It can literally be one of the scariest places to find yourself - without health insurance coverage. When a simple trip to the emergency room can lead to thousands of dollars in charges, the last thing you need is to not have health insurance. But what options do you have? Graduating from college can be a true rite of passage into adulthood, because this is the time when most health insurance plans drop you from your parents’ plan. Even landing a job right after graduation can still mean that you will have to go through a grace period before the company’s health insurance kicks in. And if you have left a job for greener pastures, well… don’t get sick or injured!
But do I even have options?
Well you probably do have options for health insurance coverage, but they may not be ideal. If you have quit your job, then you will have the option of extending your health insurance benefits for up to 18 months - thanks to COBRA. The only catch is that you will have to pay for those benefits out of your own pocket. Not exactly an easy thing to do without that paycheck rolling in every week.
Is that it? Is that my only hope?
Before you panic, just relax. The solution is short-term health insurance. As the name implies, this solution offers you health insurance options for a limited period of time. Most short-term health insurance benefits are available for 30 to 180 days. Depending on where you live, you may be able to obtain these benefits for up to a year.
And short term health insurance is the same as what I had at work?
Well, if you mean that you have coverage in the event of a hospital visit or sudden illness, then yes. You also can pick your own doctors and hospitals, which is actually an advantage over some health insurance plans offered by employers. But there are definitely coverage limitations on short-term health insurance plans.
So what am I not covered for?
That really is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Well, routine medical exams are not covered by a short term health insurance policy. Any kind of preventative care is also out the window with this type of coverage. Plus, you can forget about dental and optical coverage with short-term health insurance. For obvious reasons, this sort of health insurance also does not cover medical costs relating to a pregnancy nor, anything having to do with the childbirth itself.
No offense, by why should I bother with short term health insurance?
Because a simple trip to the emergency room can cost thousands of dollars, and any emergency procedure and hospital stay can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Hey, short- term health insurance is not supposed to be the long-term solution. It is just a way to make sure you are covered while you are not on any employer’s health insurance plan. And it can help you avoid going into serious debt, should something happen to you when you are not otherwise covered on a health insurance plan. For that reason alone, it is definitely worth the expense.