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Health Insurance Options for Short-Term Unemployed and Self-Employed Individuals

If you find yourself in the market for short-term Arizona health insurance policy, it helps to work with a health insurance broker who knows these policies inside and out.
Monday, 01 July 2013

health_insurance_short_termAre you in straddling two health insurance policies – one that just ended from your old job and another that is yet to begin in your new job? Perhaps you are waiting for that new health insurance policy to take effect and your old company was too small to offer COBRA. If you're young and healthy, it is tempting to wait it out and hope nothing goes wrong with your health during that period. But industry analysts say this type of financial risk should be avoided. It is always smarter to maintain some form of temporary health insurance, even if it is just to cover catastrophic illness.


If you find yourself in the market for short-term Arizona health insurance policy, it helps to work with a health insurance broker who knows these policies inside and out. The prospect of buying an individual policy – even for a short time - may seem financially impossible; particularly if you're living on a limited income, but the truth is that most Arizona health insurance companies offer affordable options for temporary health insurance.

The ideal candidates for short-term Arizona health insurance are recent college graduates and job seekers, and even for individuals who cannot afford the higher premiums of a full term health plan, which can often be double the price of a short-term plan. Many of these plans go far beyond the average "catastrophic" plan by covering doctor visits, prescriptions drugs and diagnostic testing.

Where to buy temporary health insurance

Larger companies like Assurant, United HealthCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona's IHC offer an affordable temporary health plan. These AZ health plans can be paid for on a monthly basis and kept active for six to twelve months. Surprisingly, the rates for these plans are a lot lower than long term Arizona health insurance, and they can take effect on the same day the plan is purchased.

Options for the self-employed

When you are starting a business, there may be many pressing issues on your mind, but one of the most nagging questions is what to do about health insurance. If you have always been covered by a group health plan, you may not be thrilled with many of the health insurance options for the self-employed.

In order to get the same type of coverage that you used to have through an employer, the monthly premiums would be through the roof, and if you have a pre-existing condition you could find yourself denied coverage altogether. But don't let these facts stop you from starting your own business; you still have a few options.

Below is a brief overview of health insurance options for the self-employed:

COBRA health insurance: If you recently left a job, then you may want to consider COBRA coverage. It can be expensive, and you won't have the option to switch to a less expensive plan, but if you foresee medical issues on the horizon it is probably cheaper than being uninsured. The nice part about COBRA is that you will have uninterrupted coverage, but remember it can only last as long as 18 months. After that you will need to purchase an individual health insurance plan.

Your spouse's group plan: If you are married, this is usually a lot less expensive than buying an individual policy; plus, the additional coverage cannot be denied or rated-up because of health issues. Ask about open enrollment timeframes, or if your loss of coverage will qualify as a mid-year "life event."

High risk health insurance pool: These pools provide an opportunity for families and individuals to get insurance from state-sponsored plans, even if they have a disqualifying health condition. Each state's plan varies considerably, and they may still be quite costly, but they offer a viable alternative for self-employed individuals who have pre-existing conditions.

Health insurance exchanges: Already up and running in many states, health insurance exchanges offer individual health insurance buyers the flexibility of buying local health insurance plans on the "open market" at more competitive prices. Expect to hear a lot more about health insurance exchanges as we get closer to the start of 2014. As of January, all aspects of the Affordable Care Act will be in full effect, including penalties for uninsured individuals.

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