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Uh oh. Suddenly, you’re uninsured … and, as a result, uncertain about how you’ll pay for healthcare.
Maybe you lost your existing coverage and don’t qualify for a special enrollment period, or perhaps you’re looking for the best short-term health insurance solution during a new employer’s benefits waiting period.
One way or another, you’re probably reading this because you’ve found yourself without health insurance outside of the annual Obamacare open enrollment period. Now you’re looking for a temporary option.
That option may be short-term health insurance, temporary benefits that can help pay for unexpected healthcare expenses when you are in between Obamacare or job-based plans.
Short-term coverage is available anytime of year, and you can begin benefits as early as the day after you quote and enroll.
So how do you go about finding the best, most affordable short-term health insurance plan for you?
Short-term plans last as few as 30 days and as long as 90 days, under current laws.
If you’re not exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, short-term plans can provide you with benefits to help pay for covered healthcare expenses, but may not prevent you from owing the tax penalty for going without minimum essential coverage. Exemptions include a single period of up to 3 months without health insurance during the year.
Are you simply looking for something to help with unexpected healthcare bills if you become sick or injured? Or, do you need a plan that includes benefits for preventive care, prescription drugs or pre-existing conditions?
The Affordable Care Act’s 10 essential health benefits and no-cost preventive services do not apply to short-term plans. And while it is rare that short-term health insurance policies cover preventive care or pre-existing conditions, it isn’t unheard of.
Health eDeals offers Connect Plus, the first alternative health insurance product with limited benefits for certain pre-existing conditions. This site also offers plans with a small selection of basic preventive services.
If you need more robust benefits, you may want to add a hospital plan or bundle short-term coverage with a hospital plan to gain access to benefits for smaller, less expensive claims as well as larger, more catastrophic claims.
How much is hospital insurance? Call the number on your screen to find out.
The general rule with any health benefits plan is this: the more you pay in premium, the lower your deductible and vice versa.
If you want additional benefits to help cover preventive services or pre-existing conditions, you will have to pay a higher monthly rate for a plan that offers them.
Likewise, short-term health insurance plans typically come with multiple deductible options; if you select a plan with a lower deductible (typically because you expect you’ll use healthcare services), then you will pay more in monthly premium.
It’s important to remember that temporary health insurance doesn’t qualify for Obamacare subsidies. If you think you’re eligible for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions and think you’ll save more on benefits that way, you must qualify for special enrollment and shop your state exchange. Plans from the private marketplace are not eligible for subsidies or reductions.
Need help deciding what’s best for your budget? Use Agent Finder to search for local assistance.
Do you already have doctors, a hospital or other healthcare providers you prefer? If you want to keep them, then make sure you select a short-term health insurance policy that doesn’t include network restrictions. (Most short-term plans do not include network restrictions.)
If you don’t mind being flexible with where you obtain medical care, you might save money. Many short-term plans partner with national networks and offer discounted care when you use participating providers.
Year-round availability and no waiting periods make short-term health insurance particularly attractive when you are suddenly and temporarily uninsured. You can get a quote within seconds, apply and enroll within minutes, and begin coverage as soon as the following day.
If you think you’ll be without health insurance for longer than 90 days and qualify for special enrollment, then you’ll want to consider an Obamacare plan.
You don’t have to wait for open enrollment or qualify for special enrollment. Start shopping now at healthedeals.com. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
Have questions? Call the number on your screen to speak with a certified health insurance producer. Or, use Agent Finder to find local assistance.
Originally posted July 26, 2016.