Short term vs Long term Insurance

This article is designed to help you decide whether you need a short or long term insurance, by explaining the benefits, length of coverage and purpose of each.


When you are looking to buy either a long term or short term, there are two basic questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How long will you need health insurance coverage?

If you want insurance coverage for less than a year, then you would need a short term insurance. Long term plans are meant to be renewed annually, giving you the opportunity to keep the same plan for longer period of time.

  • What benefits do you want to be covered?

Depending on your needs, like any pre-existing conditions, or if you are planning to get pregnant any time soon, you would need a plan that covers such; normally a long term plan will comply with those needs. If on the other hand, you just want your doctor’s office visits to be covered and any general coverage, then a short term would be better.


Short Term Insurance


What is it?

Typically, short term health insurance plans are called travel plans. These policies are designed to cover general medical and travel expenses for a given period of time. In these plans you can choose your own policy maximum and deductible, to make it easier for you to stay within your budget.


For who?

These plans work well for individuals and families who will be traveling away from their home country and want general coverage. These plans are also great for individuals who travel abroad frequently, because these plans normally cover lost luggage or trip cancellation. They are also great for students going on study abroad for less than a year.  


What does it/ does not offer?

Since these plans are normally short term, they do not include coverage for pregnancies, mental health or pre-existing conditions. These plans will, on the other hand, provide coverage for illness, accidents, hospital stays, doctor visits; they also include travel benefits such as lost luggage or trip interruption.



These plans are normally not renewable and are offered for a daily rate, this way the person buying travel insurance can buy it for the exact period of time they need. The cost varies by age, places to include coverage, and specific benefits.


If you need more information on travel insurance plans/short term plans, please visit (HYPERLINK).


Long Term Insurance


What is it?

Long term insurances also called major medical plans, are renewable every year and are designed in such a way that you stay with the same plan a for a long period of time. Given that these plans are meant to be kept for a long time, you will have to be medically underwritten- meaning you will have to answer questions about your health. These plans do not allow you to choose your deductible or policy maximum, these plans are less flexible, but normally offer better benefits and higher policy maximums.


For who?

These plans work well for individuals expatriates and families that need coverage for at least a year. They are also popular among international students, that way they can keep the same plan throughout their studies. If you are someone with pre-existing conditions and need them to be covered or if you are planning to get pregnant then you should probably get a long term plan, since these can be added.


What does it/ does not cover?

These plans are normally pricier than the travel medical plans, but they offer more and better benefits than a travel plan. For example, these plans cover pre-existing conditions and maternity. No health insurance plan will cover every medical bill, but major medical plans are the ones that cover the most.



We all know that health costs in the US are super expensive, however having a major medical insurance will not leave you bankrupt. Depending on many different variables is the premium for your plan determined. Remember, insurance companies look at age, location, conditions, and benefits.


To make it easier for you guys to decide which is better, below you will find a comparison of our plans.



Please contact the Global4Students customer support team at (305) 377-8999 or at [email protected], to verify information regarding your visa type and university.