What Is a Health Insurance Gap?

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"Health insurance gap" refers to a gap in or loss of health insurance coverage for a period of time, or health care costs that are not paid for by a health insurance policy. Several circumstances can cause a health insurance gap.

Discontinued Employment

A gap occurs when you leave employment where you were covered under a group policy and have not yet found another job, or are not yet covered by the group policy at a new job.

College Graduation

When a college student graduates and is no longer covered under his parents' policy and is not covered under a group policy at work, there is a gap in health insurance coverage.

Co-Payments and Deductibles

Co-payments and deductibles that a person with health insurance is commonly required to pay are also considered gaps.

Temporary Coverage

Gap coverage insurance can be purchased to cover health care costs until more permanent coverage can be obtained. This type of insurance can be bought for one month or longer. Premiums commonly range from $30 to $100 per month.

COBRA Insurance

COBRA insurance can provide coverage for gaps in group health insurance for up to 18 months while you are between jobs, or until you get coverage with a new employer.

Medigap Insurance

Medigap policies are a type of gap insurance that can be purchased by people on Medicare to help pay for gaps in coverage, co-payments, and deductibles that are not covered by Medicare plans.