Should I get Short-term Health Insurance?
Short term health insurance is a good choice for people who are in between coverage options, are exempt from the mandate to buy insurance, or want catastrophic health coverage outside of open enrollment. Although it doesn’t protect you from the fee for not having health insurance, it does protect you from facing a medical catastrophe without insurance.
Common Reasons to Get Short Term Health Insurance:
Waiting for employer group coverage to start
Waiting for Marketplace coverage to start
Traveling outside of network area
A recent college graduate
A temporary or seasonal employee
A dependent no longer covered under parents plan
on strike, laid-off, or a terminating employee
Remember that short term coverage doesn’t exempt you from the per month fee for not having insurance, it just covers some of your health care costs.
Pros and Cons of Short Term Health Insurance
The pros and cons of short term health insurance are pretty simple to understand. Short term plans typically offer a low premium and decent cost coverage in exchange for not having to follow the rules set forth by the Affordable Care Act.
Here are some benefits of short term health insurance plans
- Low cost health insurance
- Approval as early as tomorrow
- 30 – 90 days of coverage (depending on your state, some states offer a maximum benefit period of 180 days)
- Help bridge gaps in times of transition
Here are some downsides of short term health insurance plans
- Doesn’t cover preexisting conditions
- Doesn’t count as minimum essential coverage (i.e. you still owe the fee for not having insurance)
- Doesn’t provide essential health benefits of ObamaCare
- Primarily acts as catastrophic coverage
- Limited selection of doctors
- You can’t get ObamaCare cost assistance with a short term health insurance plan
- Having this coverage may prevent you from getting COBRA or HIPPA
Short Term Health Plans and Preexisting Conditions
Short term health insurance doesn’t cover preexisting conditions. The definition of a preexisting condition varies by state, but, in general, short term health insurance policies exclude coverage for conditions that have been diagnosed or treated within the previous 2 to 5 years. Please be aware that you can be dropped from short term coverage or denied payment on claims if you try to get treated for medical condition you didn’t disclose when you purchased your insurance. This is not true for ObamaCare-compliant major medical plans sold after 2014, only for short term health plans, grandfathered health plans, and other supplemental plans.
Are Short Term Plans “Junk” Insurance?
Short term health plans, or temporary health plans, have been called “junk” health insurance (along with other non-ObamaCare compliant plans like fixed benefit plans). The term “junk” health insurance is harsh. While it’s true that a short term plan’s coverage doesn’t compare to the benefits, rights and protections offered by major medical, they could offer great protections and savings to a shopper who understands the product.
Major Medical vs. Short Term
Major medical plans sold after 2014 must be ObamaCare-compliant (guarantee issue, cover preexisting conditions, offer minimum benefits, protect against the fee for not having insurance) and offer comprehensive coverage including ten essential benefits. Short term plans generally focus on catastrophic coverage and aren’t ObamaCare-compliant.
Short Term Coverage and COBRA
Short Term and HIPPA
If you are eligible for any guaranteed issue individual health plans, commonly referred to as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) plans, purchasing a short term medical insurance plan will prevent you from qualifying for HIPPA plans.
Does Short Term Health Insurance Cover Me For ObamaCare?
No, most short term health insurance options will not count as minimum essential coverage.
Can I Buy Short Term Plans Through the Health Insurance Marketplace?
Although catastrophic coverage options exist on the marketplace, private companies sell short term plans to certain groups of young adults exclusively outside the marketplace.
Does Temporary Health Insurance Cost More?
In general, short term plans will cost less than regular plans, however you must take into account the fact that you may owe the per month fee for not having health insurance and will not be able to get cost assistance subsidies with the short term policy.
Can I Be Denied Short Term Health Insurance?
You and each family member can be denied short term health insurance. This can mean that only some family members are able to get covered this way, so keep that in mind. Typically denials and increased premium costs are health related based on pre-existing conditions, and are due to perceived risk by the insurer.
Can I get Cost Assistance on Temporary Health Insurance?
You can only get cost assistance by enrolling in a qualifying plan on the health insurance marketplace during open enrollment. Temporary coverage is not available on the marketplace and isn’t a qualifying health plan.
Americans who don’t qualify for cost assistance or have missed open enrollment may consider temporary insurance as a viable option to ensure they have health coverage until they are eligible for other insurance options. If you are switching jobs, and can’t afford or don’t want to get COBRA, a temporary coverage option may make sense.
Should I Get Temporary Health Insurance?
Whether or not temporary health insurance makes sense for you depends upon your intentions and specific situation. If you have read and understand the information on this page you should have a good idea as to whether short term coverage makes sense for you.
IHC Short Term Insurance
UnitedHealth Short-Term Insurance
National General Short Term Medical
What does short-term health insurance cover?
Short-term health insurance is major medical insurance for a set period of time. It covers doctor visits, hospitalizations, emergency care, lab tests, x-rays, and other common medical needs.
Is short-term health insurance Obamacare?
No. Short-term health insurance is a streamlined insurance plan. While it includes many benefits, it does not cover all 12 of the minimum essential benefits that the Affordable Care Act plans are required to cover. For example, in most cases, short-term health insurance will not include maternity care or mental health services.
In addition, short-term health insurance involves an application. Depending on your health status, your application may be declined or your pre-existing condition may be excluded. Obamacare guarantees that all applicants and their pre-existing conditions will be covered, no matter what your health status.
Is short-term health insurance “creditable coverage” under federal law?
Yes, short-term health (STH) insurance is considered “creditable coverage” under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Under federal law, if you have a gap in insurance coverage longer than 63 days, and you are diagnosed with a serious illness or become pregnant during that time, you will lose your health insurance rights to have these conditions covered by your next health insurance plan. Instead, the new health plan can impose a wait period of several months before you will be insured for these conditions. That is why it’s important to have continuous health coverage under a “creditable” plan, such as short-term health insurance. Illnesses and conditions developed while on a creditable coverage plan will be covered on the date your new health plan becomes effective.
When can I apply for short-term health insurance?
You can apply at any time. There is no fixed open enrollment period. On Agilehealthinsurance.com, you can submit your application and, if approved, your insurance can be effective within as little as 24 hours.
Can I cancel a short term plan at any time?
Within the first ten days of the effective date of your plan, you can cancel and will receive a full refund. For cancellation beyond the ten days, you simply email or call the insurance company with your reason for cancelling. If you cancel before your policy period is over, in most cases you will be given a prorated refund based on the unused benefit.
What conditions on the application will make me ineligible for a short term plan?
Within the last 5 years if you have been diagnosed, treated, or taken medication for any of the following conditions, term health insurance cannot be issued: Cancer or tumor, stroke, heart disease including heart attack, chest pain or had heart surgery, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or emphysema, Crohn’s disease, liver disorder, degenerative disc disease, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disorder, diabetes, degenerative joint disease of the knee, alcohol abuse or chemical dependency, or any neurological disorder; HIV or AIDS; or if you are now pregnant or in the process of adoption.
If you are looking for insurance to cover your pre-existing conditions, we can refer you to an agent who can help you find a health insurance plan that to cover these conditions:
- For ACA/Obamacare Plans: 312-726-6565