If you are preparing for your college graduation, or if you have recently graduated, you no doubt have a lot of questions running through your head. Life after college is quite an adjustment, and you may be wondering where you are going to live and how you are going to support yourself. While these are both important questions, they are not the only questions you should have on your mind. You also need to think about health insurance. Will you be able to remain on your parents’ insurance even after you graduate? If the job you take after graduation does not offer health insurance, what can you do to stay covered? What if there is a waiting period before your employee insurance starts to take effect? As daunting as these questions are, you have to think about them, even in the midst of preparing for or wrapping up graduation.
When you begin researching answers to your questions about health insurance, consider purchasing a short-term medical insurance plan. Short-term health benefits are designed with people like you in mind. These plans provide you with the right amount of coverage at the right price and for the right amount of time.
Short-term medical insurance is designed to provide coverage for those temporarily without health insurance. Typically, those who take advantage of short-term medical insurance are people between jobs, recent retirees who are waiting for Medicare to begin, new employees waiting for their health benefits, young adults who are no longer covered by their parents, and recent graduates. As a recent graduate, you might still be covered under your parents’ current medical insurance plans, but before you decide you are safe, you should double check with your parents. The purpose of short-term medical insurance is to provide you with an affordable amount of coverage during a specific time period. Typically speaking, short-term medical plans are easy to tailor to your specific needs. For example, you are able to choose deductible amounts, which will ultimately affect what you pay every month.
“But,” you might say, “I’m in great health right now. Can’t I wait until I find a job with health benefits to have insurance?” You could do that. But finding that perfect job that offers health insurance may not be that easy, meaning you will likely be underemployed or unemployed and without health insurance. Yes, the idea of finding a great job after graduation is fantastic, but the reality is that the job market is not fantastic. Jobs with benefits are difficult to come by, and when desirable job postings appear, there is a lot of competition. As you job-hunt and work a job that may not offer insurance, you need to stay covered.
You cannot predict when an accident that leaves you injured may happen. You cannot predict when an illness that pushes you to seek medical help may happen. Either of these scenarios is undesirable, but because they are possible, you need short-term medical insurance to defray the high costs of medical care. Chances are that at this stage in your life, you are not rolling in money. When you have a short-term medical insurance policy, you are taking the initiative to keep yourself protected in the event of injury or illness.
As with all health insurance plans, you need to keep in mind that not all short-term medical insurance plans are created equally. When you are without insurance and begin looking at different short-term medical plans, you need to see what each policy provides you. To begin, there are several top-level things to consider.
Flexibility: This is one of the most important factors to look for in almost any insurance plan, but it is perhaps even more important in a short-term medical plan. You want to be able to tailor your plan to your needs as much as possible. You also want the policy to make it easy for you to see other medical providers, if necessary.
Cost: Keep your eye on the cost of each short-term medical insurance policy and plan you research. Make sure you understand what you are going to pay and what kind of coverage you are going to receive. Also, look at your budget and see how much you can afford for a plan.
Length of Policy: For some, looking for a short-term medical plan means finding a plan that provides them coverage for a set amount of time. But, as a recent or upcoming graduate, you might not know exactly how long you need the policy to keep you covered, so look for one that you can extend on a month-by-month basis.
As you are looking for your short-term medical plan, keep the factors listed above in mind. However, as someone who probably has never purchased insurance before, you are perhaps unfamiliar with the terminology associated with health insurance. Here are some important things to know and understand as you are looking at different policies.
Copayment: With some insurance plans, no matter the type, you might have a copayment option for certain procedures and types of medical visits. This means that you pay a small amount for the procedure or visit, and the insurance company covers the rest.
Maximum: Your maximum is the total amount of coverage you have during your coverage period. In many cases, you will want to have as high a maximum as possible, but be aware that insurance companies will charge you more for higher maximums.
Coverage Area: Because short-term medical insurance plans are specialized, they often have restrictions on things like coverage area. Having no coverage area restrictions means you can travel anywhere within the U.S. and still be covered.
Coinsurance: Usually noted as a set of percentages (80/20%, for example), coinsurance indicates how much you and your insurance company will pay for medical procedures. You should look for a plan that provides an affordable coinsurance and that works in your favor.
Deductibles: The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your insurance company will pay anything toward a procedure. The deductible will have to come out of your pocket. However, once you have paid the full deductible, your insurance company will start paying.
Insurance is designed to keep you safe and healthy, which is why finding the right plan is so important. At HCC Life Insurance Company (HCC Life), we offer a short-term medical (STM) insurance solution to your temporary problem. If you need short-term medical insurance, you should keep all of your options open. Here are some of the great benefits you will have with an STM plan from HCC Life.
No Application Fee: Many insurance companies charge you an application fee just to review your materials and decide if they will insure you. At HCC Life, we do not require an application fee from any applicant.
Low Copayment at Urgent Care Centers: With a short-term medical insurance plan from HCC Life, you will have a low copayment at urgent care centers. Instead of paying your deductible at an urgent care center, you simply pay a $50 copayment.
Easy Online Enrollment: Unlike many insurance companies, HCC Life allows you to enroll online and does not use underwriters to determine if you qualify for coverage or not. Instead of having medical testing done to determine if you can be insured, applicants receive immediate confirmation and fulfillment of coverage.
Zero Out-of-Network Penalties: HCCMIS makes sure there is no penalty for those who seek treatment and procedures outside of their network. Without these penalties, you are free to travel (within the U.S.) and choose your doctors and facilities, as you need them.
There is plenty to consider when you begin shopping around for short-term medical insurance, and the process is made a little more difficult when it is new or unfamiliar to you. But if you take the time to review this guide and to perform careful research, you are sure to find a plan that works for you. As you are looking for a plan, be sure you consider HCC Life’s short-term medical insurance.