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Temporary Health Insurance

If you're in between jobs or awaiting coverage for any other reason, a temporary health insurance policy may be right for you.

This page:

  • Describes how temporary health insurance works

  • Alerts you to some things to watch out for

  • Helps you find a competitive temporary policy in your state

Find a temporary health insurance policy in your state:

The search for the best coverage at the lowest price starts with comparing as many plans as possible from providers in your area.

Visit eHealthInsurance and use their fast and free comparison service to get quotes from major insurers in your state:

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The basics of temporary health insurance

In a nutshell, a temporary, or short-term policy is not much different than a regular private insurance plan, with some important distinctions:

- Temporary health insurance policies almost always last only six months

- Temporary plans do not include preventive care, dental, vision, or doctor's visits

- Signing up for a temporary will make you ineligible for guaranteed issue (HIPAA) plans. If you have preexisting conditions, you should consider purchasing regular health insurance instead.

- Temporary health insurance is likely to be much cheaper than a traditional plan.

This last point may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless. After all, it is the reason why most people choose this type of policy to fill short-term coverage gaps.

If Cobra benefits are too costly for you (and what isn't costly when one is between jobs), then a short term plan can be the perfect solution.

Choosing the right temporary health insurance plan

Most short term plans are indemnity, or fee for service plans. These plans generally cover:

- emergency care
- prescription drugs (though not always)
- intensive care
- lab and x-ray
- ambulance
- other hospital care
- some home care

(Specific policies will vary.)

Temporary plans do not cover any type of preventive care, including doctor's visits and check-ups. Dental and vision coverage is also not included. If you want more extensive coverage, consider purchasing a full In most states, you can purchase a regular private insurance plan.

The cost of temporary health insurance

There are two kinds of costs associated with temporary health insurance plans: the policy premium, which is lower than that of a traditional health plan, and the deductible/coinsurance, which tends to be higher.

In most states, you can purchase a basic temporary plan for under $50 per month.

However, the cheaper the plan, the higher the coinsurance / copayment / deductible is going to be. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule: after you have reached your deductible (say, $1000), you pay 20% of all further costs, while the insurance carrier picks up the remaining 80%.

A way to reduce the cost of temporary health insurance plan is to pay your entire premium in one lump-sum payment, thus eliminating monthly administrative charges.

If you know how long you will need your plan for, you can simply pay for that number of days, (generally up to 180), pay the premium, and not have to worry about any additional monthly charges. This can save you as much as 20% in some states.

eHealthinsurance allows you to specify to coverage start date, end date, and many other features of the plan you want. Many temporary health insurance plans offer online approval, so you just fill out the form, pay the premium, and you're good to go. It's the easiest way to get covered!

Find a plan in your state.

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This internet site provides information of a general nature for educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. We make no guarantees as to the validity of the information presented. Your particular facts and circumstances, and changes in the law, must be considered when applying insurance law. You should always consult with a competent insurance professional licensed in your state with respect to your particular situation.