What is Short Term Medical Insurance?

Short term medical insurance policies are health insurance plans that are available all year long. They aren’t subject the the normal open enrollment period. You also don’t need a special enrollment period to sign up. Short term medical plans might not be the best fit for your needs. Keep reading if you would like to know more about “STM’s”. Find out whether or not short term medical plans are best for you.

What is a Short Term Medical Insurance?

What is Short Term Medical Insurance?
What is Short Term Medical Insurance?

A short term medical insurance policy is very similar to any other “normal” health insurance plan. They have a deductible, coinsurance, max out of pockets, and some plans will have copays for some services. It functions the same as most other health insurance policies. They are called “short term” because they were originally limited to 3 months at a time when the Obama administration passed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The plans were so popular that the law changed to allow consumers to keep them longer than 3 months. They are still called short term even though you can have them long term now.

Why Would Someone Get a Short Term Medical Insurance Plan?

Short term medical plans are often attractive to some people because of availability and price. They are usually a lower price compared to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare, etc.) plans. In addition to a lower price, the plans are often easier to get any time of the year. You don’t have to worry about open enrollment or special enrollment periods.

Why Is Short Term Medical Insurance Cheaper?

The reason why short term medical plans are a lower price than most other health insurance options is simple. They offer a more straight forward approach to what is covered and what isn’t. Generally speaking, they don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Not a big deal if you don’t have any conditions. However, if you do; then short term medical plans might not be the best fit for you. The plans usually don’t cover services like maternity and mental health. The risk for the insurance company is less since the plans are designed for health people, so they pass the cost savings to you. Having minor health issues usually won’t keep you from getting a plan. Major health conditions might make it impossible to pass underwriting.

What Do Short Term Medical Policies Cover?

Every short term medical policy is slightly different in what the coverage is, but what they cover is very similar. The plans are intended for new medical issues that arise, they aren’t intended for anything related to conditions already on your medical history. If an injury happens or an illness occurs while you have the policy, you should expect to be covered under the terms of the policy. Make sure you choose a short term medical plan with a deductible and coverages that you are comfortable with.

Is a Short Term Medical Policy Right for Me?

Short term medical policies aren’t the best fit for everyone. If you don’t need coverage for pre-existing conditions and not worried about coverage for maternity, then you might benefit from the lower cost and flexibility of an STM. Most short term plans offer national coverage with a major well-known network, most are a PPO, and offer fundamental health insurance coverage for a lower price than the Affordable Care Act plans.

How To Sign Up For Short Term Medical Insurance

Signing up for a short term medical insurance policy is usually a simple process. Even though most of the plans are underwritten, there usually is no medical exam. There are just some health questions during the application process. The first step is to talk with a trusted broker who can shop the available plans in your area and give you a quote. In most cases, the application and enrollment can happen right over the phone and coverage can start as soon as the next day for you.

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