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Short Term (Gap) Health Insurance

Short Term Insurance usually covers a time period of 30 days – 36 months. It is very useful for people who are between jobs, have recently been laid off, and those who have recently graduated.

If any of the following statements apply to you, short term insurance may very well be what you are looking for:

  • Currently uninsured
  • Your insurance expires soon
  • You are in between insurance plans either from an employer or individual health insuranceYou have applied for health insurance but have not been approved or heard back yet
  • You are not eligible for individual health insurance due to something that happened more than 3 years ago
  • You need to make sure you do not break continuity under HIPAA (gaps over 63 days could limit future insurance)
  • You cannot afford or do not want to pay for other health insurance
  • You have simply lost your health insurance – for any reason
  • You believe you would be declined for other health insurance for reasons such as weight
  • You are moving out of the coverage area for your current health insurance
  • You are waiting for Medicare benefits
  • You are in your group or employer’s waiting period
  • You are interested in looking at new insurance options
  • You are self-employed
  • You are an independent contractor
  • You recently graduated college or will soon
  • You are currently in college
  • You are unemployed

Options for short term (gap) coverage:

COBRA : For those who previously had employer-sponsored coverage (group health insurance). Federal law allowing most people to continue group coverage.
SHORT TERM POLICIES : For those who are not eligible for COBRA or previously had a self-purchased policy (not through their employer). Non-renewable (have to re-apply) coverage you can purchase.

COBRA – (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985)

Cobra is a Federal law that allows people to continue health insurance coverage for at least 18 months if:

  • You work for a company of 20 employees or more and quit your job or are laid off.
  • You were covered through your spouse’s health plan and are now widowed or divorced.
  • You were covered on your parents’ health insurance policy while you were in college and need coverage until you find a job that offers health benefits. (up to 18 months)

Short Term Insurance Policies

Short term policies are a great option for people who are not or were not covered by their company’s insurance plan. Typical temporary health insurance policies will cover most of the same services as permanent policies do, with some differences.

Most short term policies will not cover preventative care such as check-ups and will not cover visits to the dentist or eye doctor. Short term insurance companies are also known to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. For example, if you had knee surgery in the past your policy will not cover care for anything related to your knee or if you have had back problems in the past your contract will exclude any care for back pain, etc.

Normal services covered by short-term health insurance include emergency care, prescription drugs, intensive care, lab and x-ray, ambulance, and some home and hospital care. (Policies will vary.) Most temporary health insurance policies can be adapted to extend coverage to a spouse and dependents.


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