Short term insurance coverage options in New York

TA | January 13, 2007

Q: So here's my situation. I switched jobs a few months back, and haven't had medical coverage since I did the switch. My current job's coverage will start September 1st, and I have 10 more days to decide whether or not to elect the COBRA coverage from my last job. So far, I've managed to get through without any major medical crisis, but I will have 20 days of not being covered at all if I do not elect the COBRA. If I choose the COBRA,,, it will cost me a thousand dollars through September 1st... I am hoping there is some way I can get coverage just for those last 20 days of August...

I live in NY so I can't get short term coverage.

I'm not really worried about deductibles or co-pays-- I'm really just concerned about any serious medical emergencies that could end up costing me thousands of dollars (what if lightning strikes me? get hit by a car? etc).

Another thing I am concerned about is that I am planning a short trip to Nicaragua during those 20 days that I will not be insured, I am worried I will bring some kind of illness back with me, or I am worried that something could happen there... I don't even know what kind of insurance would even cover something that happens internationally...

If I can't get short term coverage, can you tell me if there is Any possible avenue of getting a "permanent" plan that starts within the next week, that I can cancel in September? Or do all carriers wait until the first of the next month to start insurance plans? And also-- do you know anything about medical insurance for travelers?

A: International traveler's insurance is the obvious answer here if you are planning to leave the U.S. It is cheap, easy, high quality coverage that can be started and stopped on the dates you choose. Some residual coverage may be available for the period immediately after your return home. See the "International Health Insurance" page for more details. The "Liaison International" policy is the most popular choice for short trips, however, you would likely be happy with any of these high quality policies listed.

In the event you decide not leave the U.S. during this time, you may wish to add supplemental hospitalization coverage like Core Health Insurance, a limited insurance benefit plan that can be used alone or in combination with a catastrophic health insurance plan.. These limited benefit plans can be purchased for just one month although most people keep this insurance as an additional supplement to regular major medical insurance because you can overlap and collect from both types of policies. In your case, some insurance may be better than none during this transition period. Limited benefit insurance pays a specified dollar amount of medical bills; see the chart for more details. In your case, the risk is further minimized by the amount of time you will be without employer-provided major medical insurance.

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