Short term health insurance is coverage for accidents and illness for a set time period, and often it is far less expensive than an ACA (Obamacare) plan. A short term plan is a common health insurance solution when relocating, changing jobs, or waiting for your next health plan to kick in. Short term health insurance is also a great choice for those needing coverage, but not needing the type or breadth of coverage an ACA plan might provide.
There are two main advantages to short term health insurance.
First, your options for providers are far greater, as the best short term health insurance plans are often nationwide PPO (Preferred Provider Organizaiton) network plans. These plans provide coverage at discounted rates through a preferred network, but still provide some coverage outside of the network
Second, there is no open enrollment period to short term health insurance. You can apply for a short term plan at any time, often receive approval within minutes, and have coverage as soon as the next day!
Why Choose A Short Term Health Insurance Plan?
No two people share the same health insurance needs. While an ACA plan may well provide ample coverage including maternity coverage and coverage for pre-existing conditions, it will also on the whole be notably more expensive. A short term health plan is more streamlined and lean, providing practical coverage in case of illness or accident while keeping the cost reasonable.
The Best Short Term Health Insurance Plans Are Less Restrictive
While an ACA plan has certain guidelines it must meet for minimum coverage (10 coverage points, in fact!), a short term plan will specifically cover you in case of a major illness or accident without extra items driving up the cost. If you’re generally in good health, a short term plan will likely be far less expensive month-to-month, and likely have a lower deductible.
No Open Enrollment Periods
You only have a narrow window through the year to enroll in an Obamacare/ACA plan – usually only a single month in November. A short term medical plan however can be purchased at any time. You are also often able to receive approval in minutes after answering a few health related questions, and coverage can start as soon as the next day. For this reason alone, a short term health insurance policy is a great way to ensure you stay covered when between jobs, or between policies.
Should I Consider A Short Term Health Insurance Plans?
Short term plans aren’t for everyone. If you have recurring medical expenses due to a pre-existing condition, you might prefer the more comprehensive coverage of an ACA plan. In particular, some major health issues will not be covered by a short term medical insurance policy. Be sure to check what conditions might disqualify you from coverage. Major health issues such as heart disease or, diabetes would be better served by an Obamacare plan. Likewise, a major medical event or illness within the past five years might complicate or prevent you from being able to receive short term coverage.
What Is The Best Short Term Health Insurance Option For Me?
Consider a short term health insurance policy for any of the following scenarios:
- You are in between jobs or don’t wish to pay the high price of COBRA coverage.
- You are a recent graduate and/or just aged out of your parents’ health insurance.
- Your preferred doctor or regular care provider doesn’t accept Obamacare.
- You have retired, but are too young to enroll in Medicare.
- You need coverage, but an Obamacare plan is simply too expensive.
Key Differences Between Short Term Health Insurance and Obamacare
The biggest difference between a short term medical plan and an ACA / Obamacare Plan is the coverage of pre-existing conditions. Specifically, an Obamacare plan will cover pre-existing conditions, and also will include materinity coverage. A short term health insurance plan is more practical in coverage, meant to provide insurance in the event of major illness or injury.
Summary of Short Term Health Insurance Benefits
Remember, a short term health insurance plan is often 40% or more less than an ACA plan!