Short Term Health Insurance in Florida is an Option
There are many Floridians who have gaps in their healthcare coverage. If you missed out on open enrollment for health insurance, or you have income too high or too low to qualify for subsidies, you may be wondering if there are other options to get coverage. Without adequate healthcare coverage, you could face significant out of pocket costs in the event of a medical emergency. It is good to know your options for health insurance.
Short term health insurance in Florida is a potential solution which can get you coverage for up to three years.
Short Term Health Insurance Can Help You Thru a Coverage Gap
Gaps in health care insurance coverage are common in Florida. Florida, along with 13 other states, refused to participate in Medicaid expansion when the Healthcare Marketplace (Obamacare) was opened up. If the overall household income of an individual who has lost his or her job is under the federal poverty level, they still may not qualify for Medicaid in Florida. Yet, their income is too low to qualify for Federal Subsidies for health insurance. Short-term health insurance is a good solution for those who cannot qualify for Medicaid but don’t make enough money to qualify for the federal subsidies.
At the other extreme are many Americans whose income is way above the poverty level but are not eligible for subsidies. Individuals without major medical problems or pre-existing conditions may find themselves being asked to pay upwards of $600 per month for health coverage with deductibles higher than they are likely to even use within the year. Some may even face premiums that are nearly 25% of their income.
For those who are caught in the coverage gap, one option is to consider short-term health coverage.
What Exactly Is Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance policies were originally designed for healthy individuals who were in the middle of switching policies but did not yet have a comprehensive health plan. These policies require an individual to be otherwise healthy and have no pre-existing health conditions before signing with the policy.
During the Obama administration, the short-term health insurance policies were limited to less than 3 months of coverage (before 2017, the duration of coverage was 12 months). Since October 2018, the Trump administration has rolled back the restrictions and now the short-term policies do have initial terms of 12 months and also permit the policy to be renewed as long as the total duration of the single plan does not exceed 3 years.
Short-term health insurance in Florida can be extended for the entire three years allowed by the Federal rules.
Can You Benefit from Short term Coverage?
For the above scenarios, short-term health insurance may fill in the gap coverage until you can obtain more comprehensive long-term insurance. If any of the following situations describe you, then you could qualify for and benefit from short term health insurance.
- Those waiting for Obamacare coverage to start
- Those wanting coverage as a bridge to Medicare
- Reaching age 26 and losing coverage from parental insurance
- Waiting for job benefits to start or between jobs
- Healthy individuals under age 65
- Those unable to afford Obamacare because they missed the Open Enrollment or did not qualify for a special enrollment.
With a Pandemic Still Underway and expected to continue for two or three years to come, don’t risk your health AND your livelihood. Even those who feel they don’t usually need coverage are wise to get covered. A short-term health insurance plan is an option for healthy people. If you are a Florida resident, and you need health insurance, contact an agent today.
What are the Advantages of a Short-Term Health Insurance Policy?
Benefits of short-term health insurance plans include the following:
- Low premiums
- A broad range of deductibles
- Flexibility in the selection of providers
- Varying duration of plans
- Wide range of health services coverage
What is the cost of a short-term health insurance policy?
There are many short-term plans available and the cost depends on the type of services selected, family size, and income. The cheapest plans start at around $200 a month, which is a minimal expense in terms of health coverage. On the high end, a family plan may be as much as $2,000 a month. Again, the cost will depend on coverages you select.
If you missed open enrollment at the healthcare marketplace, and you do not have a qualifying event for a special enrollment period, you won’t be able to get subsidies based on income to cover individual health insurance premiums. Still, a short-term health insurance policy can save you money compared to full-coverage private insurance with no premium subsidies.
If you do not have health insurance available thru an employer, and you don’t need coverage for pre-existing conditions, short-term health insurance can be a cost-effective option.
Additional Benefits of Short-Term Insurance
- There is no waiting period and the plan starts immediately.
- If you already know the number of days or weeks you need coverage, a single payment can be made.
- These policies also come with a choice of deductibles, premiums, and out-of-pocket payments. Overall, these policies are significantly less expensive than the traditional medical Obamacare plans.
- The flexibility allows you to select your healthcare providers and the types of services you want. Selecting in-network healthcare providers also comes with financial benefits.
- Enrollment is fast and easy because all short-term plans have a blanket exclusion on pre-existing disease.
- In Florida, you have the option of increasing the coverage duration for up to 3 years
What are the cons of short-term insurance policies?
- The major disadvantage of short-term insurance plans is that the coverage is not comprehensive, and they do not cover any preexisting illness.
- In some cases, if the individual does happen to develop a chronic illness while on the policy, he or she may have to undergo a complete re-analysis of the medical history to prove when the disorder started before payment for medical services is made by the insurer. This can be a major league headache.
- For you have a complex medical history, to become a short-term health policyholder, you may have to go through a health review before you can purchase the policy.
What else should you consider when purchasing a short-term health plan?
- The key reason why some individuals may not want to purchase a short-term health plan is that there is no coverage for a preexisting health condition. Even if you are offered coverage, the preexisting condition will not be covered under the plan. The key benefit of short-term policies is to cover for medical disorders that have not yet developed.
- It is also important to note that the short-term health plans are designed for healthy individuals and hence the coverage is not comprehensive. These plans do not cover regular clinic visits, mental health services, or preventive care. Most plans will also not cover the cost of prescription medications unless you are admitted. But if you suddenly fall sick and need to go to the emergency room and/or require admission, the cost will be covered.
- To prevent balance billing, it is highly recommended that you only see healthcare providers in the network. If a provider has not signed up with the network, you may be subject to balanced billing which results in higher out of pocket expenses.
While short term health plans do offer coverage, they are not comprehensive. It is best to avoid the hassles of short-term plans, but if you missed out on open enrollment for regular healthcare coverage, or if you are in a coverage gap, short term health insurance is an available option. Obamacare has made it a lot easier for Americans to get high-quality healthcare insurance by providing premium and cost-sharing subsidies. Still, in the end, it is up to you to maintain your health insurance coverage.