How Could Short Term Health Insurance Help Me?

by Mark Mitchell - Date: 2007-01-20 - Word Count: 599 Share This!

Short-term health insurance plans allow people to have health insurance for a limited amount of time. It is the type of health insurance that most benefits those who are between jobs or who find themselves waiting for another form of insurance to start. For example, college graduates and those who have recently been removed from a particular job are most likely to use a form of short-term health insurance. This type of coverage is available for both individuals and families. While the cost of short-term coverage tends to be much less than long-term plans, many people are still not quite sure as to how the whole process works. If one is going to purchase a plan, it is wise to be aware of what to expect.

Most short-term health insurance policies generally give the people they cover the opportunity to visit any doctor or specialist they like. However, most plans do require pre-certification, which is an obligation with which people should become familiar. The good news for those who are insured via a short-term plan is that several procedures are covered. Some of these include surgery, hospital care, emergency services, and prescription drugs. The not-so-great news is that there are very often a number of restrictions and conditions which limit what is covered by a short-term insurance policy.

Because of its low cost, short-term health insurance does not usually cover routine preventative care. For example, things that most likely will not be covered are physical exams, immunizations, and PAP tests. Those who have chosen to purchase this type of insurance must remember that it only covers medical situations which occur after the policy is bought. In other words, short-term health insurance can never be used to cover something that happened or was known about before the plan was purchased. It is used solely for unforeseen accidents or illnesses that affect customers.

These types of illnesses that were made known before a plan was purchased are known as pre-existing conditions. The exact definition of "pre-existing" tends to vary from state to state, but it is most commonly assumed that anything that can be traced back to the past three years or so will be excluded from the plan's coverage.

While applying for short-term insurance, it is vitally important that applicants are open and honest about any conditions they believe fall under the category of pre-existing. If they are not open about something, it may come back to haunt them. They may be forced to pay out-of-pocket expenses for a particular medical procedure. Short-term health insurance companies are usually quite adamant about not covering any pre-existing medical conditions.

While there are several short-term policies which are now renewable for up to 36 months, many insurers will refuse to issue customers a second or third policy if they happened to file any claims under their first policy. On the other hand, some insurance companies will offer another policy, but they will not cover any illnesses or injuries that occurred during the first policy. Most companies that have solid reputations will offer a 30-day guarantee period of satisfaction. They will allow the customer to get back 100% of their premium. Of course, they will not honor this agreement if a customer has filed any claims during this period.

Short-term health insurance is important to people who want to have medical coverage while they are temporarily out of work or without insurance for one reason or another. Most plans are somewhat flexible, and all of them are usually affordable. The application process and the procedures covered are relatively easy to understand, thus making short-term health insurance a rather hassle-free acquisition.

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