Short Term Health Insurance
Major medical insurance isn't always an option for some.
If you missed Open Enrollment, are turning your side hustle into a full-time job or just waiting for other medical coverage to start, 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 designed for transitions, 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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Terms vary by state, but typically short term plans can last from one month to nearly one year. They cover limited benefits, don't cover pre-existing conditions and aren't guaranteed issue or renewable. Unlike many major medical policies, STHPs include maximum lifetime payout limits, and you usually 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 often 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 an important part of your insurance package.