Short-term medical has undergone several changes this year. It used to be available for extended periods of time with the option of renewal every year. However, a new law, which went into effect April 1, 2017, restricted short-term medical plans to three-month coverage periods. In addition to the three-month period, the law also inhibits renewals with the same carrier. While carriers must adhere to the three-month limitation, some have found a loophole regarding renewals. After every ninety days, individuals can re-apply with the same carrier, in some cases indefinitely depending on the state.
As for pre-existing conditions, short-term medical does not fall under the Affordable Care Act. As such, short-term medical plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, unlike qualified health plans (QHP). So with the new law in effect, an individual could break their arm during a three-month coverage period and then not receive coverage for the injury when they re-apply for another short-term policy; in this scenario, the broken arm becomes a pre-existing condition for the next policy term. Carriers, however, are trying to solve this problem; in fact, some are even looking into making pre-existing conditions – that occur during a short-term policy – covered in subsequent short-term policies with the same carriers.
Since the law is new, many of the potential changes to short-term medical are all speculative. On that note, it’s best to contact a licensed agent; they can guide you through the murky waters of the insurance industry and help you find the plan that’s right for you.
Since insurance is oftentimes overwhelmingly confusing, we want to shed light on this industry by answering YOUR questions. So if you have any questions or concerns, comment below and your question may be the topic of our next video!
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