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Glossary of Health Insurance Terms To Know


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With health insurance, an extension is a continuation of health insurance, for a set period of time beyond the termination of a policy, for claims relating to health conditions for which the insurer was paying claims before termination of the policy.  An extension does not cover medical conditions which appear after the termination of a health insurance policy.

Extensions do not generally receive a lot of publicity because insureds do not pay extra for them. In a sense, extensions are free to the insured because no additional premiums have to be paid during the period of the extension.

An extension is different from a continuation of a policy under COBRA. Under COBRA, a health insurance policy continues in force for a period of time beyond which it would otherwise have ended. A COBRA extension only stays in force as long as the premium continues to be paid. Unlike the extension discussed in this article, COBRA covers all health conditions covered by the plan, not just conditions which existed during the term of the original health insurance policy.

Extensions used to be more common than they are today.

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