Many people call us and want to compare two options:
Short term health insurance and Covered California.
They quickly realize that there some very important distinctions between the two.
We're talking about very different types of plans with pros and cons depending on your situation.
We're going to give you a top level comparison of the two but then we're going into the weeds.
We'll try to address all the issues and situations are commonly come up.
Let's get into it.
First, a top level description of the two!
Make sure to read below on when to go with one or the other.
Short term plans are exactly that.
They are designed to cover a fixed period of time and then they go away.
Or you have to re-enroll.
We've lost many of the short term health plan options on the market.
IHC partners with Anthem Blue Cross and uses the extensive MultiPlan doctor network which is a good thing.
We're lucky to have access to that doctor network for short term coverage.
Here are the bullet points of short term coverage:
Those are the key points of Short term.
You can find more info on short term health here.
You can quote Short term health plans here:
Let's look at Covered California (or individual/family coverage off-exchange for that matter).
Covered Ca is the marketplace for ACA compliant plans.
You can quote Covered Ca plans and off-exchange options here:
We'll use Covered Ca to include all the individual family plans available on the market since the law mandates that benefits, rates, and networks need to be identical on and off exchange!
Here are the highlights of Covered California plans:
Okay...let's get into the comparison of Covered California versus Short term health insurance.
Roll up your sleeves...this is the important part.
Let's try to make this easy.
We'll look at three main criteria that would point to Covered Ca over Short term:
Let's start with the black and white question - Eligibility
Covered Ca open enrollment starts Nov 1st of each year for a Jan 1st eff date (earliest available).
This usually runs through Jan 31st (latest eff date is March 1st)
If we miss this open enrollment, we can only enroll in Covered Ca with a Special Enrollment trigger (must be within 60 days of enrollment).
The most common triggers are:
There are less common triggers such as changes in legal status but definitely check with us on your situation here.
If we're outside open enrollment and we don't qualify for a special enrollment trigger AND we don't qualify for medi-cal (based on income)...
Short term health plans may be our only option!
For example...a person lost employer coverage March 1st. It's now Jun 1st (past 60 days).
If our income isn't low enough for Medi-cal, we may only have short term health as option.
You can quote and enroll in short term health coverage here.
So that's the eligibility question between Covered Ca and short term health coverage.
Let's look at affordability.
Here's the deal.
Short term plans are generally less expensive than Covered Ca plans but they are not as robust in coverage.
They're mainly designed for catastrophic coverage during a short, fixed period.
Run your on-exchange (Covered Ca) quote below and make sure to enter income estimate for this year and household size (everyone that files together on a 1040 tax form)
At the top, you'll see your estimate tax credit. The rates will reflect this amount taken out already.
Here are the income levels:
If you think you might qualify, contact us and we make sure you get the most tax credit available.
If you qualify for a tax credit, Covered Ca probably makes the most sense.
It may be much cheaper than short term and offer more flexibility.
Contact us at 800-320-6269 or by email if you want to discuss your info...especially the income and tax credit piece.
Finally, how do we compare Covered Ca versus Short term if we don't have a tax credit?
So here's the breakdown so far:
If you can't enroll in Covered Ca due to lack of open or special enrollment window, it's short term by default
If are eligible to enroll AND you get a tax credit, it's probably Covered Ca
Finally, if you are eligible to enroll but you don't get a tax credit...then what?
First run your quote for both:
The quote will pop up in two separate windows so you can see them side by side.
If we have health issues or need more comprehensive coverage, it's probably Covered Ca.
If we need coverage for a longer period of time (or indefinite amount of time), it's probably Covered Ca.
If we just want the lowest priced plan to cover a gap in coverage, it might be short term.
Here are the common reasons people use short term over Covered Ca:
If you take a short term plan and get outside your 60 day window, we will likely
lose the Covered Ca option (unless you're in Open Enrollment)
Everyone's situation is different.
The comparison of Covered and Short term can be a critical one.
Some quick questions can point one way or the other:
With those questions, we usually have a pretty good indication of which way to go.
Of course, we're happy to walk through these two options as there can be wrinkles in the decision to consider.
Our services are 100% free to you and we have enrolled 1000's of Californians in Covered Ca and Short term health plans.
If you only need health insurance for 1, 2, or 3 months, short term can be useful.
If you have a Cobra option, make sure to check out our Short term versus Cobra page as well.
How can we help?
Please call 800-320-6269 or email us with any questions on how these plans work.
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20 years of experience in the California health insurance market has taught us one thing...Competent and experienced guidance is Invaluable
We can quickly (very important) size up your health insurance needs and clearly explain the options available to you. Our focus is finding the most coverage at the best cost to you.
We are licensed Covered Ca agents with in-depth knowledge of their plans, process, and tax credits.
Call us...you will be Pleasantly Surprised. 800-320-6269
We'll quickly see if you have the best priced plan available and if you qualify for a tax credit800-320-6269
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