Short-Term Health Insurance Term Limits by State

Find out how long you can carry short-term health insurance in your state
Sarah Sullivan
2018-11-05 November 5th, 2018 |
Read time: 8 minutes
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When the Trump Administration lifted the federal 90-day short-term health insurance duration limit beginning in October 20181, it opened the door for states to once again regulate short-term health plans, including setting their own duration limits.

Many states already had existing statutes in place prior to the Obama-era federal rule. These states are generally reverting back to their previous regulations.

States that didn’t have state-level regulations prior to 2016 will default to the federal rules, which specify a 364-day initial term limit.2

Some of these states have or will be introducing legislation in the coming months to enact state-level duration limits that are shorter than the federal limit of 364 days.

Due to state regulations, no insurers offer short-term health insurance plans in the following states:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

What are the initial term limits for short-term health insurance in your state?

Term limits by state

Alabama – Initial term limit: 364 days3, defaults to federal rules.

Alaska – Initial term limit: 364 days4, defaults to federal rules.

Arizona – Initial term limit: 185 days.5

Arkansas – Initial term limit: 364 days6, defaults to federal rules.

California – In late September 2018, California passed legislation (SB910) that bans the sale or renewal of short-term plans beginning January 1, 2019.7

Colorado – Initial term limit: 6 months.8

Connecticut – Initial term limit: 6 months.9 Beginning January 1, 2019 Connecticut will require short-term medical plans to cover essential health benefits.10

Delaware – Initial term limit: 90 days.11

District of Columbia – Initial term limit: 364 days12, currently defaults to federal rules. However, there is currently a recommendation by DC’s Standing Advisory Board before the DC City Council to implement rules to limit short-term health plans to 90 days.

Florida – Initial term limit: 364 days13, defaults to federal rules.

Georgia – Initial term limit: 364 days14, defaults to federal rules.

Hawaii – Initial term limit: 90 days15, however, based on recent state regulations no health insurance carriers offer plans in this state.16

Idaho – Initial term limit: 364 days17, defaults to federal rules.

Illinois – Initial term limit: 364 days18, defaults to federal rules. Legislation to limit short-term health insurance to six months (IL HB2624) was approved and sent to Governor Bruce Rauner on June 29, 2018, however, he vetoed it on August 26, 2018.19

Indiana – Initial term limit: 6 months.20

Iowa – Initial term limit: 364 days21, defaults to federal rules.

Kansas – Initial term limit: 364 days.22

Kentucky – Initial term limit: 364 days23, defaults to federal rules.

Louisiana – Initial term limit: 6 months.24 Note: State regulations restrict the exclusion of coverage for pre-existing conditions by insurers (Title 22, Section 1072). Short-term health plans are not subject to these restrictions as long as they have terms of no more than 6 months. In effect, limiting short-term health plans to 6 months or less.25

Maine – Initial term limit: 364 days.26

Maryland – Initial term limit: 90 days.27

Massachusetts – Short-term health insurance is not available in Massachusetts due to long-standing guaranteed-issue requirements.28 As a result, no insurers offer plans in this state.

Michigan – Initial term limit: 185 days.29

Minnesota – Initial term limit: 6 months.30

Mississippi – Initial term limit: 364 days31, defaults to federal rules.

Missouri – Initial term limit: 6 months.32

Montana – Initial term limit: 364 days33, defaults to federal rules.

Nebraska – Initial term limit: 364 days.34

Nevada – Initial term limit: 185 days.35

New Hampshire – Initial term limit: 6 months.36

New Jersey – Short-term health plans are unable to be sold in New Jersey due to long-standing regulations (New Jersey statute 17B:27A – 3)37

New Mexico – Initial duration limit: 364 days38, defaults to federal rules. However, legislation is expected sometime in 2019 to regulate short-term health plans at the state level.39

New York – Short-term plans are unable to be sold in New York.40

North Carolina – Initial term limit: 364 days41, defaults to federal rules.

North Dakota – Initial term limit: 185 days.42

Ohio – Initial term limit: 364 days43, defaults to federal rules.

Oklahoma – Initial term limit: 6 months.44

Oregon – Initial term limit: 90 days.45

Pennsylvania – Initial term limit: 364 days46, defaults to federal rules.

Rhode Island – Due to Rhode Island’s state regulations, no insurers offer short-term health plans in the state.47

South Carolina – Initial term limit: 11 months.48

South Dakota – Initial term limit: 6 months.49

Tennessee – Initial term limit: 364 days50, defaults to federal rules.

Texas – Initial term limit: 364 days51, defaults to federal rules.

Utah – Initial term limit: 363 days.52

Vermont – Due to Vermont’s regulations, no insurers offer short-term health plans in the state.53

Virginia – Initial term limit: 6 months.54

Washington – Initial term limit: 364 days55, defaults to federal rules. However, Washington’s insurance commissioner has announced additional short-term medical insurance regulations to be enacted by the end of 2018 (with duration limits of 3 months).56

West Virginia – Initial term limit: 364 days57, defaults to federal rules.

Wisconsin – Initial term limit: 364 days.58

Wyoming – Initial term limit: 364 days59, defaults to federal rules.

Should you get a short-term health insurance policy?

You’ve validated that short-term health insurance is available in your state – should you enroll in a plan?

Short-term health insurance is not major medical insurance and isn’t right for everyone. These are not ACA-qualifying plans and don’t typically include coverage for things like preventive care, prescription drugs, pregnancy and pre-existing conditions (Connect Plus short-term medical includes a limited benefit for certain pre-existing conditions).

That said, these temporary plans can be a good option if you’re between jobs (and employer-sponsored health insurance) or if you missed open enrollment and don’t qualify for a special enrollment period.

Short-term health plans will provide some level of coverage in the event of an accident or critical illness as they include benefits for services like ambulance transport and emergency room care, hospitalization, and diagnostics.

Learn more about short-term health coverage

Why short-term insurance? Top 5 reasons to get a temporary health plan.

How to find the best short-term health insurance plan for you.

What short-term health insurance covers.

Looking for some quick answers? Check out our STM FAQs.

Get a short-term health quote + compare plans

Ready to compare short-term health insurance plans? Get a short-term medical quote today (it only takes a minute). You can even buy online.

Apply today and start your coverage tomorrow if you qualify.

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Alternative health insurance and supplemental health insurance options are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and/or Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York.

Footnotes