Health insurance is complex enough to understand, let alone learning about a benefit that you’ve probably never purchased, short term medical insurance. This type of medical insurance is a temporary benefit solution until you find a permanent resolution.
Short term medical coverage is designed to protect in the event of catastrophic medical situation, such as an unexpected surgery or emergency. There are specific times when an individual would have a need this sort of benefit. This could include a recent college graduate who’s been dropped from their parents plan, someone who is in between jobs, or even a person stuck in a probationary benefit period at a new employer.
Short term medical insurance certainly includes some unique benefits. First, it offers a key benefit of low out of pocket costs. Most short term medical plans usually cap your out of pocket expenses around $3,000 to $4,000 per year, or even less. This means that in the event of a surgery that totaled $85,000, your portion may not exceed $3,000, depending on the short term medical plan you’ve chosen, of course. Second, short term medical plans may offer a lower deductible than you would find on a permanent individual plan. This would benefit you because once the deductible is met, you are no longer responsible to pay 100% of medical costs, only the co insurance outlined in your benefits. This could mean you’d only be responsible for 20-30% of costs once the deductible has been paid. Finally, short term medical plans often include simple applications. If you’ve ever completed an application for individual health insurance coverage, you may remember the lengthy questionnaire that is required to obtain this benefit. These applications can take hours to complete, once you’re actually able come up with your medical history for the last 10 years. Short term medical applications generally ask a few simple “yes or no” questions and require very little detail.
If you decide to purchase a short term medical plan, make sure you’re picking the best option for your needs, and that this sort of insurance is right for you. Many short term medical plans require the full payment up front. This means that if you are purchasing short term medical benefits for 6 months, you could be responsible to pay the entire 6 month premium upon your application approval. So make sure you have money in the bank! Finally, if you’re planning to use your short term medical coverage for benefits like routine doctors visits or prescriptions, your benefits may not immediately cover those services until your deductible is met. So make sure you understand your benefits very well!
If you run into a situation where you need medical insurance for brief period of time, short term medical may be the benefit for you! Check your facts so you understand what you’re purchasing, and you may come out ahead!