In the past few decades, the price of healthcare has skyrocketed. Furthermore, regardless of innovations and new scientific breakthroughs, the risk of disease and unforeseen things keep us on our edge always. A good amount of people are provided insurance by the company they work, but due to financial reasons, some companies do not provide this perk. Furthermore, some people find the commitment of a long-term plan with an insurance company a bit daunting. For such people, short-term or temporary health insurance is provided.
What is temporary insurance and who can avail this?
Short term/temporary insurance normally is for a contract that goes up to a year and covers both medical and travel insurance. These policies are designed to be executed in a year or less and enable the client to dictate the terms since the client can choose their deductibility, which further permits them to stay in charge. The main difference that exists between plans of this nature and long-term is that due to the nature of the former, it is best to choose it when you might feel the need to travel. Long term things such as pregnancy and mental health are not covered in this, but sudden and immediate things such as illness on a trip or lost luggage are accounted for. As mentioned above, this plan is not likely to suit everyone, and people might choose it based on their need. Here is a list of a few cases in which people might choose temporary health insurance
- New immigrants
- American citizens when they return from abroad
- Fresh college graduates (including international students)
- Early retirees who later would be enrolled on to Medicare
- People who are on the look for a job but are currently jobless.
Benefits of a temporary health insurance
Short-term plans have several benefits which might make you consider this alternative as opposed to major long-term plans.
1) You’re in control – what this means is that you have the liberty to dictate the length of your policy, select the deductible and coinsurance amount, continue to access health care providers you may like and avail discounts if they are affiliated with the insurance company.
2) These plans and programs are more economical, which essentially means that they are for a bigger audience that cannot generally afford long-term programs. When compared, these programs roughly save up to $280 per person and $750 per family.
3) There is a minimum enrollment time, which essentially means that you can get a quote within a small amount of time. Furthermore, you can register and enroll yourself 24/7 via online portals. Additionally, you can start coverage as soon as the next day as well!
Things to be wary of
When buying temporary health insurance, it is best to look out for a few things. In a wider spectrum, short-term health insurance is a cheaper alternative. However, this might have its drawbacks as well. Here are a few things to take note if you’re deciding to get short-term health insurance!
- Not all healthcare plans are covered. As mentioned above, there are a few things which are ruled out in this type of insurance. The most notable one are pregnancies, mental health, and drug rehabilitation treatment. The reason for that is that these treatments go for a time-period that extends that of the contract. Healthcare that is more immediate and is likely to heal within contract time is provided.
- Some insurance plans do not account for sports injuries and other medical conditions. Treatments for injuries that happen due to the organized sport or in a state of intoxication are often not accounted for. Furthermore, there are a few medical conditions for which no coverage is provided. Examples are cataract treatment, hernia repair surgery, Joint replacement surgery and treatment for acne and moles.
- There are certain limitations on how much care would be covered or accounted for by the insurance company. Major medical plans conform to rules set by the Affordable Care Act. However, no such boundary exists here. In short-term plans, on average the coverage is in-between $25,000 to $2 million. Furthermore, short-term plans might also put a limit on how much they would spend in a day, such as $1000.
- Pre-existing conditions are often unaccounted for and might be a breach of contract on your behalf, resulting in disqualification. This includes simple things such as pre-existing acne or allergies. Furthermore, this may also extend to diseases that have not yet been previously diagnosed.
This leads to the fact that you should always be vigilant when choosing a short-term plan. Check to see whether the requirements or essentials you’re looking for are met or not.
Short-term health insurance providers in Maryland
There are a few reputable temporary health insurance providers in Maryland, each with their own unique clauses features.
The IHC group
For the past three decades, the IHC group has excelled in providing insurances in several different factions of the field of health, such as dental, optical and disablement. The IHC group provides a very well-planned and elaborate short-term health insurance as well. It is affordable relatively in contrast with other companies and includes many deductibles and coinsurance options.
- The plan consists of a free-look period. That means if you’re not satisfied with the way things work, you can have your money back within ten days.
- $50 office visits co-pay. This means that when you’re with a doctor, after the first 50$, the plan will cover for you wholly without any deductibles.
- The plans generally provide up to $2,000,000 lifetime maximum per person covered.
- Coverage for children is also available (The minimum age to avail this is 2)
- You can choose the duration of your coverage which can range from 30 days to a whole year!
- Cancellation policy – you can cancel any time of the month!
- Deductibles – there are a plethora of deductibles within the $1000 to $10,000 range.
Plans that the IHC group offers are as follows:
- Secure Lite
- Secure STM
- Connect STM
- Connect Value
- Connect Plus
NHIC National General
NHIC national general is a public trading company that specializes in providing insurance for a plethora of different things, such as automotive, natural disasters, recreational vehicles, self-funded business, and short-term/temporary health. Four separate companies under the same wing are authorized with writing programs and plan that they offer which conform to the standards set by the government. An important factor about this is that they are generally uncomplicated with not many clauses. This plan is recommended mostly to students who have recently graduated retired individuals who are waiting for Medicare, people who are looking for jobs or are unemployed at the moment and part-time employees who don’t have coverage by the company they work for.
- You are free to choose the duration of your contract which can start from 30 days and can be up to a year.
- A free-look period ensures that if you’re unsatisfied with the service, the money will be returned to you within ten days.
- You are free to reapply if you feel that you fancy the service provided.
- The monthly plan that you chose can be canceled any time you want!
- Coinsurance options – the company providing insurance will pay 50%, 70%, 80% or 100%.
- Choice of Deductibles – $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000
- Child coverage is available, and the minimum age for that is 60 days, about two months old.
- When accessing the Urgent Care Center, the deductible will be waived, and you pay $50 co-pay.
- Pays up to $1,000,000 maximum per person covered.
The interface of the website that you have to go through for programs offered by NHIC National General are simplistic and minimalistic which means that you don’t necessarily have to be tech-savvy to access these forms. Furthermore, coupled with basic requirements and a simple drop-down menu, you can navigate through the website easily and find whatever information you might deem relevant to your particular case. The helpline in the contact-us menu is efficient, and a company representative gets back to you quickly.
In conclusion, it is best to choose this particular type of insurance if you might feel that it applies to your current lifestyle. If you’re a graduate student who has just entered the market and is looking for a job, this is the best option for you. This also extends for those citizens and tourists who are planning to travel. Either way, it is of utmost importance to pay due attention to the specific clauses that these programs offered and chose the one that they feel best applicable to them. Affordability and basic accessibility are trademarks of such short-term plans. The financial freedom that these programs provide also means that people who do not have any financial restrictions chose to opt for this.