurance otherwise. If you wish to maintain your eligibility for HIPAA plans, you should not purchase a short-term plan. Please consult your benefits advisor to discuss your rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other rights under state law.
Short-term health insurance plans typically do not cover pre-existing medical conditions. The definition of a pre-existing condition varies by state, but, in general, short-term health insurance policies exclude coverage for conditions that have been diagnosed or treated within the previous 3 to 5 years. If you have an existing medical condition, you may want to research whether you can extend your current insurance. Employer-sponsored insurance can be extended under a government-regulated option commonly referred to as COBRA, which you should seriously consider if you have an existing medical condition.