Short Term Health Insurance
Major medical insurance isn't always an option for some.
If you've missed the deadline for open enrollment, for example, or you just can't afford the premiums and deductibles that come with a traditional health insurance policy, then short term coverage might be a good alternative for you. As the name implies, short term health insurance – abbreviated to STHPs for short-term health plans – is temporary medical coverage. These plans are for people in transition, whether you've changed jobs and need something to fill the gap between employer-sponsored coverage, you've just graduated college or been dropped from your parents' plan, or you've retired early but don't qualify for Medicare yet.
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Before 2016, STHPs could last from 30 days to a full year in some states, but that has since changed. Now, short term health policies run from 30 days to under three months. They cover limited benefits, don't cover pre-existing conditions and aren't guaranteed-issue or renewable. Unlike major medical policies, STHPs include maximum lifetime payout limits, and you must meet a deductible before the insurer will pay its portion.
Despite some obvious drawbacks, short term health insurance makes sense for certain people. Premiums are much lower for STHPs than for major medical policies, they cover a variety of benefits depending on the plan you choose, and they provide an option if you don't have major medical insurance. Combined with other policies, like standalone critical illness, short term medical plans can be part of your insurance package.