Health Insurance

How & Where to Get Fast Health Coverage

Gavin Oxley
Gavin Oxley2 Aug 2021

Fast health coverage is sometimes needed in the case of an unexpected or emergent health care need. In the case that you do not have an employer-sponsored or other long-term medical insurance plan, there are some fast health coverage options you can purchase in the interim. In this article, we look at the best options that you can get quickly.

While most plans do not activate until the following day or later, Mira provides same-day health coverage and discounts that can be relied on in your time of need. For just $45 per month, you can get urgent care visits, up to an 80% discount off standard prescription prices, and same-day lab tests. Sign up and get coverage as quickly as today.

Fast Health Coverage Options

In case of an unexpected or emergent medical incident, it is best to always be covered under a medical insurance plan or have some amount of health benefits. While you can plan primary care check-ups or vaccination appointments, there are often instances where a true medical emergency suddenly arises and you will need a reliable coverage option.

Some instances where you may need fast health coverage may include:

  • Heart Attacks/Chest Pain
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Broken, Fractured, Sprained, or Dislocated Bone
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Cuts or Lacerations

Some urgent medical conditions can be treated at your local urgent care, but if a medical issue presents a serious threat of death, call 911 and seek care at an emergency room immediately.

The most common fast health coverage options are: 

  1. COBRA
  2. Medicaid & CHIP
  3. Mira's Care Membership

1. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

If you have been previously covered under an employer-sponsored medical insurance plan but have been laid off, fired, or resigned you may be eligible for COBRA. Paying COBRA premiums will extend the same coverage and benefits as offered under your previous plan. This plan may be beneficial if you were satisfied with your previous plan and can afford the expensive premiums.

An individual’s employer-sponsored plan will be active until the end of the month after they have officially left their previous job. You will have 60 days after the end of the previous plan to activate COBRA and pay the first premium. 

If you did not initially purchase COBRA but need fast health coverage, you can request COBRA and pay the premium within 60 days for it to work retroactively. Your COBRA plan will cover all of the unpaid medical expenses within the 60-day window. 

COBRA will also cover all dependents on the previous employer-sponsored plan but will not include any persons, not on the previous plan. The cost of COBRA will often vary but will never cost more than the full premium and a 2% service charge. Other plans may be more feasible if you are purchasing coverage on a budget.

2. Medicaid & CHIP

Government plans may be a viable option if you are able to qualify for coverage. Several options are made increasingly available but often vary by state. These plans don’t generally make a decision quickly but typically cover you back to the date of your application, or even beforehand if you qualify. 

Government Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are both available to individuals who are low-income. Medicaid is able to provide short-term coverage, or occasionally long-term coverage, depending on your eligibility.

If your household modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) falls below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL), you are likely eligible for Medicaid. In some states, Medicaid has been expanded to those under 138% of the FPL. If you fall below 100% of the FPL, you will not qualify for income-based Medicaid.

Keep in mind that only about 70% of medical providers accept federal Medicaid. Care locations may be less available depending on your area if you choose to enroll in Medicaid.

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3. Mira’s Care Membership

A new option for short-term health coverage is a healthcare membership through Mira. While Mira is not full medical insurance, purchasing an affordable care membership can offset the expensive costs of urgent care visits, prescriptions, and lab tests.

As opposed to other healthcare benefits or insurance, care memberships through Mira will activate benefits immediately and members can schedule medical visits immediately on the Mira portal. 

To register as a member with Mira, all you need is your name, phone number, and current address or location. For short-term insurance, Mira is available for only $45 per month. If you expect to need coverage longer, Mira now offers a full-year membership for $300 or $25 per month.

Fast Health Coverage Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Understanding the options for fast health coverage may only be the first step. Here we outline some other questions related to fast coverage that come up often.

Does it matter where I seek medical care from?

If you are seeking care for a non-life-threatening medical condition, you should first go to an urgent care facility. If you are insured, you will need to call ahead and make sure that your insurance is accepted at that location.

If you have a care membership with Mira, you can easily locate centers that accept Mira and schedule appointments all on Mira’s Care Portal. Coverage begins the moment that you sign up and become a member.

If you are experiencing a life-threatening medical condition, you are not required to call ahead and check insurance compatibility. Insurance providers are not allowed to charge you more for seeking emergency care at an out-of-network ER or hospital. 

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Should I purchase short-term insurance before I need it?

You may want to consider purchasing short-term insurance in advance of an emergency so that it is available and less of a hassle to try and find coverage when an emergency occurs. It is almost always more cost-effective to purchase insurance or other health benefits than to pay one medical bill out-of-pocket.

Do I have to report household and income changes?

Yes. Providing this information may change your eligibility for certain plans including Medicaid and CHIP. 

With Mira, you do not have to meet certain income requirements as you would for federal or state-administered programs. You are also free to cancel at any time.

Bottom Line

Being able to understand how and where to access fast health coverage may be essential to saving money when experiencing an urgent medical situation. Determining your needs and maintaining coverage are both essential steps in the process. Alternatives to health insurance, like Mira, will generally get you coverage faster than any other option.

Gavin Oxley

Gavin is a 4th Year student at the University of Virginia, studying Medical Anthropology, Ethics, & Care as well as Environmental Science. He is passionate about providing healthcare resources and proper education in order to promote life and health for all.