What Is Short Term Health Insurance

by : Craig Thornburrow

Finding affordable health insurance in the United States can be a mine field of bizarre government regulations, competing HMOs and confusing policies.? In fact, the entire process is daunting to many people; and to make matters even more confusing, there are different types of health insurance plans to choose from, including employer-sponsored health insurance, state-sponsored health insurance, and individual or self-employed health insurance.

But a lesser-known option is the short-term health insurance policy.? These are available through a variety of companies, and can be useful as a temporary measure to cover the health care expenses of your family.

Technically, short-term health insurance policies usually are valid for anywhere from 6 to 12 months from the date of acceptance.? These policies can be used to provide the same type of health care benefits available from any other group health insurance or HMO plan.? Short-term policies can offer coverage for major medical, doctor visits, discounts on prescription drugs and vision examinations and even dental care.

Short-term health insurance policies are ideally suited for individuals who have been recently laid off or find themselves temporarily unemployed.? But it is important to note that in some states of the US, state law requires that the individual continue to be covered by their employer-sponsored health insurance for three to six months after they leave the job.

This means that in some states -- California being one example -- you may have the right to remain covered by your insurance policy under law for six months after you are unemployed.? Even after the six month term has lapsed, some individual states offer state-assisted insurance coverage to help you get through a few more months of unemployment.

So depending on where you live, and how long you have been unemployed, short-term health insurance may or may not be a good option for you.? However, if you have been away from your job for some time, and your state does not allow for extended health insurance coverage after you are laid off or are otherwise out of work, short-term health insurance can be a very reasonable solution to help you make it through for several months or up to one year.

Additionally, short-term insurance policies are known to be quite affordable.? The reason for this is that the majority of short-term policies are actually designed for laid-off or otherwise unemployed workers.? Because the insurance companies realize that money can be tight in these situations, the short-term policies are especially designed to be as affordable as possible, while still offering a solid level of health coverage for the individual and their family.

And unlike many long-term health insurance plans, short-term policies normally do not require a physical examination before you are accepted.? Because of the outstanding circumstances of someone being laid off or losing their job, the policies are also designed to go into effect quickly, so there can be little or no lapse in insurance coverage for your family.

Overall, short-term health insurance can be an affordable solution for those who have just recently been laid off or unemployed, and who do not live in a state that mandates extended health insurance coverage.