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Q: Is There Short-Term Insurance That Covers Pre-Existing Conditions?

Asked by Anonymous on October 12, 2017

Hal Levy October 12, 2017

It’s unlikely that you’ll find short-term insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. Generally, your individual claims will be denied if they resulted from a pre-existing medical condition. Short-term insurers can even outright decline to insure you due to your medical history or current health status.

Many Conditions Are Excluded from Short-Term Insurance Coverage

Some pre-existing conditions are chronic conditions, including:

  • Arthritis,
  • Asthma,
  • Cancer,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
  • Congestive heart failure,
  • Diabetes,
  • High cholesterol, and
  • High blood pressure.

The length of time that short-term policies “look back” on pre-existing conditions varies by state, ranging from the previous six months to five years. If you’d like to purchase another short-term policy after the first policy expires, your new plan may not cover conditions that developed during the term of your first policy.

You’ll be able to ask your insurance company what is covered before buying a plan.

Short Term Plans Cover Limited Benefits

  • Ongoing Health Problems Are Not Covered:  Since short-term health policies are designed to take care of immediate health needs, they are unsuitable for long-term maintenance of health issues. Short-term plans rarely cover medical devices, dental care, or vision care. Prescription costs are typically the planholder’s responsibility outside of a hospital setting as well.
  • You Will Get Emergency Care: Peace of mind from unexpected medical costs is a major benefit of short-term coverage. If you’re seriously ill or injured, short term insurance will cover the costs of your hospital visit. Short-term policies also cover follow-up care for acute medical issues until your coverage ends.
  • You Can See A Primary Care Doctor: Nearly all doctors accept short term insurance. You will receive a welcome letter, insurance card, and other familiar benefits when you enroll. Although you have to pay for care on your own before hitting your deductible, the costs for a visit once you do reach your deductible are generally low. Some plans also include a checkup, free of charge.
  • You Can See a Specialist: Specialized doctors (such as a dermatologist, orthopedist, or neurologist) are frequently covered by short term plans. Medical imaging (like x-rays) and mental health care are also common short-term benefits.  Short term plans often bundle in additional benefits such as life insurance or prescription drug discounts as well.

Taking the Next Steps

It only takes a few minutes to get a quote for a temporary health insurance plan. It’s a good idea to learn if you’re eligible by applying for coverage. If temporary health insurance doesn’t work for you, there are several other Obamacare alternatives you can turn to.

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