Short Term Medical Frequently Asked Questions
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Why would I want coverage for a short period of time?
If you’re between jobs, waiting for coverage from another health insurance plan to start, laid off, on strike, a recent college graduate or seasonal employee and know that you only need coverage for a specific period of time, short-term health insurance may be a great option for you.
How soon can Short Term Medical begin?
Your short term medical coverage can begin the next day if you apply on the internet using a credit card or auto bank debit, as long as the eligibility criteria is met. If you decide to mail your application with a check, the earliest your STM policy can begin is the next day following the U.S. Postal Service postmark. (As long as eligibility requirements are met and application is legible.)
All transmissions take place and are recorded based on the time and date in the Central Time Zone. For example, if you submit your application on-line at or after 10:00 p.m. on March 15th from a location in the Pacific Time Zone, the time of the transmission will be at or after 12:00 a.m. Central Time. The transmission date of your application will be March 16th.
Does a Short Term Medical plan cover prescription drugs?
Yes. However, there are no copayments. When you present your STM prescription card, which is now conveniently part of your ID card, at a participating pharmacy, you will receive a negotiated disounted and then will be subject to deductible and coinsurance amounts.
Is a Short Term Medical plan considered “creditable coverage” under HIPAA?
Under HIPAA, Short Term Medical coverage is generally considered creditable coverage to help satisfy any pre-existing condition period. Previous creditable coverage includes:
- A group health plan
- Health insurance coverage
- Part A or Part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act (Medicare)
- Title XIX of the Social Security Act, other than coverage consisting solely of benefits under section 1928 (Medicaid)
- Chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code (Champus)
- A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization
- A state health benefits risk pool
- A health plan offered under chapter 89 of title 5, United States code (Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan)
- A public health plan (as defined in regulations)
- A health benefit plan under section 5(e) of the Peace Corps Act
Should I pay monthly or make a single payment up front?
Most short-term health insurance plans give you the option of paying in monthly installments, or in a single up-front payment. Often, single payment plan costs may be lower than monthly plan costs.
We recommend you select “Monthly“, if you:
- don’t know exactly how long you will need coverage, or
- don’t want to make a single up-front payment
We recommend you select “Single Up-front Payment“, if you:
- know exactly how long you will need coverage for,
- want lower plan costs, and
- don’t mind paying your whole premium up-front
If you select “Single Up-Front payment” you will need to specify the duration of your coverage (30-365 days). Also, if you select “Single Up-Front payment”, you will enjoy the convenience of not having to manually cancel your plan at the end of your coverage period, although typically you will not be able to get a refund once coverage starts. If you need short-term health insurance after your specified duration, you will need to re-apply for a new short-term plan.
Do Short Term Medical plans include dental and vision benefits?
No. Short-term health insurance plans are designed to protect you in the event of an unexpected illness or injury and are not intended to cover dental and vision care. Short-term health insurance plans are for temporary coverage only and therefore do not include some of the benefits offered by standard, longer-term heath insurance plans.
Will purchasing a Short Term Medical plan make it harder for me to get coverage in the future for a pre-exisiting medical condition?
No. Short Term Medical actually makes it easier to get coverage from an employer in the future. It is generally considered creditable coverage and can prevent a break in coverage and help satisfy any pre-existing condition periods.
How will I know if I qualify for Short Term Medical coverage?
In most cases, as soon as you complete the application, the insurance company will notify you online if do not qualify.
If I don’t qualify for a Short Term plan, will my credit card still get charged?
No. If you choose to use a credit card, your card will only be charged if you qualify for short-term coverage. Please note that credit card billing of premiums is optional and you can obtain coverage without using that method of payment.
Think A Short Term Health Plan Is Right For You?
If you are in the market for a new plan while Open Enrollment is closed, a Short Term Health Plan may be your answer.
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