Short term health insurance in Virginia is cheap and is the perfect plan if you need medical coverage for less than 12 months. Our website helps you compare quality temporary Virginia benefits so you can apply online for a policy. It only takes a few minutes to complete an application. There are about five medical questions, and often you are instantly approved. This type of major-medical gap protection has become more popular since Obamacare was passed and implemented.
We offer policies from the leading carriers in the state, so you are able to purchase the benefits that provide the protection you need. Short-term contracts are perfect if you find yourself unemployed, uninsured, waiting for employer or Medicare benefits to start, or between jobs. Rates are extremely affordable for both individuals and families. Many students also utilize this type of policy if they are waiting for classes to begin, or simply taking a break from classes. At any time, you may cancel your plan.
It is important to understand that this type of coverage is typically purchased as an "off-Exchange" plan since they do not contain all of the required Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandatory features, which are commonly referred to as "Essential Health Benefits." Although most major medical, hospital (inpatient and outpatient) and emergency-room expenses meet Obamacare requirements, maternity and pediatric dental, for example, are not included. Office visits, prescriptions, and Urgent-Care visits may also be limited or subject to a deductible. However, you also do not need to wait for an Open Enrollment to obtain coverage and can apply at any time.
These plans also do not qualify for a federal subsidy. However, because the price is so low, some consumers utilize the benefits to serve as their primary coverage. In a family situation where there are three (or more) occupants, the savings in an upper-income household can easily be $5,000-$8,000 per year. However, coverage for physical therapy, mental-illness treatment, non-generic prescriptions, and many other items will be much less robust than a Marketplace policy (both on and off the Exchange). We can help you compare the differences and make an appropriate decision.
It's also very important to understand the potential out-of-pocket costs of choosing a short-term policy vs. qualified standard plans. For example, a chronic ailment could lead to substantial uncovered prescription expenses, with possibly no other available policies until the beginning of the next Open Enrollment period. Complications from pregnancy or large expenses from uncovered pre-existing conditions could also hurt your pocketbook. Policies can generally be renewed one time, although you may have to medically qualify.
One of the biggest advantages is how quickly you can apply. For example, if you need to be covered the next day, by submitting the application before midnight, often you can choose a next-day effective date since the underwriting process is streamlined. As earlier mentioned, selected companies offer immediate approval, assuming there are no major health issues, such as cancer, heart disease or chronic illness. A combination of current conditions, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure could cause the application to be denied. The existence of prior coverage does not affect the underwriting process.
Usually, there are only a few questions, and both online and faxed applications are accepted. Several carriers allow you to purchase a policy by phone. The most efficient method of purchasing coverage is through a reputable website like ours, or through a local independent broker. There will be no charges or fees either way. Many companies charge a one-time $20 application fee, which is standard for the industry. However, any fee above $30 is not acceptable.
Maximum Length Of Coverage
Although Virginia temporary health insurance rates are low, the policies are not designed to be kept an extended period of time. Usually, you can purchase coverage from 1-6 months (sometimes 12 months). However, each time you renew your coverage, you will have to re-apply, which is not time-consuming. After two renewals, a new carrier may have to be used. And after 12 months, if needed, you can re-apply to the original carrier.
If, during your first policy period you develop cancer, for example, the expenses will be covered in accordance with the provisions of the contract. However, it is possible (and likely) you will not be able to renew the policy. For this reason, you should take advantage of the Marketplace Open Enrollment periods (typically November through January), which will allow you to obtain guaranteed coverage for your expenses, and eligibility for federal financial aid. Special Enrollment periods are available for job loss, birth of a child, divorce, and many other situations. For example, if you move from South Bend to Indianapolis, since a different set of carriers offers plans, you will qualify for a "Special Enrollment."
Very Cheap Rates Are Available
How about the rates? Are they low? Indeed they are. For example, if you're a 35-year old male that resides in the Richmond area, there are seven plans that cost less than $60 per month. The deductibles and benefits will slightly vary, but the most important item, the "big ticket" expenses, will be covered. Surgeries and ER expenses are also covered, as you would expect. However, office visits (both pcp and specialists) and most prescriptions, must meet a designated deductible.
The IHC Group's Secure Lite plan with a $5,000 deductible only costs $43 per month. Of course, it's important to closely compare benefits and policy fees with other plans (Simply ask us). Lowering the deductible will only increase the premium by about $5. Lowering the coinsurance will also raise the rate. If you need a Va student health plan, often this type of policy will suffice, although it should only be a stopgap until you apply for a more comprehensive policy.
Companion Life and UnitedHealthOne also have attractive rates in many parts of Virginia, including the Richmond area. Depending on the makeup of your family and where you live, both of those carriers may actually be a better option for you. Companion Life offers a $7,500 deductible option that will result in the lowest available price in many areas. NOTE: Aetna, one of the largest US carriers, only writes Marketplace plans in four states, including Virginia. However, they do not offer short-term contracts.
Family coverage is also quite affordable. For example, a husband and wife (age 40) and two children can obtain a policy for as low as $185 per month (UnitedHealthcare high-deductible short-term "plus" option). The deductible reduces to $5,000 by paying $224 and $2,500 by paying $277. And like all temporary plans, it is available at any time, both before, during, and after Open Enrollment. If necessary, you can delete specific applicants off the policy and retain coverage for the others. However, once the policy is canceled, you must re-apply and qualify for approval.
UnitedHealthcare ST Plans
UnitedHealthcare has a unique and flexible approach to this type of need. They actually offer three different plans, so that all situations can be addressed. Usually, their rates are among the lowest available in all parts of the state. And they are one of the largest carriers in the US to offer temporary plans. So if you need to be treated out-of-state, you will easily find a hospital wherever you are. Additional doctors, specialists, and additional medical facilities are also available.
The "Value" option is the cheapest policy and will save the most money. However, you do have to pay a deductible for every incident you have. The "Plus" policy (earlier mentioned) is an upgrade from the Value plan and costs about 10% more in additional premium. However, the deducible is considered only once during the duration of the policy. Thus, if you purchase six months of coverage, there is only one deductible to meet, regardless of the number of incidences. And the lifetime limit increases from $250,000 to $1 million. If you submit multiple large claims, this option may be the most cost-effective.
The "Copay" temporary plan features the most coverage, and is the most expensive. Office visit and prescription benefits are upgraded, and this option is ideal if you want to duplicate employer-based plans for less than 12 months. The addition of office-visit copays can also be useful in households with more than one dependent under age eight. However, since benefits are typically only needed for a few months, the "copay" option is not often used. Typically, we recommend one of the other two less-expensive policies.