LifeMap started as a subsidiary of a major medical provider in 1964 and has evolved into a company that services thousands of people nationwide. Offering products such as short-term medical, dental and vision, and job-based coverage, LifeMap believes in helping its members through difficult transition periods. The company also offers discount products and services on things like alternative medicine, pet care, weight management and child health. Short-term health plans or STHPs give you flexibility and peace of mind while you’re between major medical coverage. If you need options for temporary coverage, LifeMap provides customizable choices.
All short-term medical plans offered by LifeMap include the same benefits, but there are options to personalize plans so that they fit your needs and budget. Members choose the length of coverage, the amount of the deductibles and how much they pay in coinsurance. Rates and other specific features will vary by location. For example, Idaho residents are limited to one policy per 12-month period while residents of all other states can purchase two plans per 12-month period. In Oregon and Washington, the term “spouse” includes a primary insured member’s husband, wife or domestic partner. LifeMap offers the following covered benefits with all of its STHPs:
- Trips to the emergency room
- Ambulatory or outpatient care
- Hospitalization and nurse care
- Doctor’s visits for unexpected illness or injury
- Lab testing and X-rays
- Certain cancer screenings for men and women
- Limited therapy sessions related to physical conditions
- Limited home health care services
- Rental services for durable medical equipment
- Prosthetic placements “required for functional purposes”
- Casts and necessary equipment for recovery after surgery
- Organ transplants
LifeMap offers an extensive list of benefits, but you’ll note that there are some gaps in coverage that major medical plans typically cover. Things like routine doctor’s visits, preventive care and screenings, rehabilitation for drug or alcohol abuse, and maternity care are excluded from the policy. The company excludes these and other treatments to keep costs down. In addition, none of LifeMap’s policies cover pre-existing conditions. Under the Affordable Care Act, major medical providers are required to offer a comprehensive set of covered benefits, but STHPs don’t have to comply with this rule because they don’t qualify as major medical coverage.
If you sign up for a short-term plan, understand that you won’t be meeting the ACA requirement of minimum essential coverage. When you file your taxes each year, the IRS will assess a penalty fee against you if you don’t have major medical coverage under a qualifying health plan. Still, short-term medical allows you to plan for the unexpected while you’re in transition. Whether you’re waiting for major medical to kick in at work or you’ve just moved out of your parents’ house and need temporary coverage, STHPs offer a good solution for the interim.