Five-day gap in coverage not easy to fix

Does any company offer extremely short-term catastrophic health insurance? By “extremely short-term,” I mean 5 days. That’s how long a gap I have coming up in September. A 1-month policy that can be canceled with a pro-rata refund after 5 days would also do.

Quick Turnaround

Dear Quick Turnaround,

Health insurers do not generally sell coverage for less than 30 days, or give pro-rata refunds for partial months. It’s highly unusual that your previous plan is ending on a date other than the end of the month, and your new plan is starting on an odd date. You might want to double-check those dates.

Here’s a not-quite-above-board trick that you can use.  You can apply for health insurance for September 1 and pay the premium for the month.  Ask the insurance agent what the “free-look” period is.  This varies by state, but it could be 10 to 30 days.  Before the free-look period ends, you can withdraw from the plan and get a full refund.  If something happens to you during the 5-days, you’ll be insured.  If not, you will go through a bit of paperwork hassle but you won’t be any worse for wear.

On the other hand, I would just stay home and be careful.

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.