Q:

Can you buy short-term health care insurance?

A:

Quick Answer

Many of the major insurance companies, such as Humana, United Healthcare Services, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield, offer short-term health care insurance plans, according to Bloomberg Business. However, these plans do not offer the same protections as policies sold under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

While it is possible to purchase a short-term health insurance plan, it is not advisable for everyone. In a 2010 article, U.S. News & World Report suggests they are more ideal for those needing "gap coverage," which helps those in between jobs, recent college graduates or new employees waiting for company benefits to begin. Although this is still true, Bloomberg Business states that there is confusion over what is actually covered and how it compares to comparable policies available under the ACA.

Short-term plans alone do not satisfy the Affordable Care Act's requirement for coverage, and some who purchase them ultimately pay fees for lack of coverage anyway, according to Bloomberg Business. In addition, short-term plans tend to not cover pre-existing conditions that manifest shortly before coverage begins. Renewing short-term insurance may prove difficult, as many insurers of these types of plans possess the right to deny renewal. Some refuse to renew if they determine significant changes in health have occurred since the most recent policy.

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