Short Term Health Insurance

A temporary health insurance plan for those in-between times

Short term health insurance (STM), also referred to as temporary health insurance, is a type of medical coverage that is available for shorter durations of time, such as up to three months. Temporary insurance plans have more restricted coverage than major medical but also can have a lower premium.

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What Does Short Term Health Insurance Cover?

Covered expenses for temporary health insurance plans generally include the high-dollar, unexpected care and treatment you may require as a result of an illness or injury – from a serious medical event like a heart attack or stroke to a broken leg or doctor’s office visit due to illness.

Remember, these plans are highly customizable (that’s one of the perks!). The chart below describes benefits that may be covered with short term medical policies.

Individual insurance plans vary, so you’ll want to read the plan details closely to validate the coverage and benefits you’ve selected and what exclusions apply.

What STM Covers
  • Hospital room and board

  • Emergency room – anesthesiology and surgical care

  • Diagnostic services – X-rays, laboratory tests and analysis

  • Ambulance and surgical services

  • Doctor visits

What STM Does Not Cover
  • Sport-related injuries

  • Injuries or illness related to participating in extreme or dangerous activities

  • Medical costs resulting from injury from riding an ATV (dirt bike, snowmobile, go-cart), racing with a motorcycle, boat or any form of aircraft

  • Treatment of pre-existing conditions

  • Any medical expenses incurred prior to the effective date or after the expiration date of your policy

  • Tobacco, drug, and alcohol-related treatment expenses

Pros and Cons of Short Term Health Plans

Here are a few of the pros and cons to consider when you’re thinking about signing up for a short term health plan.

  • Short term medical monthly insurance premiums are typically less than major medical premiums, 31.5% less on average.[1] However, STM has less coverage and does not qualify as an ACA plan.
  • Apply year-round – There is no official open enrollment period and, in most cases, coverage begins the next day after you enroll online.
  • Don’t pay for coverage you don’t need – Plans are highly customizable; you can choose from various health benefit levels.
  • Keep Your Doctor – No provider network limitations means you can visit your preferred health care provider.
  • Short term plans can be used alongside other supplemental insurance options such as a hospital plan, dental plan or a prescription drug card (not an insurance product). 
  • Plans have limited durations – Anywhere from 30 to 364 days depending on your state.
  • Less coverage than major medical – Preventive care and many other essential health benefits such as annual doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, vaccinations, and pre- and post-natal care are not covered. If you think you will need any of the 10 essential health benefits guaranteed by the ACA-qualifying plans, then a short term health plan may not be right for you.
  • Pre-existing conditions are not covered – Historically, short term plans have not covered pre-existing conditions.

Find Answers to Short Term Medical Insurance Questions

They typically do not. That said, there are some plans that include a few basic preventive care services such as Pap smear, mammography and prostate antigen testing. Read policy details to learn what preventive services the plan you are considering may cover or exclude, and talk with a producer to find plans with preventive care benefits.
Whether or not short term coverage is right for you depends upon your life stage and circumstances, your personal healthcare needs and budget. Read what to consider when deciding whether or not short term health insurance is right for you, and call 888-855-6837 to discuss your options with an agent.
Short term policies may include coverage for dependent children up to age 26, and child-only plans may be available to children starting at age 2. Call 888-855-6837 to speak with an agent who can help you find a plan for your family.

Have Questions? Speak to an Agent

Speak to a licensed health insurance agent during business hours for help understanding your options and enrolling in coverage.

Call 888-855-6837

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