Health insurance for new (unemployed) college grad

My son will be graduating from college soon, and does not have a job lined up yet.  He had the student health insurance plan, which he will lose when he is no longer a student.  He got a flyer about short term health insurance.  It looks terrific and the price is very reasonable.  How is short term health insurance different from “regular” health insurance?

Graduating to Home

Dear Graduating to Home,

Short term health insurance is designed for exactly the situation that your son is in: moving from school to (hopefully, eventually) work.  It does not cover any pre-existing conditions, which are usually defined as any illness that he has had care for in the previous 36 months.  Generally, these plans have slim benefits.  That’s one of the reasons the price is low.

Short term or “temporary” plans last for only six months.  He can re-up it for another six months.  Most companies will allow him to renew for up to 36 months.  At each renewal, he still would have no coverage for pre-existing conditions.  His best bet is to get into a “regular” health plan as soon as he can, whether from a job or on his own.  Time in a regular health plan builds, so that he would eventually have coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.