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When you are uninsured, you can feel a bit vulnerable to medical bills. Accidents and illnesses rarely pick a “convenient” time to strike. So, how can you get health insurance in between jobs and major medical plans?
Short term medical plans, which are often referred to as short term health insurance plans, offer temporary coverage that can help you pay for unexpected healthcare during life’s transitional periods.
With a short term health insurance plan, you can:
1. Quickly obtain coverage. Gain (almost) immediate health insurance. Get an online quote, choose a plan, and complete the application and approval process within a few minutes. You can choose a short term policy effective date as early as the day after you apply and enroll in coverage.
Keep in mind that short term plans are not the same as Obamacare plans. You may be denied coverage based on your health history. If you do not qualify or are concerned that you will not, call the number at the top of your screen to speak with a certified advisor who can discuss your coverage options.
2. Get benefits for a range of healthcare services. Some people think that temporary benefits don’t cover much. In reality, they often include many benefits that help pay for unexpected medical expenses related to emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgery and more—some plans even cover some preventive care services.
3. Choose your policy length. Short term health plans are meant to be a temporary solution. As such, you can select a plan length as short as 30 days and up to 180 days—sometimes longer, depending on the state where you live. Maybe you are going to start a new job in a month and will have a 30-day waiting period before your job-based benefits kick in. You could purchase two months of coverage to help protect you in the meantime.
If your policy runs out and you still need coverage, you may be able to obtain a new short term policy afterward. State laws vary on policy length and the ability to enroll in a new plan. If you are not exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s individual shared responsibility provision and go without health insurance for a period of more than three months, you could owe a tax penalty.
4. Potentially save money premiums. Many people in between jobs and benefits say they are looking for “cheap health insurance.” Of course, cheap is a subjective term and can imply something of inferior quality. Short term health insurance plans typically have lower premiums than major medical health insurance plans and, as mentioned above, you will find they offer real benefits for a range of covered expenses.
5. Customize coverage to meet your healthcare and financial needs, as well as your provider preferences. Temporary coverage isn’t one size fits all. Some plans include provider networks that help lower what you pay for healthcare when you utilize participating providers, while other plans allow you to see any healthcare provider that accepts them.
Once you select a plan, you may have options when it comes to your deductible, coinsurance and copayments. Typically, as with major medical plans:
· A higher deductible will mean lower premium payments and higher out-of-pocket costs
· A lower deductible will mean higher premium payments and lower out-of-pocket costs
A health insurance producer (e.g., agent, broker, advisor) can help you explore your options and determine which coverage most adequately meets your needs.
6. Buy additional health benefits that you can keep after your short term plan ends. Supplemental products such as dental insurance, critical illness coverage and telemedicine can help you pay for healthcare and reduce out-of-pocket costs, whether or not you are insured by an Obamacare plan.
If you think you will be unemployed for longer than three months, you may want to investigate long-term health coverage options such as an Obamacare plan or Medicaid.
Medicaid eligibility varies by state, but some states have expanded their program to include single adults who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. You can enroll in Medicaid year-round.
While Obamacare open enrollment for 2016 ended on Jan. 31, certain life events such as losing job-based coverage may make you eligible for a special enrollment period. Special enrollment periods last for a limited amount of time following a qualifying life event and allow you to enroll in a major medical plan on or away from your state-based or federally facilitated health insurance exchange. If you buy a plan from a state or federal exchange and meet income criteria, you may qualify for subsidies that reduce your monthly payment and out-of-pocket expenses.
Our certified advisors can answer your questions about coverage in between jobs, short term plans and more; call the number at the top of your screen to be connected or click here to get a quick short term health insurance quote from healthedeals.com.
SHORT-TERM MEDICAL EXPENSE (STM)
THIS IS A SHORT TERM HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN THAT IS NOT INTENDED TO QUALIFY AS THE MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE REQUIRED BY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA). UNLESS YOU PURCHASE A PLAN THAT PROVIDES MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACA, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO A FEDERAL TAX PENALTY. ALSO, THE TERMINATION OR LOSS OF THIS POLICY DOES NOT ENTITLE YOU TO A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD TO PURCHASE A HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN THAT QUALIFIES AS MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE OUTSIDE OF AN OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD. THIS POLICY INCLUDES A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION EXCLUSION PROVISION.
About The IHC Group
The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. Members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC), American Independence Corp. (NASDAQ: AMIC), Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. (An A++ rating from A.M. Best is its highest rating.) For more information about The IHC Group, visit www.ihcgroup.com.
“IHC” and “The IHC Group” are the brand names for plans, products and services provided by one or more of the subsidiaries and affiliate member companies of The IHC Group (“IHC Entities”). Plans, products and services are solely and only provided by one or more IHC Entities specified on the plan, product or service contract, not The IHC Group. Not all plans, products and services are available in each state.
About IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.
IHC Specialty Benefits, doing business as Health eDeals Insurance Solutions is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Health eDeals markets products through general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label, and directly to consumers on www.healthedeals.com.