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Short Term

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Clients are feeling the pinch of the government limiting choices for temporary health coverage. On April 1st of 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services imposed regulations limiting short-term medical coverage to a maximum three-month term of insurance (although you can re-apply for 3 terms = 9 months of coverage). The government’s intent is to dissuade individuals from overusing temporary health insurance and prevent a potential exodus from Obamacare with healthy individuals seeking more economical options. Unfortunately, the tighter grip of regulation leads to more consumers having fewer (or no) healthcare choices.

A three-month term does not sound terrible, and why complain when you can reapply for multiple terms of coverage? Simple example: a family is kicked off their Obamacare plan due to a payment issue. They are not able to secure permanent coverage again until Jan. 1, 2018, the next open enrollment period. What do they do until then? They must look to the temporary market for plans that are available to purchase outside open enrollment.

Prior to all the regulations, short-term medical provided the best temporary coverage. Then, as now, if the family were to enroll in a short-term medical plan, they would be covered for anything medically necessary, excluding pre-existing conditions. But now you can only apply for 3 months at a time. So if you develop a medical condition during your 3 month term and then you renew for another 3 month term, that condition would now be considered pre-existing and would not be covered in the new 3 month term. And there’s the dilemma.

Now for the solution.

Petersen International Underwriter’s Short Term Medical Plan.  They have removed the pre-existing condition exclusion between consecutive policies for up to three terms (9 months total). So, you can now have a Short Term Medical plan and secure coverage without the worry of having new conditions labeled as pre-existing in subsequent policy terms. Petersen offers this benefit at no added cost or stipulation as an attempt to help solve a shortcoming of the greater healthcare debacle.

Source: Petersen International Underwriters article by Robert Russo in “The Communicator”


Author: neil steinman

Neil Steinman is the principal of Orange County Health & Life Insurance in Orange County, CA – and has been serving the needs of California residents for nearly 20 years.