Should You Consider Short Term Medical Insurance?

Health insurance is something that confuses a lot of people, but hopefully, you know that you need to have at least some coverage in order to protect yourself in case of an emergency. If you do not have coverage through an employer or a government-backed healthcare system, you might be wondering what your options are. One possible solution you might want to look into would be to pick up some short term medical insurance through your insurance provider of choice. Here's how short term medical insurance can help you and whether or not you are a good candidate for it.

You've Lost Coverage From Your Employer or You No Longer Have Government-Backed Coverage

The most common reason some people look to short term medical insurance is if they've lost coverage they previously had. Perhaps you had coverage through your employer but you got laid off. Maybe you had coverage through the government's system created under the Affordable Care Act, but you couldn't pay your premium on time and your policy was canceled. In most cases, you won't be able to get a regular insurance plan again unless you get another employer or until the next enrollment period for the ACA comes around. In these scenarios, short term medical insurance can provide you with at least some peace of mind.

What Is Covered Under Short Term Medical Insurance

Short term medical insurance covers many of the same things that are covered by more long-term insurance plans. Things like doctor's visits, prescriptions, hospital visits, trips to the emergency room and more. You should note though that short term medical insurance policies don't have to comply with the rules and regulations that govern policies under the Affordable Care Act. In other words, ACA policies are required to provide a "minimal" level of coverage, but short term plans outside of the ACA are not. What this means in practice is that your coverage under a short term plan might not be as good as what it was previously under an ACA or employer-backed plan, or you might have to pay a higher premium for the same coverage you had previously.

To be clear though, this does not mean short term medical insurance is a bad idea. If you are between employers or enrollment periods, short term medical insurance may be your only viable option. It is far preferable to have at least some coverage in case of emergency than to have to deal with a huge medical bill because something happened to you when you had no insurance