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Can you buy health insurance for one month?

Keep in mind...
  • You can buy health insurance for one month
  • This health insurance is called short term insurance
  • There are many drawbacks to buying this kind of health insurance

Health insurance is quite a complex topic. There are many laws, rules, and regulations surrounding what insurance companies can do and what insurance policyholders are allowed to do. These laws are also subject to change, making the topic even more complex as you must update your information to the new laws and regulations as they are changed.

Additionally, it is also sometimes difficult to tell if the information you are getting is accurate since there is plenty of misinformation regarding health insurance topics available everywhere. However, with dedicated research, it is possible to figure out the truth and keep yourself informed about health insurance.

Find health insurance now by entering your zip code above and comparing free quotes from top insurance carriers in your area!

What is health insurance?

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The basics of health insurance are defining exactly what we are discussing. Health insurance is a policy offered by an insurance company or employer that provides assistance with paying for medical expenses. This depends on the insured following the terms of the contract.

Health insurance can operate in several different ways. In some cases, the insured person pays for medical expenses first then they are reimbursed by the insurance company. In others, the insurer sends payments directly to the health insurance provider instead of waiting for reimbursement.

What is a health insurance provider?

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Now that we have defined health insurance, it is important to know what constitutes a health insurance provider. Generally speaking, a health insurance provider is a health insurance company. A few notable health insurance companies are Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Cigna.

Such companies are typically what are considered health insurance providers. However, sometimes employers will provide health insurance to their employees. These employer-sponsored health care plans are benefits of working for a certain employer and the employer is the health insurance provider in that case.

Individual Health Insurance

Since the rules are different for short-term insurance when it comes to individual health insurance and group health insurance, we must examine each in turn. Individual health insurance is health insurance that an individual purchases for himself or himself and their family. There is more to individual health insurance than that, however.

One important factor in individual health insurance is that it is not at all related to an employer. Individual health insurance is not offered by an employer but purchased entirely by an individual with no outside influence.

Group Health Insurance

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Group health insurance plans are essentially the opposite of individual health insurance plans. Instead of being purchased by an individual, they are purchased by a group or third party to cover a specific group of people. This is typically only a certain group and it is limited to this group.

Group health insurance plans are typically provided by an employer. An employer will offer these plans to their employees as a benefit. These plans are made to be the same for all the employees covered by it.

Short-Term Insurance and Obamacare

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After the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, everyone in the United States was required to obtain health insurance or pay a fee. However, short-term insurance does not meet the requirements for this mandate. So if your goal is to avoid the fee for not having health insurance, that is not the way to go.

Short-term insurance also does not qualify for other reasons, as well. It does not offer the same coverage and benefits as many qualifying plans and most obviously, the plan itself is temporary.

Short-Term Insurance and Catastrophic Health Insurance

There is a significant difference between short-term health insurance plans and catastrophic health insurance plans. The first difference is that catastrophic health insurance plans do, in fact, meet the minimum coverage required set by the Affordable Care Act.

The second difference is that there is limited availability for catastrophic health insurance plans.

Only adults who are 30 or younger are eligible to sign up for catastrophic plans. Additionally, catastrophic plans do allow you to receive cost assistance whereas short-term plans do not allow you to do this.

When is short-term insurance a good idea?

This has been mentioned previously, but it is critical to realize that short-term health insurance plans are only really temporary solutions to the problem. That being said, they can be useful in certain situations you might find yourself in throughout life. One of the times short-term insurance can be a good idea is when you are between jobs and those do not have health insurance temporarily.

Another situation in which it may be useful is if you are waiting for other coverage and require some amount of immediate coverage.

Drawbacks of Short-Term Insurance

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Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, most health insurance plans cannot deny you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition or force you to remove your child from your health insurance coverage at any time. However, short-term insurance is regulated differently. This is because it does not meet the requirements for qualifying insurance under the law.

Short-term health insurance plans, by contrast, can deny you coverage based on the fact that you have a pre-existing condition. Also, they can limit the amount of your benefits and not cover you for substance abuse services or mental health services. Additionally, they can let your coverage end when the policy period is over.

What is covered by short-term insurance?

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The services covered by short-term insurance can vary greatly depending upon the insurance company that is offering the plan. There are some services that are generally covered by these plans, though. A few of these services are hospitalization, mammograms, regular doctor visits, lab work, x-rays, and more.

Short-term insurance does not cover prescription drugs or preventative care, however. It is not a substitute for permanent coverage by any means.

The Availability of Short-Term Insurance

It is possible to purchase short-term insurance. This can last from one month to even one year in the lengthiest short-term insurance plans.

Longer short-term insurance plans are generally more expensive than the shorter ones. Insurance companies tend to charge more for prolonged short-term health insurance policies to discourage insurers from purchasing short-term insurance and to encourage them to buy permanent insurance. You can absolutely purchase short-term insurance to cover your medical expenses for a month though.

Getting Short-Term Insurance

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Buying health insurance for a period of one month is completely possible in the current healthcare system. This type of health insurance is known as short-term health insurance. However, there are many drawbacks to doing so.

First of all, these plans often do not cover quite a few services that permanent coverage plans do cover. Additionally, short-term health insurance plans can deny you coverage on the basis that you have a pre-existing conditions. They are one of the few health insurance policies that still have the ability to do this as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

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