Who Needs Short-term Health Insurance?
Because people never know when some form of health insurance might be necessary, it is always a good idea to take the steps necessary to make sure that some form of it is readily available. Everyone knows that accidents happen all the time. The smartest thing to do is to be fully prepared for them when they do occur. In addition, many people go through the majority of their life in relatively good health, thus allowing them to assume that their good health will last forever. Regardless of one’s health history, though, a major illness or debilitating injury is always possible.
In the case that a person is stricken with something unexpected, it is always much better to use the time after a major illness or accident to focus on getting better. People often use much of their strength and emotional energy worrying about impromptu medical costs when they should be focused on doing what they need to do to get themselves healthy again. A major cause of stress after an illness or accident is a lack of a clear answer as to how an untimely medical bill is going to be paid. This uncertainty as to when a medical crisis might arrive and what will happen immediately following is reason enough to make sure that one is protected at all times. Short-term health insurance is becoming an increasingly popular option for people who happen to find themselves without insurance for a brief amount of time. So, the question becomes: “Who exactly might need this type of health insurance, and what might they be entitled to?”
The hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and Canada who suddenly find themselves having to deal with a change in status in regard to their job or their schooling are the ones who are encouraged to apply for short-term health insurance. Within the workforce, part-time and temporary employees are the most likely consumers of short-term health insurance. This is due mainly to the fact that many businesses do not make it a policy of theirs to cover part-time employees or those who were recently unemployed.
People who happen to be between jobs make up a large percentage of those who purchase short-term health insurance. Short-term insurance companies have made it very clear that they will gladly accept individuals who are temporarily out of work. This is good news for these workers, because most of the other insurance markets do not welcome those who find themselves unemployed with such open arms.
Since the establishment of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), people who have recently been fired or who have lost their job for one reason or another are allowed to hold on to their previous employer’s insurance for up to 36 months. Of course, this depends upon the circumstances. Most of the time, though, those people who are unemployed will be able to use COBRA to protect themselves until a new employer’s plan kicks in. While COBRA sounds like an appealing option, it is usually the least favorite for those who do not currently have health insurance. This is due to the extremely high cost of the premium. Companies must be compensated for their willingness to continue an ex-employee’s health insurance, and charging a high price for a premium is one way to make sure that happens. If COBRA premiums are too high for someone’s budget, a short-term health insurance policy with considerably lower premiums might be the solution. In fact, due to the increasingly competitive nature of the health insurance industry, one is likely to find a monthly premium that actually costs less than a car payment.
Another group of consumers who are beginning to make very good use of short-term health insurance plans are those who have recently graduated from college. Many graduates hunt for jobs that will offer health insurance benefits. Most of them are usually successful, but there is still a brief amount of time in between graduation and when the health insurance kicks in. Theirs is the perfect example of a situation which requires temporary coverage.
Young people who are about to lose their dependent status under their parents’ health coverage are now beginning to find comfort in short-term health insurance plans. Many young people who reach the age of 18 are not planning on going to post-secondary school. If they turn 18, and have not yet enrolled themselves as a full-time student, they will be excluded from their parents’ health insurance policy. If this situation occurs, the young person will be eligible for COBRA. However, the premiums may be way too high for someone who is just coming out of high school and who has yet to line up a steady job. A short-term health insurance policy is much more feasible in this situation. The young person can be insured for a while, or at least until he or she finds a job that offers health insurance, or until they enroll in an individual health plan.
The final group of people who are making the move to short-term health insurance are those who are temporarily without coverage for some other reason than the ones already mentioned. For example, if a worker is on strike from his company, he or she may try to get coverage. Or, if someone has recently been discharged from the military, they most likely will be able to obtain short-term insurance.
Because of its tendency to offer both low monthly costs and high coverage limits, sales of short-term health insurance plans have skyrocketed in recent years. Those who run the business of short-term insurance can now boast of the shortest application in the health insurance industry. In addition, many insurers now offer credit card payment plans which make the whole process that much easier and stress-free.
Due to the fact that it offers low costs, high coverage amounts, and a fast purchase process, short-term health insurance serves an important function for people who are in dire need of medical coverage. Those who find themselves suddenly without a job or who have recently graduated from college are now able to take comfort in the fact that they too will be able to receive a limited form of medical coverage in the event that a medical situation arises. Thanks to the many benefits of short-term health insurance, these people, as well as others, now find themselves adequately protected in times of emergency.