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What is Short-Term Health Insurance?

A short-term health insurance agreement.
A health insurance claim form.
Article Details
  • Written By: Kathy Hawkins
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Short-term health insurance is a low-cost alternative to a standard health insurance plan. People who are fairly young and in good physical condition may want to consider getting this type of insurance in place of a more extensive health insurance plan. With many short-term plans, the monthly premium owed to the company is quite low — typically, between $30 and $60 US Dollars (USD), rather than the hundreds someone would pay with a standard plan.

People with short-term health insurance are not eligible for many of the benefits that they would receive with a standard plan. They must pay full fees for all non-emergency medical visits and elective surgical procedures, rather than having such visits fully or partially covered. Costs for all prescription drugs and obstetrical and gynecological visits are not covered either. Costs related to maternity and delivery are typically not included, though a woman may be eligible for coverage from other sources.

If a person who has this type of health insurance does have a serious medical emergency, he or she will usually be compensated up to a certain amount — usually no less than $100,000 USD — after he or she has paid the deductible, which can range from $1,000 to $10,000 USD or more. Typically, the lower the deductible, the higher the monthly premium will be.

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Most short-term health insurance plans have a coverage cap of six months or one year. Once this period of time has expired, the person is free to sign up with a different insurance provider, however. People who are interested in short-term plans should be able to find a comprehensive list of providers on a web site that compares insurance benefits.

Short-term health insurance is not a good choice for everyone. People with medical problems and who need to regularly purchase prescription drugs should probably sign up with a standard health care provider who will help cover these bills. Those who do not have access to health insurance through a job and are looking for a reasonably-priced option that will ensure that they are covered in case of a serious emergency, however, may find that this type of health insurance is sufficient.

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