If you read it quickly enough, you would think that it is referring to the miniature doppelganger of Dr. Evil in the action-comedy-satire franchise Austin Powers. And you may not be far wrong. Mini-medical health insurance certainly leaves a lot of areas uncovered in health insurance, so that it is somewhat “short” in providing the coverage an average person needs to feel reasonably secure.
Mini-med health insurance is sometimes referred to as a “skinny” plan because it is bare-bones health insurance offered by small businesses to their employees instead of no health coverage at all. It is designed for those workers who have no other health insurance and is typically offered to employees in restaurants, light industrial, and retail industries. These plans may be either co-pay or indemnity plans; both are limited when it comes to hospitalization, prescription drugs, and physician fees. Under co-pay plans, the covered individual pays for a portion of any claim, while under indemnity plans there are no co-payments or deductibles, but the coverage is limited to certain services, and both types have annual caps ranging anywhere between $2,000 and $25,000.
A major characteristic of mini-med health insurance is that it will not cover catastrophic health issues, and few have the potential to cover more than 60% of the insured’s medical expenses. Even then, some insurance companies who offer these mini-med health insurance policies for admittedly low premiums are just as likely to deny or delay coverage as those who provide comprehensive insurance coverage. This can be a serious problem for people who availed of mini-med health insurance precisely because they have no other coverage. To unreasonably deny or delay what little help these policies can provide in a medical situation is such a good example of insurance bad faith that it justifies bringing in an insurance lawyer to sue both for the breach of contract and the good faith covenant.