There are alternatives to employer-based group plans, government subsidies, or government health insurance programs if you do not have an employer or qualify for a subsidy or government plan. Read on to learn about options like short-term health insurance, special insurance for students and “catastrophic” coverage.
You may be eligible for a catastrophic plan if you are younger than 30 years of age or have a hardship exemption. Catastrophic insurance plans have very low premiums because the coverage is meant for emergencies only.
A hardship exemption could include:
- Being homeless or facing foreclosure or eviction from your home.
- The utility company sending you a notice of shut-off for nonpayment.
- A death in the family.
- Experiencing domestic violence.
- Going through a human-caused or natural disaster.
- Having substantial medical debt or filing for bankruptcy.
- Having increasing expenses because of caring for a needy family member.
You can also apply for short-term health insurance. Short-term coverage has lower premiums because they are temporary and do not provide the same coverage as standard plans.
It is also easier and more convenient to apply for short-term coverage since you can enroll any time of year, not just in December.
You might be able to get special student insurance if your school, college, or university provides a sponsored plan. This coverage may be limited to medical services on campus.
Insurance providers also sell student-focused plans to individuals who are between 17 and 29 years of age. Premiums are often less because deductibles and copayments are higher.
However, you likely do not see doctors as frequently at this age. Certain health insurance providers can work within your budget to find a policy that fits your needs.