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Continued coverage between jobs

January 1, 2010

Q: I need insurance for my daughter that would be considered continuing coverage between jobs for a few months. COBRA is not available. She has pre-existing medical conditions. When could the coverage begin?

A: If she is eligible for short term medical insurance, then this is the likely answer. Short term medical insurance is actually a major medical insurance that is considered continued coverage and therefore ensures that her pre-existing medical condition would be covered under a new group plan from the first day of coverage. Short term medical coverage does not cover the cost of pre-existing medical conditions and is not available or suitable for everyone. The short term coverage can start as soon as you apply online but the important issue is to ensure that there is not a gap in coverage of more than two months or the takeover of pre-existing conditions will not apply. The policy can extend to the date that her new group coverage starts. A "Certificate of Creditable Coverage" will automatically be issued when you end the short term insurance.

Make sure the plan you are considering says "short term medical insurance". Some peole mistakenly use a supplemental insurance tha does not provide the Certificate of Creditable Coverage that you require.

If she is not eligible for short term medical coverage or you think the risk of not having the pre-existing medical condition covered for the fw months is too great, then contact the existing insurer to ask about an "individual conversion". It will be much more expensive and the application processs more difficult, but this may be the only other immediately available option.

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