Obamacare Plans
Plans Last Updated: October 13th, 2019

Consumer Resource Guide to Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace

There is an overwhelming amount of information in regards to your health insurance options, as well as new legislature, laws, and even penalties that not everyone may be aware of. The resources and articles provided here will enable consumers to gain the understanding they need of crucial elements affecting their personal health insurance needs.

You can begin your research now by clicking relevant links and articles below that pertain to questions you may have regarding your health insurance options.

Understanding and Applying for Short-Term Medical Coverage

Short-Term Medical Insurance - Temporary Medical Coverage

When Open Enrollment is not underway, qualifying for a short-term health insurance policy can be the best choice for both men and women who are in the process of trying to find health insurance coverage without a qualifying life event. There are typically very few options when looking for this type of insurance, so a short-term health plan can often offer the most comprehensive coverage outside of the individual market’s open enrollment option.

A short-term insurance policy is usually the best decision for a person who is currently between jobs or who may be waiting for their new employer’s healthcare coverage to take effect. Short-term insurance plans are not like typical individual large medical plans, as they are not regulated by the Affordable Care Act. Their sale is also not at all limited to any open enrollment window, as well.

Short-term policies are a viable option for anyone who needs health insurance coverage while waiting for another policy to begin. They are also good for consumers who favor a conventional major medical health plan but missed the open enrollment period. Unfortunately, there is still much confusion among consumers concerning the fact that an individual major medical insurance plan is not available outside of open enrollment, even if it is an off-exchange.

Hope for the Temporarily Uninsured

The Affordable Care Act made it considerably easier for many previously uninsured men and women to qualify and receive a higher-quality health insurance plan than they previously could. In many of these cases, these people were also granted substantial financial assistance by way of premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies. However, there are always situations and times when a short-term health insurance policy still makes a lot of sense.

If you are currently experiencing a qualifying event that causes you to be in need of the special enrollment period, you will need to request an ACA-compliant policy, either on or off-exchange, during the special open enrollment period. This lasts for 60 days in almost every case. If you decide to choose a short-term policy instead, you will not be given the option of switching over to an ACA-compliant plan when the open enrollment period comes to an end. If you do miss open enrollment and you are still looking for coverage later on in the year without a qualifying event, then a short-term insurance plan can give you up to six full months of coverage in almost every state.

Benefits of Short-Term Policies

When you qualify and receive a short-term policy, you can immediately receive coverage for both yourself and your family as quickly as the next day. If you know how many days you will need to be covered, then the insurer may permit you to pay off the coverage period in one simple payment. A short-term plan is usually offered to consumers with a considerable selection of premiums, deductibles and benefit maximums. These policies are usually cheaper than ACA-compliant plans, allowing you to purchase an affordable plan that has a low deductible and a high-benefit maximum.

Short-term policies typically cover a wide array of doctor services, surgery, and outpatient/inpatient care. Also, policyholders are often permitted to choose their own doctors and hospitals without any restrictions. However, there may be financial incentives for choosing in-network providers. A short-term major medical insurance plan may be right for you if you are healthy and just need temporary health insurance until another plan kicks in. Or, you may have missed the last open enrollment period and need coverage for the remainder of the year. Either way, temporary insurance will cover you while you wait for new insurance to kick in or to reapply.

What Short-Term Policies Do Not Cover

If you are healthy, a short-term plan can be right for you. But these plans are not meant to cover everything and they don’t offer the coverage that an ACA plan would. They will typically deny coverage for a routine office or maternity visit, mental health care or preventive care. They also do not cover any pre-existing conditions you may have. These plans use medical underwriting, so anyone who has a serious pre-existing condition will more than likely be denied coverage to begin with. Before applying, be sure that you check the list of exclusions to see if you will be covered. Additionally, not all short-term medical insurance plans are available throughout the United States, so you may live in a state that doesn’t even offer these types of plans. It is always important to research multiple plans before choosing one for you or your family.

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