Understanding employee waiting periods and short-term health insurance

Most small employer health insurance plans have a 90-day waiting period. Think of it as a “probationary period.” Typically, if someone wants to be on the health plan, they need to enroll during these 90 days, and they will be covered effective on the 1st of the month after 90 days. So if someone hired on April 15 submitted their enrollment form, they would be effective on August 1 (90 days from April 15 would be mid-July, so the next 1st of the month is August 1).
If someone decides not to take coverage, they can be added only if they have a “qualifying event,” which would be stuff like marriage, divorce, losing coverage elsewhere (for example, someone covered through a spouse who then loses a job). Otherwise there is a 12-month waiting period before they can be added to the plan. (What the insurance company is trying to avoid in this situation is someone not wanting to pay for coverage, then getting sick and deciding they want it, only to drop again when they’re well. Make sense?)
Anyway, we typically suggest that someone purchase a “short-term” individual health insurance plan, which exist primarily for this reason. These plans are pretty basic and pretty cheap, but protect the new employee from some kind of catastrophic bill (if, for example, his appendix blows up he won’t get stuck with a $25,000 bill for surgery). There is limited underwriting, and the only other caveat is that pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. Here’s a link to the policy we typically recommend: https://www.quote-and-apply.com/amigo/?referid=24328
To learn more, contact us!