You may have come across short-term medical plans as you are shopping around for affordable health insurance options but weren’t sure if these types of plans are right for you.

Do one of the following apply to you?

  • Are you between jobs?
  • Self-employed or a 1099 worker?
  • Early retiree not yet eligible for Medicare?
  • Unable to afford COBRA rates?
  • Don’t qualify for a tax subsidy with the Affordable Care Act?

If you answered yes to any of these AND you are generally in good health then you may want to consider options for short-term health insurance plans. If you have significant health issues then these plans are not a good option unless it’s a choice between these plans or no coverage at all. You should never leave yourself without any protection. 

Below are highlights of some advantages and disadvantages of most short-term medical plans: 

Advantages 

  • More affordable premiums
  • Run month to month without cancellation fees
  • Ability to customize deductibles and coinsurance 
  • Generally no enrollment deadlines
  • Next day coverage options
  • Often have large nationwide network
  • Have coverage available up to 3 years in some states

Disadvantages

  • NOT major medical coverage
  • Have limitations including pre-existing condition exclusions
  • May have cap on benefits 
  • Exclude pregnancy coverage
  • Other exclusions (need to review plans to determine all)

At the end of the day you get what you pay for. If you are in good health without pre-existing health issues and willing to take some risks while paying for lower premiums then short-term plans may be a great option for you. You can also mitigate some of the risk by supplementing your plan with an accident or critical illness plan that will offset costs if significant issues arise that otherwise may not be fully protected under your plan. For example, if you short-term plan has max coverage for daily hospital benefits then an accident plan could offset the costs that the plan doesn’t pay or offset any deductibles that you may have in your plan for qualifying accidents. 

It’s best to work with an agent who will take time to understand your needs and customize a plan and package for you. Be careful not to let a quick talking sales-person convince you to buy something you aren’t entirely comfortable with or don’t fully understand. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Ask questions about limitations and exclusions and read your policy in detail.

Life Journeys Consulting, LLC is an agency that is committed to protecting individuals and families by helping you to find the right coverage. Visit us today at www.lifejourneysconsulting.com