What Happens if My Short-Term Health Insurance Ends While I’m Hospitalized?

Updated on: October 21st, 2020

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Short-term (temporary) health insurance is a good bridge until you can get more comprehensive coverage but it has a number of limitations, including whether it continues when you’re hospitalized and your plan expires. To find out, look for the “continuation of coverage” or “extension of benefits” provision in your plan’s policy.

You will receive a new policy, or plan’s certificate of insurance each time you sign up or renew your coverage. You can also look under “total disability,” for details on ongoing coverage. This term comes into play because you can’t be expected to perform work while you’re in the hospital, so for insurance purposes, you are considered “totally disabled.”

What the Provision Means: During your hospitalization, because you are totally disabled, benefits that would have otherwise been paid by your short-term insurance carrier might still be covered. This coverage will typically stop after you leave the hospital, or once a set period of time ends (whichever is sooner).

How to Get Coverage Once Your Short-Term Plan Expires: While your coverage will most likely continue during your hospitalization, your short-term plan probably won’t be renewed when it expires. Even so, there may still be easy coverage available to you. In some states, total disability can qualify you for Medicaid. Qualified patients can apply for and enroll in Medicaid at any time, including from the hospital.

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Additionally, if you are rejected from Medicaid, then you may be able to enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan. Normally these plans are only available during certain times of the year, but you may qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life-changing event such as losing a job, having a baby or being the victim of domestic abuse.

What Is Short-Term Health Insurance? Temporary health insurance plans have many differences from Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) plans and most other health insurance coverage. You can join a temporary plan at any time. Plans can provide coverage for up to 12 months and may be extended up to three years, depending on the state,

These plans have low monthly costs, but in some cases may have high deductibles. You may have to pay a tax penalty in some states if you rely on them for health insurance since they don’t guarantee coverage for all of the ACAc’s essential health benefits. If you’re not familiar with short-term health insurance, learn more to see if this limited plan type is right for you.

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