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Short term medical insurance in 2023. What is short term health insurance?

Short term medical insurance

Short term medical insurance, also known as short term health insurance, can provide temporary medical coverage under certain circumstances.

These temporary health insurance plans include different features compared to standard health plans.

In this guide to short term medical insurance, we will examine what it is, when you might need it, its benefits, and if it’s the right choice for you.

Table of contents

  • What is short term medical insurance?
  • Who is eligible for short term medical insurance?
  • What does short term medical insurance cover?
  • What are the pros of short term medical insurance?
  • What are the cons of short term medical insurance?
  • Will short term medical insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
  • Is short term medical insurance the right choice for me?
  • How can I buy a short term medical insurance plan?
  • The best short term insurance plan
  • Short term medical insurance cost

What is short term medical insurance?

As the name implies, short-term medical insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides temporary medical coverage, usually from a few months up to a year.

It is particularly useful when you’re switching health plans and when you need coverage in an emergency.

Short-term health insurance generally isn’t regulated, and it’s not your average insurance plan. Typically, these plans don’t have to meet any minimum health benefits.

Therefore, short-term plans don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions. These plans are designed for the temporary needs of healthy people.

Generally, these plans have caps on how much they will pay for certain services.

Short-term plans make good options for the following scenarios.

  • Retirees who aren’t yet eligible for pension plans
  • Recent graduates and young adults leaving their parents’ plans
  • Those between jobs or waiting for an employer-based insurance
  • The uninsured or those finding it hard to obtain cover

Who is eligible for short term medical insurance?

Like most standard health insurance, you can buy a short-term health insurance plan if you meet the criteria and pass the insurance company’s medical underwriting.

Underwriting determines your health status so the insurance company can decide how much coverage you need, with what exclusions, and how much to charge you.

You must usually be above and under a certain age bracket and in relatively good health.

Most short-term health insurance plans are straightforward. In most cases, you apply as you would any standard plan and start paying for coverage.

You will need to answer questions about your medical conditions (if any) and state whether you have a pre-existing condition.

What does short term medical insurance cover?

As these policies are not standard or regulated, short-term medical insurance coverage varies significantly between insurers depending on their policy terms.

Short-term medical insurance typically covers doctor visits, emergency care, or preventive and urgent care. In addition, some coverage may include prescriptions.

To understand a short-term plan, make sure to check for any “exclusions and limitations” before making a commitment.

In summary, short-term health insurance generally covers the following:

  • Preventative medical care
  • Inpatient medical prescriptions
  • Unexpected medical needs (i.e., emergency hospitalization and surgery)

What does short-term health insurance not cover?

As noted, short-term health insurance doesn’t have to cover pre-existing conditions, unlike standard medical insurance.

In addition, most short-term plans aren’t required to cover maternity care, mental health care, or substance abuse treatment.

Also, this type of insurance generally doesn’t include prescription coverage, with the exception of hospital stays. However, you may be able to get prescription drugs with a discount.

What are the pros of short term medical insurance?

There are many pros and cons of short-term health insurance.

Here are some of the pros you can consider when deciding if a short-term health insurance policy is right for you.

  • Short term health insurance fills gaps in coverage when you need it
  • You can get insured for up to a year if that timeframe works best for you
  • You can usually cancel this type of coverage without penalties
  • Preventative benefits can sometimes be included in your policy
  • Some short-term health plans may cover your pre-existing health condition
  • Depending on the insurance company, customizable packages may be available
  • You will be covered if an expensive emergency occurs and you are in between coverage

What are the cons of short term medical insurance?

Here are some of the cons you can consider when deciding if a short-term health insurance policy is right for you.

There may be age restrictions for temporary health coverage

  • Short-term health insurance plans aren’t always readily available
  • Short-term plans have significantly higher deductibles than standard plans
  • You may have to cover out-of-pocket fees before the short-term benefits begin
  • Coverage plans vary as there are no mandated or standard plans
  • You may need to complete a medical questionnaire to be approved for coverage
  • Policies may include strict limitations, like limited coverage for pre-existing conditions

After weighing up all of the pros and cons of short-term medical insurance, it’s a good idea to compare them to other temporary plans.

Will short term medical insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Short-term health plans are not regulated, so they do not need to comply with legal standards.

It’s uncommon to find short-term health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions.

Typically, you may be denied coverage or a claim for payment of your medical treatment for an issue you’ve previously been treated for.

Sometimes, conditions that were not diagnosed before you signed up for the plan may also be denied.

Like any insurance, you might be denied short-term insurance due to your current health status or medical history.

The insurers may still accept you based on your medical history, but your premiums may be more expensive.

Chronic conditions make up most of the pre-existing conditions. Some of these conditions include the following:

  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Maternity
  • Chronic fatigue
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Some insurers generally consider pre-existing conditions within the last six months to five years.

If you purchase a new short-term policy (or renew one) after the first policy expires, it may not cover new conditions that developed in the meantime.

Generally, people who remain in good health can renew as often as they’d like. Those who are not in good health are typically denied insurance or sometimes charged extra.

Is short term medical insurance the right choice for me?

Short-term medical insurance is ideal for certain situations but may not be suitable for you in the long run.

There are some situations in which a short-term health plan could prove to be invaluable. Some of these situations include the following:

  • Your age bracket is not eligible for another plan
  • You missed the opportunity to gain another health plan
  • You resigned from your job, or you were fired
  • A severe injury has left you unable to work, and you need emergency coverage

Generally, you should check what a plan covers to ensure it’s right for you.

Remember to look for exclusions. Some plans don’t cover hospital bills for weekend admittance, a visit related to alcohol, or an injury resulting from risky activities.

Look out for the waiting period (the duration before coverage begins.) Waiting periods vary drastically, anywhere from one week to months.

Note: Plans often have a three-month expiry date but can be renewed for up to three years.

How can I buy a short term medical insurance plan?

Short-term medical insurance is generally sold through most private insurance companies, but not all companies offer it.

To buy a short-term plan, you need to find a private insurance company that offers them.

Remember, some companies may provide alternatives to short-term insurance that may better suit your needs. You can speak with an insurance agent to know your options.

The best short-term insurance plan

Short-term health insurance isn’t for everyone, but if you are considering this insurance option, it’s wise to shop around for various quotes.

You may find an alternative option that is better suited to you than most short-term plans.

You only have to rely on short-term coverage in particular circumstances, and if it is right for you, factor in the following to ensure you choose the best plan for your needs.

  • Be sure to check the deductible and how much coverage is provided before the deductible is met. Ask yourself if you can cover the cost of the deductible for yourself.
  • Check your copay and ensure it’s within your budget.
  • If you are in need of medical treatment, check if the plan covers prescriptions. Otherwise, you may need to pay for medications yourself.
  • Lastly, ensure you check if the plan is renewable or that it meets your time requirements, depending on how long you need it.

Short term medical insurance cost

Short-term medical insurance tends to be cheaper than standard health plans.

However, your short-term insurance cost will vary depending on your needs. The price of temporary insurance fluctuates based on the following:


The deductibles on temporary plans can be higher than other traditional plans. You pay for the services until you meet your deductible.


This is the fee you pay (monthly or otherwise) for having coverage. The premium amount depends on the amount of coverage you choose, including deductible and coinsurance.


This is the amount you share with your plan after you meet your deductible. Most short-term health plans have a deductible and coinsurance.


This includes fees for doctor visits that you may be required to pay.

Other costs you pay

If your short-term plan has limits and exclusions, you could end up paying all other costs for your healthcare.

Suppose your plan does not cover mental health, maternity, or dental care. You would need to cover these healthcare costs yourself.

Other costs may apply depending on the coverage. Read the terms of a plan carefully before choosing so you have an idea of the costs.

Short term medical insurance quote

Why choose Pitsas Insurances for your medical insurance needs?

  • 35 years of insurance expertise
  • Flexible pricing to suit your budget
  • Family packages available
  • Whole-life policies can be provided
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions (upon some conditions)
  • Access to the best clinics in Cyprus and abroad
  • Wide variety of contracts from Cypriot and international companies
  • Quick settlement of claims

To find out more about our medical insurance plans, see our website.

To apply for a hassle-free quote, see here.

Pitsas Insurances Team

Limassol, Cyprus

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Contact [email protected] or
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