Can I get individual health insurance coverage for one month?
September 29, 2009 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Can I get individual health insurance coverage for one month? Is it possible to individual health insurance for one month. My COBRA ends this month, I am going to be covered by another employer in November.

In short, I am a NY resident, 27y/o, and my COBRA expires this month. I'm a freelancer who will begin coverage in November with the Freelancer's Union. What can I do in the meantime about coverage?
posted by helios410 to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When my husband switched companies, there was a three month gap before his new benefits kicked in. We searched for temporary insurance and got a very bare bones plan so we could have continuous coverage. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the insurance we used, but it is possible.
posted by Ruki at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2009

Sure you can. I've done this several times (and fortunately never had to use the short-term insurance). Here's a link to Assurant, which is the company I used.
posted by jrichards at 9:35 AM on September 29, 2009

Have you looked at Healthy NY? I'm not sure how long it takes to get set up, but you can apply online.
posted by susanvance at 9:51 AM on September 29, 2009

Read the terms of any short term insurance contract very carefully. Unless you are run over by a bus, these companies have a reputation for excluding almost everything as a pre-existing condition and forcing you to prove otherwise.

Depending on your state laws, temporary health plans may not be considered creditable. What this means is that they are not considered as continuous coverage so that when you start your new job, your new company plan may be allowed to exempt payment for pre-existing conditions since you had a coverage gap.

State laws vary but I believe that in New York you can have no more than a 60 day gap between plan coverage and maintain a pre-existing coverage exemption. The temporary plan may not fill that gap if it is not creditable. Check the stop and start dates between your permanent plans to make sure it is not more than 60 days. You might consider asking your new company to start your job a little earlier if necessary.
posted by JackFlash at 1:01 PM on September 29, 2009

Coverage counts as continuous if the lapse between plans is less than 63 days. States can increase this period, but I don't think they can reduce it. See the Department of Labor's HIPAA FAQ.

I would contact an independent insurance agent and explain to them what you're looking for, whether it be something similar to what you have now or a plan that would just cover catastrophic incidents (much less expensive, but cover very little, as JackFlash pointed out.) Let them know that you want a plan that qualifies as creditable coverage (if you determine that you need it).
posted by curie at 2:18 PM on September 29, 2009

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