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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Short term medical insurance eligibility

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: My medical insurance is great because I can use any doctor and the premium is low because I use a high deductible. But the policy expires in six months. Can I get another policy immediately to continue the coverage?

A: Short term medical insurance policies are usually issued in lengths of 6 months, 12 months or 36 months. Everyone who meets the conditions listed below is eligible for coverage. You may generally reapply for consecutive policies without limitation for as long as you wish, but there are a few exceptions to this rule: 1 - Colorado residents may be covered by no more than 2 of the same short term medical policies within a 12 month period. 2 - Idaho residents can re-apply for the same insurance only after a 63 day break in coverage. 3 - Maryland and Michigan residents can be covered by short term medical insurance for a maximum of 12 consecutive months. 4 - The brand of insurance called "American Health Shield" and some short term medical policies issued by Blue Shield also limit eligibility to a maximum of 12 consecutive months. * If you face one of these limitations, the answer is simply to switch the type of insurance. Alternates are listed on a state-by-state basis at There is more than one type of low cost health insurance available in each state, so simply change carriers to comply with the eligibility requirements. The other eligibility requirements for coverage are: 1 - Other overlapping health insurance is not allowed 2 - Must answer "no" to the medical questions 3 - Must be a U.S. resident under age 65 with a social security number and a street address other than in MA, NJ, NY, or VT.


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