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Why you might want to supplement your short-term medical insurance with other policies

Your health insurance doesn’t cover everything. Learn how to get the additional coverage, such as dental, that you might need.

Maybe you just quit your job and are hunting around for a temporary fix for health insurance coverage. Or maybe your 4 side gigs don’t provide you with the time to shop around for a health plan.

That’s where short-term limited-duration insurance, such as short-term medical plans, can help you get coverage when you need it and help you deal with big medical bills (more on this type of insurance shortly).

Like all forms of health insurance, short-term medical doesn’t cover every cost you might have. So, you may want to consider pairing it with one or more supplemental insurance policies. Those are types of insurance that help cover things not included in your main health insurance plan.

Keep in mind that short-term medical isn’t a permanent alternative to traditional health insurance. As its name implies, it covers you for only a short length of time. Here’s what you need to know about pairing short-term medical with other supplemental insurance types.

Want to explore a short-term medical plan? Explore your options now, or contact a licensed insurance agent at 1-844-211-7730.

What is short-term medical insurance?

Most of the types of health insurance you get, whether it be through your employer or an individual plan, are designed to be renewed every year. But not everybody has a full-time job or is in a situation where they’re able to spend time shopping for insurance that will be kept long-term.

That’s why short-term medical plans exist. They can help get you covered for a temporary amount of time. For example, you might decide to buy a plan if you’re between jobs or having a major life change, such as getting married or divorced. A short-term plan can also come in handy when you’re waiting for Medicare to start, or if you missed Open Enrollment.

Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll want to be covered for things like:

  • Doctor office visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Prescription drugs
  • Some preventive services
  • Urgent care visits

You may even have access to 24/7 virtual care without a copay.

Short-term medical plans also have some important limitations that you’ll want to be aware of. Unlike with Affordable Care Act–compliant plans, preexisting conditions aren’t generally covered. And preventive services may be limited to screening tests such as colonoscopies (for colon cancer), mammograms, Pap tests and prostate screenings.

Remember: Short-term medical isn’t intended to be your health coverage for the long term (you can explore your options now or contact a licensed insurance agent at 1-844-211-7730). And just as with other health plans, you’ll still be responsible for paying some of your medical costs. That happens in 3 different ways:

  • Deductibles: This is the amount you must pay out of pocket each year before the plan starts paying their portion for covered expenses. Individual deductibles can range from $2,500 to $15,000, in most states.
  • Copayments (i.e., copays): This is a predetermined amount that you pay for a health care service, such as $50 for a doctor visit or $25 for a prescription drug.
  • Coinsurance: This is the percentage you pay for a health care service, after you’ve met your deductible, such as 20% of the cost of a hospital stay (the other 80% would be covered by your insurance).

So how can you cover the services not included in your health insurance coverage? Here are 5 types of supplemental plans that you might want to consider pairing with your short-term medical plan.

Ready to explore insurance plans where you live?

1. Dental insurance

Most health insurance plans don’t include dental benefits, and the same is true of short-term medical. But it’s important to your overall health to get your teeth checked regularly. That’s why you might want to pair your short-term plan with supplemental dental insurance. It can help cover things such as regular cleanings and dental X-rays.

2. Vision insurance

Vision insurance is another type of coverage you likely won’t get with traditional insurance plans. And short-term medical plans don’t offer a vision benefit. Since eye health is also such an important part of your overall health, it might be a good idea to pair vision insurance with short-term medical. With vision insurance, you’ll get benefits such as routine eye exams and screening tests.

3. Accident insurance

Accident insurance is for when you get injured in an accident and need medical attention. Covered services may include:

The benefits are based on your total medical expenses and benefit selections, not what any other coverage you may have will pay. For example: Your hospital stay might cost $7,500. If your short-term medical plan has a 20% coinsurance, your cost will be $1,500 (assuming you’ve met your deductible).

However, an accident policy with a $10,000 benefit level might pay you $7,250 (the total cost minus a $250 deductible). The money you receive can be used however you want, including paying your hospital bill.

3a. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage

One benefit offered with accident insurance is for accidental death and dismemberment. The payment your loved ones or you receive is based on you dying or losing a limb.

For example, if you have a plan with a $5,000 benefit level, your beneficiaries might receive the full amount if you died within 30 days of an accident that is covered in the plan.

You would receive a percentage of the total benefit if you lost a hand, foot, arm or leg. And you can use the money as you choose, including paying for medical bills that your health plans don’t fully cover.

4. Critical illness insurance

Critical illness insurance is for when you have a major health problem, such as a heart attack, cancer, third-degree burns or major organ failure. (Learn more about all the covered conditions by exploring the plan or calling a licensed insurance agent at 1-844-211-7730.)

For each covered condition, the plan pays a set percentage of your benefit level. (The benefit level is a predetermined amount that is the most the insurer will pay for treating a condition.) You can use the money however you like. If you have a plan with a $30,000 benefit level, and you receive $30,000 after a major illness, you could use that money to cover medical costs, to pay for home care or to help with everyday costs to make up for lost income.

5. Hospital and doctor insurance

Hospital and doctor insurance, which is also known as fixed indemnity insurance, pays you (or, in some states, your provider) directly for each day you are in the hospital. For example, you might receive $200 to $2,000 per day, depending on your plan and whether you’re in an intensive care or critical care unit. As with other forms of supplemental insurance, the money is paid directly to you (in most states), so you can spend it where you have the most need. Depending on the plan you choose, it may cover your hospital coinsurance.

You can explore more supplemental plans, take a glance at short-term benefits and compare insurance plans or contact a licensed insurance agent at 1-844-211-7730.

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