The plans feature a choice of deductibles to help keep premiums more affordable

UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance has launched two new short term health insurance plans in North Carolina and West Virginia, to meet people’s needs for more flexible and cost-effective approaches to coverage.

Reportedly, Golden Rule’s new short term medical plus and short term medical value plans are designed to bridge gaps in health insurance coverage for workers between jobs who find COBRA too costly or who aren’t eligible for COBRA, new graduates looking for work, students dropping off their parents’ plans, new employees not yet covered by employer plans, early retirees awaiting Medicare eligibility and others whose lives are in time of transition.

The company has said that the consumers in North Carolina and West Virginia can choose from one to 12 months of coverage with either of Golden Rule’s new short term plans. Consumers can then apply for additional months of coverage and consecutive short term plans.

Other advantages to consumers include: Choice of two plans: short term medical plus offers a per-term deductible between $250 and $10,000 and is ideal for consumers seeking predictable out-of-pocket expenses; short term medical value offers a per-cause deductible between $250 and $5,000 and is Golden Rule’s cost-effective short term coverage; network discounts on medical care of up to 40% or more before the deductible is met. Consumers have access to UnitedHealthcare’s network of approximately 590,000 physicians and care professionals and more than 4,900 hospitals nationwide; flexibility to discontinue coverage at any time without penalty and have the unused premium returned; ability to apply for consecutive short term coverage after the initial short term plan expires; and choice of payment options, including direct monthly billing.

Richard Collins, CEO of Golden Rule, said: “Especially in today’s economy, there is a need for budget-conscious health plans for individuals and families who suddenly find themselves without health insurance through work or school. Life circumstances can change quickly, and with these new plans, we want to give consumers a choice of plan designs, deductibles, months of coverage and payment options so individuals can decide what will best meet their family’s current situation”

“While most people understand the importance of having health care coverage, many consumers new to the individual market don’t know that there are lower-cost, quality health plans available and how to find them,” he added.