You Need Health Insurance Now – Get Monthly Health Insurance

Jenifer Dorsey
August 16th, 2019 October 10th, 2018 |
Read time: 11 minutes
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Find out if you qualify for temporary coverage for emergencies and hospitalization – Don’t go uninsured between major medical plans.

You may be asking, “I need health insurance now – can I get health insurance for one month?”, “What are my options for month to month health insurance?” or “How can I access immediate health insurance coverage if I missed enrollment for Obamacare?”

The answer for you may be: short term health insurance.

Answered on this page:

  • What is short term health insurance?
  • When can short term health insurance help?
  • What is the fastest way to get health insurance benefits?
  • Can I get health insurance for one month?
  • How can I apply for short term health insurance?

Need Temporary Health Insurance?

Lost your job? In a new-employee waiting period? Short term health insurance can help if you have an accident or critical illness when you're between major medical plans.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance is required under law to be “guaranteed issue,” meaning you can’t be denied coverage under an ACA-compliant health insurance plan because of your current health status, including any pre-existing conditions.

Sounds like everyone should be able to access an ACA health plan, right?

Well, that’s not necessarily the case. It is not always convenient, practical or even possible to be enrolled in an ACA (also referred to as “Obamacare”) plan.

Keep reading to find out how to protect your finances, even when you’re in between major medical insurance plans, and how to get health insurance now!

Can’t I just go without health insurance?

It may be tempting to go without health insurance. It is just a month or two, right? Is it worth it to get health insurance?

While it may seem unlikely you will need the benefits while briefly uninsured, going without health insurance can mean you will have to pay all of your medical expenses yourself.

As of 2016, the average outpatient emergency room visit was $1,917, according to the Health Care Cost Institute; the price increased 31% from 2012 to 2016.1

If you become injured or unexpectedly ill, are you prepared to pay for related medical care entirely out of pocket? If not, short term health insurance could provide benefits to help you pay for covered medical expenses.

When can short term health insurance help?

Short term health insurance plans are designed to bridge the gap while you are waiting to access other coverage such as major medical insurance or Medicare. Here are some examples of situations where it might be useful to purchase short term health insurance for one month or longer:

Missed open enrollment – If you missed the annual deadline or cut-off to enroll in a major medical plan and your specific situation does not qualify you for a special enrollment period, short term health insurance may be an ideal solution to cover your health insurance needs until you can enroll in Obamacare.

Newly employed and waiting for insurance – Many Americans have health insurance administered through their employer, and those between jobs usually go through a transitional period where they are no longer covered by their previous employer’s benefits and not yet covered by insurance under their new employer.

Short term health insurance can help to limit your financial liability for medical services during this transition period.

Part-time seasonal workers – Some people work office jobs that see them employed year-round, while others perform vital seasonal work that is often labor-intensive but results in the person being unemployed and without health insurance through their employer for part of the year.

Seasonal employees can apply for short term medical insurance to bridge the gap between seasons and ensure that they always benefit from some form of health insurance coverage.

Close to Medicare eligibility – There are several ways to qualify for Medicare in the United States. Turning 65 is one way, but you can also qualify for Medicare while under 65 if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and have been for more than 24 months.

If you are just a few months away from qualifying for Medicare and need some kind of insurance to help get you there, a short term health insurance plan offers a highly customizable way to ensure you don’t end up paying for medical expenses out of your own pockets.

Need Supplemental or Short Term Insurance?

Apply in 3 Easy Steps

  • Get a quote within seconds
  • Compare multiple plans
  • Finish application online

What is short term health insurance?

Short term health insurance is insurance that does not meet the minimum coverage requirements of ACA plans. It is designed to provide temporary health insurance in cases where an unforeseen or unexpected lapse in coverage takes place, bridging the gap while you wait to enroll in a comprehensive health insurance plan that provides full benefits.

Short term health insurance plans can be customized based on the healthcare services that you anticipate using while you wait to purchase an ACA plan. Importantly, pre-existing conditions (conditions that you have received medical treatment for in the past) are not typically covered under short term health insurance plans.2

However, through this website there is a short term plan with limited pre-existing coverage available, this is a product new and unique to the health insurance market.

What a short term health plan covers

Life is unpredictable, even if you are in good health. Should unexpected situations become reality, a short term health insurance plan can offer peace of mind that you have benefits to help pay for covered medical expenses until your ACA-compliant qualified health insurance plan takes effect.

Temporary health plans:

Provide one month health insurance if that’s all you need. You can have short term health insurance for as few as 30 days if that is all you need until you begin an employer’s plan or can buy an ACA-compliant individual major medical plan through open or special enrollment. Note that short term plans are not the same as Obamacare plans.

Provide limited duration insurance coverage for 30 to 364 days depending on your state. Not all states allow for durations of 364 days and some states don’t allow short term medical insurance at all.

Include benefits for unexpected medical care. Covered expenses may include inpatient hospital care, intensive care, outpatient hospital care, outpatient emergency room visits, surgical services and more—benefits will vary by plan.

May be customized. Choose your deductible and coinsurance percentage, as well as your plan network type, to design the temporary health insurance coverage that works best for you. There are even some plans available with a limited coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Tend to be more affordable. Premiums for temporary health insurance plans are typically less than ACA-compliant major medical insurance premiums; however, short term medical policies are not as comprehensive. This may be helpful if you are in a life transition.

Rates will vary dependent upon plan selection and other factors. Short term limited duration medical expense insurance is non-renewable. If you purchase a new policy, any conditions for which you incurred claims under the prior policy is considered a pre-existing condition. The purchase of a new policy is not guaranteed and you may be ineligible for new coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The new policy will have a new deductible and coinsurance limit to be satisfied according to the policy documents. The amount of benefits provided depends on the plan selected and the premium will vary with the amount of benefits selected.

Can be purchased online, anytime. Shop and enroll in short term medical insurance 24/7. The application and approval process takes only a few minutes.

Begin (almost) right away. Temporary health insurance coverage takes effect as early as the day after application and enrollment. You will not need to wait until the first of the following month for your policy to take effect. If you need health insurance now, your best option is to apply for a short term plan that will take effect as early as the day after you apply.

May be paired with additional benefits. Short term insurance can be used with other supplemental insurance and insurance add-on products that can help you reduce out-of-pocket expenses, including telemedicine, medical gap plans and dental insurance—plans you can keep and use once you enroll in an Obamacare plan.

Insurance With Lower Monthly Premiums

Short term health insurance can provide temporary and limited benefits for a lower premium if you qualify. STM is not a replacement for comprehensive major medical coverage. 

Options and exclusions for short term health insurance plans

One of the major perks of short term health insurance is that it can be highly customized to suit your specific needs. This feature is a big part of what can result in lower premiums than ACA-compliant plans, which are required to cover 10 major areas of medical expenses while short term health plans are not.

Possible coverage options for short term health insurance include (but are not limited to):

  • Hospital room and board
  • Emergency care, including anesthesiology and surgical procedures
  • Diagnostic services, including X-rays, medical imaging, laboratory testing and analysis
  • Ambulatory care and surgical services
  • Doctor visits, including routine check-ups and physical examinations

As you may have noticed, short term health insurance generally provides coverage for high-dollar, unexpected care and treatment.

Despite its flexible nature, there are still several conditions that won’t be covered by a short term health insurance plan:

  • Pregnancy
  • Sport-related injuries (team sports and martial arts included)
  • Injuries or illness related to participating in extreme sports or other dangerous activities
  • Medical costs resulting from injury from riding an ATV, dirt bike, snowmobile, or Go-cart, or from racing a motorcycle, boat or any type of aircraft.
  • Ongoing treatment of pre-existing conditions
  • Tobacco, drug, and alcohol-related treatment expenses
  • Any medical expenses incurred prior to the effective date or after the expiration date of the policy

It pays to be on your best behavior while you’re covered by a short term health insurance policy, as any injury or illness stemming from your participation in an inherently risky activity is unlikely to be covered under your policy.

Can I have a short term plan instead of an Obamacare plan?

There are both legal and financial implications to consider when deciding whether or not you can have a short term plan instead of an ACA plan.

First, the legal implications: The federal tax penalty for going without ACA-qualifying major medical insurance was eliminated beginning January 1, 2019,3 meaning you will no longer owe a federal tax penalty if you go uninsured. You may still be subject to a state penalty depending on where you live.

Second, the financial and coverage implications: Short term plans have limited benefits especially when compared to ACA plans, so they may not provide enough coverage or benefits for you. For example, they include few, if any, of the essential health benefits and don’t include preventive care.

Short term health plans are not guaranteed issue and pre-existing conditions exclusions apply, which means your health history can impact whether or not you qualify for coverage. There are also annual benefit limits, unlike ACA plans which do not have annual or lifetime limits on essential health benefits.4

Consider several factors, including both coverage and cost, when trying to figure out how to choose the right health insurance for you. Our complete guide on how to choose health insurance may help.

Uninsured for the long term? Consider an Obamacare plan

If you need a qualified health insurance plan to access comprehensive health insurance benefits, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Special enrollment periods are extended to those amid certain life events (e.g., moving, divorce, marriage, adopting or giving birth to children) and allow you to enroll in an ACA-compliant health insurance plan outside of open enrollment.

During a special enrollment period, qualified health insurance plans may be purchased through a state-based or federally facilitated health insurance exchange or in the private marketplace.

Do You Qualify for an Affordable Care Act Subsidy?

Use the ACA Subsidy Calculator to find out if you can get financial help if you enroll in ACA-qualifying major medical insurance. Learn more about subsidies.

Summary

Short term health insurance should not be considered a replacement or substitute for an ACA-compliant major medical plan, as you won’t be covered for pre-existing conditions and there are many cases where you won’t receive benefits at all.

Still, short term insurance plays a vital role in our health insurance ecosystem, ensuring that folks who are between Obamacare plans can quickly and simply secure insurance that covers many types of unforeseen expenses.

You can also call 888-855-6837 to connect with a licensed health insurance agent.

Learn more about short term medical health insurance or get a quote now – it just takes a minute and you can compare coverage and costs for multiple policies.

Need Supplemental or Short Term Insurance?

Apply in 3 Easy Steps

  • Get a quote within seconds
  • Compare multiple plans
  • Finish application online
Originally Published On November 3rd, 2014
Independence American Insurance Company, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and/or Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York may underwrite the products referenced on this website. Legal Disclaimers.

Footnotes

  • 1 Health Care Cost Institute. (2018). 2016 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report. HCCI Annual Report.pdf. [online] Available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vi3S2pjThLFVwB7OtYwFmOiLVPTFl_wk/view [Accessed 21 Aug. 2018].
  • 2 A pre-existing condition is any medical condition or sickness for which medical advice, care, diagnosis, treatment, consultation or medication was recommended or received from a doctor within five years* immediately preceding the covered person’s effective date of coverage; or symptoms within the five years immediately prior to the coverage that would cause a reasonable person to seek diagnosis or care of treatment unless otherwise indicated as follows: 6 months – ID, KY, MI, NH, NM, ND, WA, WY; 12 months – CA, CO, CT, IN, LA, ME, MD, MS, NV, NC, SD, VA; 24 months – FL, IL, UT; 36 months – MT
  • 3 Text – H.R.1 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.. (2019). Congress.gov. Retrieved 16 August 2019, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1/text
  • 4 Ending Lifetime & Yearly Limits. HealthCare.gov. Retrieved 16 August 2019, from https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/lifetime-and-yearly-limits/