I’m trying to figure out what to do about my health insurance. I lost my job 6 months ago and have been on COBRA. It is really expensive! I was planning on retiring soon anyway and will be eligible for Medicare in 9 more months. I’m healthy and trying to save money so I can start traveling if that becomes a safe and feasible thing to do. One of my friends told me about short-term coverage and it sounds like it is pretty affordable, but I want to find out more before I do something I can’t undo. Can you help?
We’re so glad you asked. This question comes up a lot.
Here are some things to look out for.
- Short-term health insurance coverage is meant to be temporary. Your upcoming Medicare eligibility means you only need temporary coverage. So that’s a start.
- Your friend is right, short-term coverage is a lot cheaper than COBRA or other individual policies, but there’s a reason for that: it is much more limited.
- Basically, it covers you against out-of-pocket costs if you are injured or hospitalized and it may have dollar caps. Some plans cover limited doctor visits.
- It may not cover prescriptions drugs or care that you need because of a pre-existing condition.
- One of the upsides to short-term coverage besides the nice price is you can usually set it up fairly quickly, anywhere from one day to a few weeks.
Of course, it goes without saying that any particular plan can vary. Every plan has its own benefits, limitations, exclusions, and other terms (so make sure to talk to an experienced professional in the field). But we hope this gives you an overview so you can decide whether or not short-term coverage is for you.
Stay active and healthy,
We’re trying to cover a lot of ground in our quest to be your hub for ideas and inspiration as you Discover Your Next. We hope our content is thought-provoking and that it raises some questions as you keep planning for an active, engaged life. Ask them here and we’ll publish some answers!