We’ve all been there at one time or another, and if we listen to the statistics it is likely we have been there more than once. We graduate from college, get laid off from work, retire early or go through a divorce, and- BAM! – we no longer have medical insurance. It is an experience that induces a quasi-paranoid search for employment for some, feeling as if invisible bulls-eyes have been placed on their backs for Murphy to do his best, or an apathetic “devil may care” resignation from the more daring of us. But rushing employment decisions for the sake of insurance or taking a Russian roulette position with our health and finances does not have to be an option with the many forms of short-term or temporary medical insurance that are out there so easy to get and so readily available.
Short-term or temporary medical insurance is just that temporary, generally lasting one to twelve months. It is designed to bridge the gap between two long-term medical insurance plans, as when a child graduates from high school and is no longer covered under his parent’s plan, or when a new employee is going through a 90-day probation period with no insurance coverage offered. It is used by those who go on strike, those who work as seasonal employees, those who start their own businesses and need time to find the right long-term benefits program, and by countless others in various situations.
Short-term medical insurance also functions very similarly to long-term insurance in what it covers, and one can expect to see variations in that coverage between different company policies just as one would with long-term providers. Coverage can extend up to a life time cap of $2 million or more and include physician services, prescriptions, in/out-patient surgery, skill nurse facility, rehabilitation, x-ray, and more. And, it can often blessedly start as soon as the day after application acceptance. It is best to check each company’s inclusions and exclusions (such as pre-existing conditions, maternity, cosmetic surgery, etc.) when shopping for the short-term insurance policy that is right for you.
If you are still one of the unconvinced who wish to gamble with the probabilities, perhaps you should take a look at some hard facts provided by the National Institute of Medicine(IOM) before skipping that coverage:
* a lack of health insurance causes 18,000 needless deaths per year
* adults without health insurance coverage are generally charged 3-4 times more for the
exact same treatments as patients with insurance
* collection agencies usually pursue uninsured patients more aggressively than insured
* the uninsured have a 25% greater chance to develop a life-threatening condition or
disease than those with insurance due to the fact that they will delay preliminary
treatment because of out-of-pocket expenses
* uninsured car crash victims are found to receive less hospital care and have a 37%
higher mortality rate than privately insured patients
Faced with numbers like these, the cost of coverage for three short months looks rather miniscule. And although peace of mind would appear to be an excellent benefit of temporary medical insurance, it may be that the best benefit of all could be your life.