Did you miss the Obamacare enrollment period? Read our tips on purchasing short term health insurance.
Last year, thousands of people bought short-term health insurance because they missed the open enrollment period for Obamacare, or could not afford major medical coverage.
A recent survey of eHealth customers who bought short-term health plans instead of major medical health insurance found that:
- 70% considered purchasing a traditional (non-short-term) major medical health insurance plan when shopping
- 41% tried to apply for a major medical health insurance plan before enrolling in short-term plan.
- Of those, more than half (57%) said they couldn’t enroll because they hadn’t experienced a qualifying life event.
- 38% said that they selected a short-term health insurance plan because they wanted lower monthly premiums.
Top 5 things someone with a short-term health plan need to know:
If you’re wondering what the benefits of short-term health plans are, here are five reasons short-term coverage may be a good option for you:
- They start quickly – In some instances, you can have short-term coverage in place within 24 hours.
- They’re affordable – Between April and June of 2014, the average individual eHealth customer paid $107 per month, on average, for short-term coverage – however, short-term coverage is more limited.
- They cover emergencies – Most short-term health plans are designed primarily to provide you with coverage and protection from unexpected injuries and illnesses that require emergency medical care.
- They satisfy many non-government requirements for insurance – If you need to verify that you have health insurance for travel, or in order to get admitted to certain types of schools, like nursing or dental schools, short-term plans often satisfy those coverage requirements.
- You can cancel easily – When you apply for short-term health insurance, you’ll typically have the option to pay for your coverage all at once, or you can pay month-to-month. If you pay month-to-month, it’s very easy to cancel your plan at any time.
When buying short-term health insurance, be aware
- Short-term insurance isn’t guaranteed – You have to apply for a short-term health plan each time you renew coverage, and insurers can decline your application, even if you’ve been approved for short-term coverage in the past.
- The end of your short-term plan does not make you eligible for a major medical or “”Obamacare”” health plan – When your short-term health plan ends, you won’t automatically be able to buy a major medical health insurance plan. Without a qualifying life event, you’ll have to wait until the next open enrollment to be guaranteed access to health coverage.
Here is How Short-term Health Insurance Works