Short Term Health Insurance

January 1, 2010


Why Use Short Term Health Insurance?

Best Value - Short term health insurance is specifically designed to provide the best value to those to buy their own health insurance to bridge gaps between other group plans, employer-provided coverage or public insurance. These polices cover ordinary and necessary medical expenses with any doctor or hospital in the United States and can be used while between jobs, recently graduated, starting your own business or facing any situation where group major medical health insurance is not available or is not affordable.

Low Price - The price of short term health insurance is primarily determined by the policy deductible and the age of the applicants but generally falls at about half of the price of similar longer term health insurance plans. A typical premium is $75 to $125 per month or about 1/3 of the cost of COBRA overage.

Full Coverage - Unlike most low cost health plans, short term medical plans offer full major medical insurance up to $1 million coverage or more, with your choice of doctors and hospitals. Short term medical insurance covers 100% of ordinary and necessary medical costs after you pay the deductible and coinsurance. This insurance does not cover normal maternity or pre-existing medical conditions.

Geographic Freedom - Short term medical insurance is equally valid in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Freedom of Choice in Choosing Medical Providers - Short term medical insurance is valid with any doctor or hospital in the U.S. without the need to obtain a referral.

Certificate of Creditable Coverage - all short term medical insurance plans automatically provide a "Certificate of Creditable Coverage" at termination of the policy that is used as proof of eligibility for immediate coverage of pre-existing conditions on the next employer-provided group insurance. Without this proof of prior continuous coverage, a new waiting period may apply.

Flexible Terms - Coverage can be as short as one month or as long as three years. Unlike COBRA or other types of insurance, you can specify the starting day and ending date of coverage to match your specific need.

Widely Available - This coverage is available in all states except New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Washington and Vermont. Determining medical eligibility is fast and easy and most people without serious or chronic medical problems do qualify.

Well known brands - The leading brand names of short term health insurance like  "American Health Shield" "Secure STM", UnitedHealthcare and "Simple STM" are issued by reputable and trusted insurers. Most policies are issued online and ID cards can be mailed or downloaded immediately at the time of enrollment.

Fast, Secure Online Enrollment - No waiting; coverage can be confirmed immediately in just a few minutes.

No retroactive Premium Payment Required - Unlike COBRA plans, short term medical insurance does not require a retroactive payment of premiums. In fact you can have a gap in coverage of up to two months and still get credited with continuous coverage.


Short term health insurance does not cover pre-existing medical conditions and is inappropriate for those whose medical expenses are expected to be more than the amount of COBRA (if applicable) or their state's high risk health insurance plan. Examples of situations where short term medical insurance is not suitable include pregnancy, cancer, diabetes (coverage for non-insulin diabetics is sometimes available), AIDS, or where surgery is scheduled or planned.

Articles on Short Term Health Insurance:

Eligibility for Short Term Health Insurance

Fast Facts About Short Term Health Insurance

How Long Can I be Covered by Short Term Health Insurance

New Lower Cost Short Term Health Insurance

Review of American Health Shield

A review of Secure 12 x 3 STM

A review of Secure Lite STM

A review of Secure STM

A review of Simple STM

Short Term Medical Insurance for Special Situations

Short Term Medical Insurance Online Fulfillment

Ten Ways to Get More from Your Short Term Medical Insurance

Which Short Term Medical Insurance Is Best For Me?

State-by-State Listings of Short Term Medical Insurance

Select your state listing page to find available plans for your situation. 

Links to Other Resources


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All short term medical insurance plans offer secure online enrollment and accept payment by electronic check, debit card or credit card.

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