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Do You Need Temporary Health Insurance?

Most discussions of health insurance just assume that it will be held for a long period of time. However, sometimes there is simply a transitional period where you need to bridge the gap. Since 2008 the job market has been relatively unstable and being laid off can leave you without proper insurance coverage. For these people, temporary health insurance is usually the best option.

Short Term Coverage

Temporary health insurance is also known as short term health insurance in some circles. As the name suggests, this form of insurance is put in place for a relatively short period of time. Most policies will cover you from between 30 days and six months depending on the specific terms offered. In some cases, the term can be extended out to a full 12 months, but this is really not the purpose of this type of policy.

Why Buy Short Term Coverage?

Why would anyone want such a temporary form of health insurance? Normally you wouldn’t unless it’s only needed for a short period of time. For example, a person hired for a new job typically is not given health insurance immediately. They usually have to wait between 30 and 90 days before they can join the group policy held by the business. A temporary health insurance policy can fill this gap so that if anything happens in the interim, you are covered.

How to Get Short Term Health Insurance

Getting temporary health insurance is actually fairly easy. Since the insurance company will be covering you for such a short period of time, it is much more lenient in who it will issue policies to. You can simply access quotes online by doing searches for “short term health insurance” or by speaking with a health insurance salesperson in your area.

The application is actually very simple. You are going to list who you wished to be covered by the policy as well as their basic information. This includes their name, address, date of birth, place of work, phone number, height and weight. You will then be asked specific questions about their health including past treatments, diagnosis, surgeries and ongoing medications being taken. The terms of the policy that you are seeking will then be detailed in relation to deductible amounts and premiums. At this point, the policy is usually submitted and approved, rejected or further clarity one particular issues is sought by the insurance company. There is no need for a physical in the vast majority of cases.

The biggest issue that arises with these policies is pre-existing health conditions you might have when applying. The language of every temporary health insurance policy is different, but in general anything you have been treated for in the previous three years will be excluded from coverage. If you have a serious, ongoing medical condition, you may be better off seeking either COBRA coverage from your previous job or looking into more permanent private insurance.

When applying, it is vital that you pay close attention to the deductible terms of the policy. Most temporary health insurance has a stepped deductible plan. You will be responsible for 100 percent of the deductible up to a certain amount, then 50 percent of the costs up to a second level after which the insurance pay everything. For example, you might be required to pay all of the first $500 in medical costs incurred and then 50 percent of the next $3,500. Only after you incurred $4,000 in total fees would the insurer pay 100 percent of your ongoing medical costs. It is vital that you understand the terms of your policy so that you don’t end up buying something that doesn’t satisfy your needs.

If you are someone who currently has a Health Savings Account, you should consult the HSA Rules prior to making any changes in your health insurance coverage. In order to participate in HSAs you need to be on a high deductible health plan so it’s important to make sure you maintain the correct policy.

Temporary health insurance is designed to fill gaps in your coverage. If you need a policy to tie you over for a few months, the low cost and ease of approval make these policies a good choice.

U.S. Energy Independence By 2020?

Analysts at Raymond James today released a report outlining how the U.S. could become energy independent by as early as 2020 due to growth in domestic supply in addition to gasoline demand that has been in decline since prices spiked in 2008.

According to Ramond James analyst Pavel Molchanov, “We think there will be a disconnect in the price of U.S. (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil prices and world oil prices (Brent) similar to the current situation in Natural Gas”. One company mentioned in Pavel’s segment on CNBC was Chevron (CVX) but this will also give many industries in the United States a competitive advantage over the coming years which could also revitalize the U.S. industrial sector.

This Citi report is similar to a report I found on Motley Fool that was published in late March. Citi analysts had a similar take on the potential for Canadian Oil Sands, the Bakken Oil Field as well as a revitalization of drilling in the Gulf Of Mexico. Today we import 50% of our daily crude oil consumption and moth reports indicate that this could drop to 25% by the end of 2015 and to 0 by the end of the decade.

As far as oil and gas companies that may benefit according to the Motley Fool article, there are companies such as:

EOG Resources Inc. (EOG)
Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD)
Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP)
Valero Energy Corp. (VLO)
MarkWest Energy Partners LP. (MWE)
Sunoco Inc. (SUN)
Sunoco Logistics Partners LP (SXL)
Calpine Corp. (CPN)
KBR Inc. (KBR)
LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB)
Roper Industries Inc. (ROP)

Personally I also like to track a group of relatively small oil and gas related companies that I consider to be Bakken Oil Companies because of their concentration in that area. Since the Bakken contains a high concentration of high quality crude in addition to natural gas it has been a tremendously profitable play the past couple years and shows no sign of slowing down.

T Boone Pickens has been one of the driving forces behind the idea of converting the long haul trucking industry from diesel to compressed natural gas. This would take a lot of upward pressure out of the diesel market, which has been inflated for years by strong military and industrial demand.

Low natural gas prices and eliminating our need to import crude oil from the Middle East would be the two biggest steps the U.S. could take to get back on track to a more secure future. Since the government has been unwilling to provide any subsidies to encourage the conversion to Natural Gas let’s hope they at least don’t increase the regulatory burden. Right now, market forces are working and with no change in current policies the U.S. energy industry can lead us back to prosperity.

Gold Is Right At The Inflection Point

We are once again at the cross roads in the Gold and Silver markets. After a big drop they have been consolidating as if waiting to see what the Dollar is going to do. QE3 is off the table for now so the fast money fled the trade, I was expecting a retest of the lows made earlier this year but the markets actually seem like they want to stabilize here. The only decent support I see is that gold is testing the 50 week moving average which comes in around the $1650 area on Comex Futures. As you can see by this chart, that moving average has held any decline for the past several years including the big ones the past few months.

Gold stocks gave a nice buy signal yesterday so I was hoping that gold and silver futures would do the same thing today. So far however, it’s just a choppy day with little direction. Traders seem to be waiting to see if the dollar rally fizzles out here. That will be what saves the day for the precious metals!