I learned about short-term medical insurance a few years ago when I was just finishing up at university. Another student told me that Short-term medical is meant to help those of us who are transitioning from one medical insurance provider to another. We had been talking about how there are times in everyone’s lives that they can find themselves without the security of long term health insurance benefits.
I remember when I just left university, not really giving much thought to my medical insurance because while I had been a student, the student union provided me with the benefits I needed to feel comfortable if I had ever found myself with a medical emergency.
But once out of university I needed to have a safety net until I could find an employer to give me a new benefits plan. That is where short-term medical insurance becomes important. Already burdened with student loans, a medical emergency would have guaranteed to put me in the poor house before I even started my new life after university.
That was a time in my life when I needed short-term medical coverage so I could feel confident that I would be okay should something serious happen. I knew that this would protect me, and provide the benefits I needed. I also knew that I only had 80 days to find my employer who would take over the insurance coverage for me.
Some states allow you to remain on short-term medical for up to 365 days but in my state, like in most states, it was 80 days. That’s almost 3 months, so I had to make sure I got to work finding an employer right away. Fortunately I did find work, but it turned out to be seasonal.
When that job stopped in the winter I was happy to learn that I could once again get short-term insurance benefits. I also discovered that they would start the very next day. It made me feel good to know that coverage was there. To give me savings on any prescription drugs I may need and they allowed me to keep my doctor which meant I had a doctor I knew and trusted.
The one thing that I did have to keep in mind was that they were meant to provide benefits for unforeseen injuries and illness but I was in pretty good health so it didn’t really matter. It just meant that they did not cover routine exams, preventative care, or dental or eye care. All the things I took care of when I was covered by my employer.
I have friends who have fallen down stairs, been in car accidents, and become suddenly ill, who were very happy they had taken the time to get short-term medical coverage. Incidents like that can be financially devastating, especially when they happen during a time that you are not working. Even if you are out of work or off your employers insurance beyond the time that short-term medical covers, you can get extended coverage provided you are healthy.
I eventually became self employed and got myself some long term insurance. But I always know that if things don’t work and I end up unemployed, that I can get short-term medical insurance to keep me safe should the unexpected happen, until I get back on long term coverage.