June 23, 2015 by Tony Novak
I see signs that more people are waiting for the unsettled health insurance market to smooth out before making long term insurance commitments. Some of my impressions come from telephone or email conversations through OnlineNavigator.org. It seems that plenty of small businesses and self-employed individuals are postponing 2016 health insurance decisions. Another sign of this trend came this morning with announcements that multiple short term medical insurance policies were renewed for customers of Freedom Benefits. While it is not unusual for people to extend their short term medical insurance, I do not remember ever receiving multiple policy renewal notices on the same day before.
I wrote a number of articles about the details of short term medical insurance for MedSave and Freedom Benefits in the 1990s and 2000s and some of those resources are still available online through those web sites but may be outdated. The product I recommend most often lately is called “HCC Short Term Medical Insurance” and much more information is available online through this page and linked resources.
Short term medical insurance is priced at less than half the amount of regular medical insurance but does not contain any of the expanded coverages brought about by the health insurance reforms in the Affordable Care Act. In fact, this insurance remains much the same as if has been for the past four decades providing a simple easy short term protection for individuals during periods of change. Consumers should be clear that short term medical insurance is a calculated risk management tool to be used in the context of overall financial planning. This product is not suitable as a long term health care management tool.
Some industry observers have commented that short term medical insurance has been the unintended beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act since the number of issued policies has grown rapidly in recent years. I expect that we will continue to see consumers and small businesses to increase their reliance on short term medical insurance as a financial planning strategy throughout the rest of 2015.