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Temporary Health Insurance

Insurance for Short-Term Situations

You may need temporary or short term health insurance in many different situations: just out of school, between jobs, not yet eligible for new employer’s coverage, temporary employee, early retirement, and after COBRA coverage ends.

Is Short-Term Health Insurance expensive?

Short term health insurance for healthy people is fairly low in cost. You also have a wide range of options from which to choose, from very basic coverage to almost total comprehensive. Some people only buy insurance that will help when medical problems are catastrophic in nature. Most people go with temporary insurance that covers most options and lasts from three to 12 months.


How does having Short-Term Insurance affect me?

You will have freedom of choice for the doctors and hospitals you use and may have a fairly low deductible. The insurance works like most other health insurance policies, covering hospital care, emergencies, surgery, blood work, x-rays and more. But if you have a pre-existing condition, you may be denied coverage. This is how the insurance companies keep the cost of these short term policies so low.

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Disadvantages of Temporary Health Insurance

There are several disadvantages to temporary insurance. You may need pre-certification for many medical services. You need to make sure the deductible is payable only once and is not required for each illness or accident. Also, your use of the insurance for an accident or illness may be cited as a pre-existing condition when applying for another temporary policy, resulting in denial of more insurance.



COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reduction Act was enacted in 1985 and allows qualified employees to continue their group health insurance coverage at their own expense for a designated period of time. Rather than buy temporary insurance, it is often best to continue your present coverage through COBRA. If the 18 months or 36 months of COBRA coverage is almost over and you are not yet covered under another health insurance policy, short term insurance is an excellent choice for you.

Points to be considered when buying temporary or short term insurance:

  • There is a wide range of coverage in temporary insurance.
  • You can buy insurance that only covers catastrophic medical problems. Most people get short term insurance with more coverage.
  • Most short term insurance lasts from 30 to 365 days.
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, you will likely be denied temporary health insurance.
  • Be aware of the disadvantages of this type of health insurance.

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