Short-term Medical Insurance - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Short-term Medical Insurance?

Answer:  Short-term Medical Insurance (STM) is health insurance designed to provide
comparable medical care protection for sickness or injuries to a permanent health insurance or HMO for a defined period of time.

Are office visits covered?

Answer: Yes. Doctors' visits are covered for all eligible medically necessary conditions.

Is an annual physical covered?

Answer: NO. STM is not designed to cover wellness benefits. It is to be used only when you are sick or hurt

How long does it take before I'm accepted?

Answer: The nice thing about short-term medical coverage is that there is no underwriting  before the company issues your policy. If you meet the plans eligibility requirements by being under age 65 and being able to answer "no" to the health questions, you are automatically accepted. Your effective date of your policy can begin within 24 hours of your  on-line application or the day after the post-mark on your mailed application if you wish, your policy can be either mailed to you or e-mailed to you for a reduced cost

How do I choose an STM plan?

Not all STM plans are created equally. Look at the benefits versus the cost. Make sure the company underwriting the plan is solid. Some plans do not cover prescriptions and some plans have many more limitations and exclusions. Some are easier to qualify for than others.    

Choose the plan that offers the most benefits for the least cost that you can qualify for by being able to answer "NO" to all the health questions asked. The John Alden/ Assurant Short-term Medical Plan and the Time/Assurant plan, offered here provides the most coverage for the cost with the fewest restrictions and is the largest provider of short-term medical insurance, individual medical insurance and small group medical insurance in the country. 

You'll find your average cost per month
with the John Alden Short-term medical plan is
the least expensive for the most protection if you choose coverage for six months or less and pay using the single pay option which is what we always recommend to our clients. You'll end up with out of pocket protection that is twice as good as with a 12 month plan and the cost is about half as much. You'll also save 30% as compared to choosing the six month plan and paying monthly for it instead of with a single payment.

How do I apply for STM?

Answer: Applying for STM is easy. You can apply on-line and get quotes, by clicking the logos below


Underwritten By 

 or print-out brochures and applications
and mail in your application or, we can mail you  brochures, applications and rates.

All you do is complete the simple one page application and send payment. With John Alden/Time/Fortis/Assurant
you'll save and extra 30% if you pay for the entire period you need with a single payment. You can pay by check, money-order or credit card.  

How much does STM cost?

In Rhode Island the cost  for a short-term medical plan that lasts for 6 months or less can be as little as half what a permanent plan would cost that has a deductible that is 4 times as large. Across the board, the cost is generally less than for permanent coverage but pre-existing conditions and maternity are not covered as they can be with a permanent plan..

Make sure if you need coverage for not more than 6 months (or if you want to take advantage of the lower rate for the 6 month plan) enter in "up to 6 months" on the on-line quote page. If you select not sure, you will be charged a higher rate.

You can save 30% of the cost of the plan if you pay with the single payment method. choose this method only if you know there is no chance you will be offered other coverage during the time period you select as there are no pro-rated refunds given. If there is a chance you may be offered other coverage sooner and won't need coverage for the entire length of time choose

paying with a single payment for a 185 day period for an average cost breakdown of only $88 and change a month. For free on-line quotes click here.

Which deductible should I choose?

In the case of  the John Alden/Fortis STM plan the $500 deductible for most age groups seems to provide the better value since the $250 deductible costs sometimes close to that much or MORE and all you get for it is $250 more protection. If you never use the insurance and you choose the $250 deductible you will have to pay the higher price for the extra $250 of protection (which could be $250 or more). If you choose the $500 deductible and don't file a claim you get to keep your money. If you DO file a claim, all it costs you is $250 more out-of-pocket than you are responsible for AFTER you use it. for those over age 40, the $1000 deductible seems to offer the most coverage for the money

What is co-insurance and which one, 80/20 or 50/50 should I choose?

Answer: Co-insurance is the percentage of the next $10,000 of medical bills that you share
with the insurance company for a 6 month plan or $25,000 for a 12 month plan after you meet the deductible. After that the insurance company pays 100% . For example if you choose a $500 deductible and 80/20 coinsurance and a six month plan and have a big accident with $50,000 in total eligible medical expenses, you would be responsible for the first $500 and then 20% of the next $10,000 which is $2000. Together,
(500 + 2000 = 2500) you would be responsible for $2500 out of the total $50,000. The insurance company would pay $47,500.

Will any doctor take the card?

Answer: Yes! The good news is that unlike many permanent plans, there are NO PRIMARY
CARE PHYSICIAN OR NETWORK REQUIREMENTS with short-term medical plans you will learn about through us. John Alden is no exception to this and in addition, provides discounts to certificate holders using members in the Private Health Care Systems Preferred Provider Organization, the largest PPO in the country,  which nearly 4000 hospitals and 400,000 providers participate in.Their website is

What happens when the policy ends?

Most people choose STM insurance because they are temporarily between plans
and need health insurance protection before the new permanent plan starts. However,
if something happens and your permanent plan doesn't start when you expect, after your STM plan expires, you can apply for a new policy and as long as you can again answer no
to the health questions and did not file a claim on the prior policy. 

What about pre-existing conditions?

If you have a pre-existing condition, that requires ongoing treatment or if you have had recent medical treatment within the last year - with John Alden (or sometimes going back several years with other companies), treatment for this condition while insured under your STM plan would NOT be covered. However you may still qualify for coverage if you can answer "no" to the questions on the application. In this case you would simply pay for the treatment for the pre-existing condition, such as allergies for example, and the insurance would cover anything new that developed while you were insured.

More Questions? Please ask. Feel free to call us at 1-888-848-7708 or e-mail us your question. Please include your phone number in your message as  we can assist you and make certain your question is answered (and you understand the answer), more quickly and efficiently over the phone.