Alternative health insurance (e.g., short term medical and hospital insurance) is non-major medical insurance. These plans don’t have to comply with ACA requirements covering the 10 essential health benefits or be guaranteed issue.
ER visits for accidental injuries in 2016
Cost of non-surgical treatment for a broken leg
Average individual 2018 major medical deductible
Hospital indemnity plans (HIP) provide coverage specifically during hospitalization. These are “fixed” benefit plans that pay a set benefit amount per day, week, month or visit, rather than the insurance company paying a percentage of the total expense for a covered service.
Coverage varies, but you can add optional services like preventive care, X-rays and urgent care for additional premium.
Trying to decide between major medical and an alternative health insurance plan?
Here’s a quick look at some of the general differences between major medical, short term health and fixed hospital indemnity plans. Specific plans will have different benefits and restrictions, so it’s important to read and understand the details of any plans you’re considering before making a decision.
|Major Medical Plan||Short Term Health Plan||Hospital Plan|
|Enroll Anytime (365 days per year)|
|Covers Pre-Existing Conditions||
|Preventive Care Coverage|
|RX Drug Coverage|
|Next-Day Coverage Available|
Percentage to Provider
Percentage to Provider
Fixed Amount to Provider and/or Insured
* The amount of benefits provided depends on the plan selected, and the premium will vary with the amount of benefits selected.
** Unsubsidized ACA plans
*** Some short term health plans may cover limited pre-existing conditions.
**** Year-round coverage applies to the hospital plan only. Short term medical is available up to 90 days in some states.
Short term medical provides temporary limited coverage that can help during certain life transitions, while fixed hospital indemnity plans provide hospitalization coverage in a fixed indemnity benefit.
Either one may be a good option if you are:
Are you vulnerable to medical costs because you're self-employed and don't have a group major medical plan?
You may need to purchase individual health insurance, but you could qualify for alternative options.Learn more
COBRA is not your only option for health insurance if you find yourself unemployed.
Losing your job qualifies you for a special enrollment period for major medical, and there are alternatives like short term health (available year round) as well.Learn more
What should you do if you don't get health insurance through your employer?
You may need to purchase major medical coverage on your own, or enroll in an alternative health plan.Learn more
What if your parents don't have insurance through their jobs or you just turned 26 and are no longer eligible to stay on their plan?
You have 7 health insurance options depending on your eligibility and circumstances.Learn more
Can you buy health insurance that isn’t Obamacare? Yes.
It’s important to note that Obamacare alternatives are not comprehensive health plans and have less coverage than Obamacare plans.Learn more
Medicare kicks in at age 65 – so what if you retire before that and lose your job-based group health benefits?
Compare options and select the best one for you.Learn more