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3 Tips for Getting the Best Short-Term Insurance

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3 Tips for Getting the Best Short-Term Insurance

Sometimes, whether because of a move, a job change, or a family event, we need to find a way to fill the gap in health insurance coverage. Living without coverage is a major risk, as an unexpected illness or injury could lead to tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. To ensure you are covered in between major medical insurance plans, short-term medical insurance might be the perfect fit for your needs.

What is Short-Term Medical Insurance?

Like the name suggests, short-term medical (STM) insurance fills temporary gaps (typically one month to 364 days) by providing coverage for catastrophic illnesses or injuries while you're not covered by a Marketplace or employer-sponsored health insurance policy.

what is short-term medical insurance

STM is primarily designed to protect you from the financial risks that can accompany an unexpected medical issue that requires a hospital visit or emergency care. It is not a replacement for regular health insurance you might get through an employer or the Marketplace.

While it does offer emergency room, outpatient surgery, and hospitalization coverage, it does not offer wellness or preventive care and is not compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Therefore, you will still have to pay the individual mandate, or ACA tax penalty, unless you claim a "short gap in coverage" exemption and have STM (or go without ACA-compliant coverage) for no more than 2 consecutive months.

Tip #1: Look for Customizable Coverage

If you need short-term medical coverage, it is important to find a policy that meets your individual needs. Because no two people are exactly alike, you shouldn't expect a one-size-fits-all medical policy to work for everyone, either.

customizable insurance coverage

A quality STM plan will allow you to choose the deductible, coinsurance, and length of the plan so you can get the coverage you need at an affordable price.

Plans with too many features may be too expensive to be practical, but stripped down, bare-bones plans may not offer sufficient coverage.

When you choose an STM policy, make sure it is one that is flexible and cost effective for you and your family.

Tip #2: Get Access to Your Preferred Provider

provider network

It is frustrating to choose a new insurance plan and later find out that you cannot go to your regular doctor.

Short-term medical plans may offer very limited options for providers, so look into the plan before you sign up to make sure your doctor is covered.

The best short-term medical plans will cover a wide range of physicians that can meet your emergency and geographical needs and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Tip #3: Pick a Policy with Strong Backing

how to choose a short term medical policy

Each insurance company has its own customer service and financial managers. Strong insurance companies are able to easily and efficiently handle claims and requests.

There are others, however, that might not be able to follow through. Look for an insurance company with a financial rating of "B" or better to ensure you are placing your trust in good hands.

Companies often publish public documents regarding the history, stability, and policies of the organization.



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