When Should Temporary Medical Insurance Be Used?

Temporary medical insurance coverage is one of the most popular types of health care. Rates are extremely affordable and policies are typically approved very quickly. Although the plans are considered temporary, short-term policies are very flexible and meet many needs of individuals and families.

Temporary health insurance plans are ideal for persons that are unemployed, between jobs, waiting for Medicare coverage or employer benefits to begin, seasonal workers, or graduating students. Most major medical insurance companies offer coverage for 1-12 months and policies are generally approved with 48 hours. The standard application is much smaller than a typical application for standard health care. If coverage is needed for longer than 12 months, a conventional plan might be the better option.

Deductible options for temporary plans usually range from $50 to $10,000. Coinsurance is traditionally 20%, although options of 0% and 50% are sometimes available. If more than one person is listed on the policy, each insured may have to meet the deductible if there are multiple claims.

Some of the major medical coverages include inpatient and outpatient services, emergency room charges, outpatient surgery, diagnostic lab and x-ray charges, intensive care treatment, ambulance services, home health care, durable medical equipment.

Although Temporary rates are very low (often 50% lower than standard individual and family plans), pre-existing conditions are usually not covered. A pre-existing condition is often defined as a bodily injury or sickness which was treated or diagnosed five years from the time of application or requested effective date. Also, if you purchase a short-term health insurance policy instead of selecting a COBRA plan, you’ll become ineligible for some guarantee-issue policies.

Additional medical expenses that may not be covered include pregnancy and related expenses, elective medical procedures, services that are considered medically unnecessary or experimental, hearing and eye exams, dental services, surgery for bunions or hemorrhoids, hospice services and any treatment prior to the effective date. Also, most temporary plans do not cover prescriptions or preventive care (without meeting the deductible). Some plans, however, may include a “drug prescription discount card.”

Temporary medical insurance plans should not be used for all situations. However, in the situations previously discussed, this type of coverage will provide the benefits you need at an extremely affordable price. And since most major health insurers offer short-term temporary plans, low cost coverage should be easy to find.

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