National Insurance Direct

Do You Need Information About Short Term Health Insurance Plans?

Short term health insurance plans can fill gaps in your health insurance coverage. Here’s more information on short-term health insurance.

An added stress has come into your life after recently losing a job or switching jobs–you’ve lost your health insurance. No one wants to go through life without health insurance; you’ll never know when the worst can happen. 

Having health insurance you need means getting the appropriate medical care for acute and chronic conditions. It also means avoiding being saddled with debilitating medical debt. 

Read on to learn all about short term health insurance plans and whether they’re the right option for you! 

What Are Short Term Health Insurance Plans? 

Short term insurance plans are exactly what the names describe; they’re alternative health insurance options that are shorter than traditional health insurance. They are made to help fill the gaps in coverage that come from: 


  • Losing a job
  • Waiting for coverage to begin
  • Waiting for Medicare eligibility
  • Turning 26 and losing parents’ insurance
  • Being without health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment window

The best part about short term insurance plans is that you can sign-up for them at any time during the year. This is important because they’re meant to give you coverage in emergency situations when you can’t apply for traditional health insurance.


You can also cancel short term health insurance plans whenever you want without penalties, which is important if you’re simply waiting for the health insurance for another employer to kick in. 


What Do Short Term Plans Cover? 

Just like a traditional health insurance plan, the coverage of short term health plans depends on the insurance company and the type of plan you’re purchasing. However, they’re not bound by the ACA requirements such as guaranteed issue or coverage requirements.


This means that insurance companies can deny you coverage based on preexisting conditions, and you’ll need to answer some medical questions in order to apply. They also don’t need to offer the 10 essential health benefits that ACA health insurance plans guarantee, so you’ll need to read the fine print for each plan you find to make sure that it offers the coverage you need.


You’ll find that most short term plans have some coverage for:


How Much Does Short Term Insurance Cost? 

The cost of your health insurance plan also depends on the company and the kind of plan you buy. However, the majority of short term plan premiums are far less than plans you can find on the ACA marketplace. This is largely due to the fact that these plans aren’t required to be as comprehensive as traditional health insurance.


For families and individuals that are relatively healthy and above the income threshold for subsidies and other discounts, this makes short term insurance plans an attractive option to save hundreds of dollars each year.  


Here are a few items you’ll need to take into account when estimating the cost of your plan: 


Monthly Cost


There will always be a monthly premium depending on the level of coverage you’ve chosen. Younger people who are relatively healthy can enjoy lower than average premiums for plans similar to catastrophic coverage. 




Because the monthly costs can be low, you may have a high deductible. This means that until you reach that deductible, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket for all of your health services and prescriptions. 




Short term medical plans usually come with a coinsurance rate as well. This is the percentage of the costs you’ll share with your plan after you reach your deductible. 




You’ll still need to pay a fee each time you visit a healthcare provider, though some visits may be exempt. This can be higher or lower depending on your monthly premium. 


Out-of-Pocket Costs


You’ll also need to take into account your plan’s coverage of certain services. For instance, some plans won’t pay for mental health care, maternity care, or dental visits. If any of these are important to you in the near future, then it’s important that you find a plan that does provide coverage.  


History of Short Term Health Plans

Before 2017, short term plans were defined by the federal government has a health plan that lasted less than one year. However, in 2017 the rules changed so that short-term plans were limited to three months or less.


The Obama administration wanted to make sure that the short term plans were being used for what they were intended; brief coverage in lieu of better coverage later on.


Later in 2018, the rules changed again. Short term health plans can now have terms of up to 364 days. They can also be renewed for a total of three years. The best part is you can apply to have your plan automatically renewed so that you can stay covered for the full three years without needing to reapply. 


As of 2020, you aren’t able to purchase short term health plans in these states: 


  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont 
  • Connecticut 
  • Mexico 

Affordable Insurance Option for You and Your Family

Short term health insurance plans are generally more affordable compared to ACA plans, especially if you aren’t able to receive any subsidies or benefits for applying to traditional insurance. These plans are flexible options that are great for families on a budget, individuals who are in-between jobs, and young adults who are being removed from their parents’ health insurance plans. 


Since short term plans aren’t required to give the comprehensive coverage that the ACA typically mandates, you’ll need to read the fine print and make sure the plan you choose gives you the coverage you require. 


Ready to begin applying for affordable health insurance plans? Contact us today and receive a quote in as little as five minutes.