Competing for top talent in a contracted labor market often means going the extra mile with benefits packages. Sometimes effective competition includes offering a short-term medical insurance benefit. We have noticed a growing number of companies looking at this benefit in recent months.
Short-term medical insurance may not be right if your company is struggling to provide traditional health insurance coverage. But if you are looking for an extra benefit that could help you land the top talent in your industry, short-term medical could be the ticket. Figuring it out starts with understanding just what short-term medical insurance is. To that end, here are five things you should know about it:
1. Is is intended to Be Gap Insurance
Short-term medical coverage is intended to act as gap insurance during transition periods. Federal law requires employers to offer extended coverage in the event of termination through the COBRA program. But all COBRA does is allow terminated employees to continue purchasing health insurance through the company plan until their new insurance kicks in. Short-term medical insurance is quite different.
Short-term medical insurance is not a COBRA program. It is a separate insurance policy that can carry employees from one health insurance plan to another. It is insurance that can give employees access to more medical providers in the event that their employer's standard plan is limited to a specific network.
2. There is No Open Enrollment Period
Unlike traditional health insurance coverage, short-term medical insurance does not involve any particular enrollment period. That means you can sign up employees at any time. This is a great benefit if you're looking to provide medical insurance to new employees not eligible for your standard plan. It is also a great benefit to offer if you know that your company will be looking at layoffs in the near future.
3. Coverage Options Are More Flexible
By law, qualifying healthcare plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also come with mandated coverages. For example, all qualifying policies include maternity coverage. You may not need such coverage for whatever reason. You do not need to have it with short-term medical insurance. As a general rule, short-term medical insurance is a lot more flexible in what it does and does not cover.
4. Coverage May Be Limited
Even though short-term medical insurance tends to be more flexible, it also tends to be more limited as well. The lack of coverage for pre-existing conditions is a good example. Where the ACA mandates that qualifying health insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions, no such mandate applies to short-term medical insurance. A person with a pre-existing condition may not be able to find a short-term medical insurance provider willing to offer a policy.
5. Coverage is Affordable
Finally, your typical short-term medical insurance plan is a high deductible plan. As such, it offers lower monthly premiums as well. This is good for both employer and employee in that it makes obtaining health insurance coverage more affordable.
If your company is interested in offering short-term medical insurance as an added benefit to employees, we urge you to contact us to inquire about our innovative health insurance solutions. We work with the nation's top insurance providers to create innovative solutions for companies of all sizes. In addition to short-term medical insurance, be sure to ask about our ACA compliance service and our access to affordable worker's comp policies.
Short-term medical insurance might be just the benefit you need to compete for top talent. If you are not offering it, rest assured that some of your rivals are.