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Short-Term Health Insurance

Why risk paying for medical costs completely out of pocket? Short term medical (STM) plans offer some financial protection in the event of a covered medical event—and they’re available right now.

What is Short Term Health Insurance?

A temporary health plan for those in-between times.

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

What does Short-Term Health Insurance Cover?

Covered expenses for temporary 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!). Examples of possible coverages include:

  • Hospital room and board
  • Emergency room - anesthesiology and surgical care
  • Diagnostic services - X-rays, laboratory and analysis
  • Ambulance and surgical services
  • Doctor visits

Some short-term health insurance plans cover some pre-existing conditions to a limited degree. One such plan is Connect Plus, available by clicking get a quote and completing the request form.

However, short-term plans are not required to cover pre-existing conditions or any of the other 10 essential health coverages that ACA-qualifying health plans must include.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Health Plans

Pros:

  • Short-term medical monthly insurance premium costs are less than Obamacare premium costs, around 31.5% less on average1. Premium rates are locked in during your coverage term, meaning they won’t go up unexpectedly.

  • 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. Bundling allows you to get better coverage and still pay a lower monthly premium!

  • Learn about Fusion, our short term medical + hospital plan bundle.

Cons:

  • Plans are limited to 30 to 90 days – Under current ACA legislation, short-term plan durations must be 90 days or less. However, that rule may be reversed soon.

  • 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...usually – Historically, short-term plans have not covered pre-existing conditions. However, some modern insurance plans, such as Connect Plus (available from this website), do cover certain pre-existing conditions on a limited basis.

Think a short-term healthcare plan may be right for you? The next step is to get an instant quote and select a plan that meets your needs. Get started now!

Who should get a short-term health plan?

Temporary health plans are best for people who:

  • Missed open enrollment for a major medical plan and do not qualify for a special enrollment period
  • Are in a new-employee waiting period to enroll in an employer’s health plan
  • Require medical coverage for 3 consecutive months or less, such as an alternative to COBRA when in between jobs
  • Are college students, graduates, or graduate students that have recently lost medical coverage due to turning 26
  • Are a part-time seasonal worker who is unable to obtain coverage through an employer
  • Are a few months away from Medicare eligibility

Do any of these scenarios apply to you but you need coverage for more than 3 months? Consider a medical insurance package that pairs short-term health and hospital insurance.

How short-term health insurance works

Using a short-term health insurance plan is similar to a major medical plan:

1

When you apply for short-term health benefits, you pay monthly premiums in order to receive coverage for eligible medical expenses.

2

When you get hurt or sick you go to your preferred hospital and obtain the necessary medical services, presenting your insurance card.

3

The hospital bills your short-term plan provider, who pays their share and turns around and bills you for your share.

4

When you get billed for the services, you will be responsible for the deductible amount, just like any medical insurance policy.

5

After paying the deductible amount, you are responsible for a percentage of the remaining expense (called “coinsurance”).

6

Once you’ve reached the out-of-pocket maximum for your policy, your insurance plan pays 100% of the remaining covered medical expenses up to the “coverage-period maximum benefit,” which is essentially a “lifetime maximum” amount applied to the term of a temporary policy.

What is not covered by short term health insurance?

The following list of exclusions is not exhaustive but covers some of the most common exclusions. Make sure to read any policies you’re considering for a complete list and detailed information about specific limitations and exclusions.

  • Pregnancy
  • 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

Short-Term Health Insurance FAQ

Is short-term health Insurance the same as Obamacare?

No, short-term health insurance is not the same thing as Obamacare. Temporary plans are not ACA-qualified major medical plans because they are not required to provide the essential health benefits, are not guaranteed issue and are not subject to other provisions mandated under Obamacare.


Does short-term health insurance cover pregnancy?

No. Short-term plans do not cover most pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy.


Does short-term health insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

As a general rule, no, short-term plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, some plans do contain the option for additional benefits (at additional cost) to provide some coverage for specified pre-existing conditions. Limits do apply, including a dollar limit on the benefit amount the plan will pay out for pre-existing conditions.

How much does short-term health insurance cost?

Compared to comprehensive Obamacare plan premiums, short-term medical premiums cost less.

ACA vs. Short-Term Health Insurance Premiums Comparison

  Average ACA Premium2 Average Short-Term Premium3 Monthly Savings
Individual $393 $109 $284
Family $1,021 $264 $757
Average ACA Premium2
Individual $393
Family $1,021
Average Short-Term Premium3
Individual $109
Family $264
Monthly Savings
Individual $284
Family $757

What could you do with an additional $284 every month?

What could your family do with an extra $757 every month?

With the savings, you could also obtain complementary supplemental health coverage like a dental or telemedicine plan (virtual doctor’s visits) to further protect your finances and health.

Ready to save on your monthly health costs? Get a short-term medical quote and enroll today.

Find the level of coverage that’s right for you

Shopping for health insurance means balancing cost and risk.

Do you want good, better or best short-term health insurance coverage? Short-term plans are highly customizable, with an option to suit every need.


Comparing Short-Term Health Plans

  Value Short Term
$
Basic Short Term
$$
Plus Short Term
$$$
Coverage Duration Limits 30 to 90 days 30 to 90 days 30 to 90 days
Who's it for? Young, healthy adults looking for a low cost plan Adults looking for even more financial protection from high-cost medical bills Adults + Seniors looking for more coverage even if it costs more
Pre-existing Conditions Coverage Not Included Not Included Up to $25,000
Office Visit Copay $50 $50 $50
Deductible $1,000 to $5,000 $1,000 to $5,000 $2,000 to $10,000
Coverage Period Maximum Benefit Amt. $750,000 $2,000,000 $2,000,000
Value Short Term $
Coverage Duration Limits 30 to 90 days
Who's it for? Young, healthy adults looking for a low cost plan
Pre-existing Conditions Coverage Not Included
Office Visit Copay $50
Deductible $1,000 to $5,000
Coverage Period Maximum Benefit $750,000
Basic Short Term $$
Coverage Duration Limits 30 to 90 days
Who's it for? Adults looking for even more financial protection from high-cost medical bills
Pre-existing Conditions Coverage Not Included
Office Visit Copay $50
Deductible $1,000 to $5,000
Coverage Period Maximum Benefit $2,000,000
Plus Short Term $$$
Coverage Duration Limits 30 to 90 days
Who's it for? Adults + Seniors looking for more coverage even if it costs more
Pre-existing Conditions Coverage Up to $25,000
Office Visit Copay $50
Deductible $2,000 to $10,000
Coverage Period Maximum Benefit $2,000,000

Get a short-term medical quote to see the different plans and coverage levels available in your area, including the monthly premiums.

How to get short-term health insurance

Short-term health plans are available to purchase year-round. However, some states have restrictions on the sale of some types of non-Obamacare insurance, including short-term medical plans.

The best way to find out what’s available in your area is to get an instant online quote. It takes about 1 minute, and you will get to choose from plans with a range of benefits and corresponding premium amounts.

There are no lengthy enrollment questionnaires or delays in obtaining coverage. In most cases, you can buy online immediately and start your coverage the next day.

Get a Short Term Medical Quote

Want to speak to a professional health insurance advisor to get personalized guidance or help bundling multiple supplemental health plans? Call the number on your screen or locate an agent near you.


1Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Fact Sheet: Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance Proposed Rule.” Feb. 20, 2018. https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2018-Fact-sheets-items/2018-02-20.html

2How Much Does Obamacare Cost in 2017? - eHealth Insurance Resource Center. (2017). eHealth Insurance Resource Center. Retrieved 19 April 2018, from https://resources.ehealthinsurance.com/affordable-care-act/much-obamacare-cost-2017

3Lower, A. (2018). Average Short-Term Health Premium Creeps Lower | ThinkAdvisor. ThinkAdvisor. Retrieved 19 April 2018, from https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2017/11/13/average-short-term-health-premium-creeps-lower