UPDATE: California banned all short term health insurance plans eff 9/1/2018.
Information below is for States that still have short term health carrier options.
Short term health has about as many uses to people as there are people looking for it!
Some generally just need a few months (maybe even days) to get to new coverage.
Whatever the need, it's very popular right now!
That's only going to continue with the uncertainty surrounding the individual/family market.
Let's add it all the people moving around a jobs in a hot (finally, right??) job market.
Cobra is EXPENSIVE!
So...what can we do?
Short term health insurance.
Temporary health insurance.
Both terms mean the same thing.
And, these days there are only a few legitimate options.
We'll touch base on everything you need to know.
If you just want to jump right to quote and online app, feel free here:
You can also jump to any of the main topics here:
Wow...that's a laundry list of short term nonsense.
Let's get started.
Starting with the basics.
I know...that's sounds like not much help at all.
We'll get into the key points.
The main difference is the "defined period of time" part.
It will end!
But at some point, the plan will end.
You may be able to re-apply for another block of short term but it does require re-applying.
Short term works well when we're trying to get to new coverage.
This is why it's usually called "bridge coverage" or "gap health coverage".
Here are some common uses of short term:
All these situations have something in common...
A period of time we need to cover.
Keep in mind that if you're health changes, you may not be able to re-qualify for another block of short term.
That's one of the drawbacks if you need health insurance for longer periods of time.
So...how long can we have short term coverage for?
How short is short?
Obama passed a requirement that made 3 months the maximum amount of time short term coverage could be sold for.
There's currently movement in Washington to extend it to 364 days.
This is mainly for the people who can't afford ACA coverage without a subsidy.
You can still cancel every 30 days but this gives you more flexibility on the back end.
You can quote or enroll in those plans here:
The 364 days would be great since it will take everyone out to Open Enrollment for either group plans or ACA coverage (Obamacare) which is Jan 1st of every year.
Speaking of which, how is short term different from permanent or ACA coverage?
In a few key ways.
We've written an entire article on how short term is different from Obamacare here.
Some of the main highlights...
We're happy to help you compare the two.
Here's the big takeaway...
Especially with a tax credit.
Secondly, if you have major health care needs including RX and can enroll, ACA will probably make more sense even at a higher cost.
Again, we're happy to help with this calculation.
Just call 800-320-6269 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
People generally want short term for a specific purpose...to cover a period of time.
It works well for that in many cases.
It may take a few days to process out but the effective date will be locked in based on enrollment submission.
You can also pick a date into the future as well.
To enroll in coverage, access the online application right here:
No and Yes!
This is true for all health insurance really.
You will find the best rates guaranteed here:
Short term health plans have a simplified application.
This means that they're not too involved but there is a series of health questions.
The questions are pretty serious and vast majority of enrollee are able to qualify.
You can check out the questions through the online application here:
One note...there is also an interim health sharing plan which doesn't decline people.
Before 9/1/2018, the best we could do is 180 days (2 blocks of 3 months) through IHC.
Washington is working on extending the short term plans to 364 days (not quite a year) for people who get caught outside of open enrollment.
This would be very helpful and we expect to hear word on this any day.
The 180 days is the current max that we have.
The AlieraCare health share plan does not have the time restriction. (info here).
The minimum amount we can get is 30 days.
Just email the request to the carrier to cancel about 2 weeks prior to the end of the current period.
This way you don't have to wait for a refund.
Technically, you can request the cancellation all the way till the day prior to next 30 day period but earlier is better.
It's pretty slim these days.
Many of the carriers use to offer short term but that went away with the ACA law.
Again, they are not both available everywhere.
UPDATE: California banned all short term health insurance plans eff 9/1/2018.
Be careful with some of the other "plan" out there.
Also, if the backend protection isn't 100's of 1000's, it's a bad sign.
IHC and UnitedHealthOne are the only real short term plans that don't have significant design issues.
You can quote IHC, UnitedHealthOne or AlieraCare InterimCare (if available) here:
You can quote UnitedHealthOne (if available) here:
It may come down to what's available to you in your area.
In many places, IHC is the only game in town.
If you have both UnitedHealthOne and IHC, pricing being comparable, we would go with UnitedHealthOne.
Get an update on the best short term health insurance plan for 2018.
Again, it may not be a choice.
It's best to think of short term health plans as catastrophic type coverage.
They're really designed for the big bill!
And they do a good job with that.
You can bring up the brochure through the quote here:
Some important limitations that shoppers should understand:
Here's the deal...
The short term plans function like we used to have 10 years ago.
Choice of deductible and everything applies to the deductible.
Again, as long as you know going in that temporary plans are there for the big bill, you'll be fine.
Take a look at the brochure through the quote for more detail on what's covered.
That's one big difference with ACA or group health plans.
We get a lot of interest from people who had their coverage cancelled and now need to wait for open enrollment to come back around.
Short term may be the only option available in that case.
The standard ACA plans can only be enrolled in during open enrollment (end of year) or if you have a special enrollment trigger.
The most common special enrollment triggers:
Generally, short term is more for catastrophic or bigger bills.
Since the deductibles are generally higher, it's not really meant for office visits.
RX on an outpatient basis may not be covered at all.
In-patient RX is generally covered as befits the goal of short term.
THAT is why we get short term.
Short term plans generally do not cover pre-existing conditions.
If you have a claim on a short term plan, the carrier will check to see if it was related to a pre-existing condition.
Make sure to answer the health questions on the application correctly.
Short term is tricky for reviews.
We are one of the largest agents for short term health coverage.
It got paid!
Basically, it was a coding issue from the doctor at the hospital.
Some of the online reviews can be really negative but that doesn't match our experience.
Knock on wood, we'll never have to use the policy since it's for short period of times.
Most people, get short term coverage. Cover the period of time.
And there off to other health insurance.
No reason to leave a review since they didn't really interact with the policy.
This tends to skew any online reviews to people who are really upset with their interaction.
Think of it this way...if your health insurance carrier pays a claim perfectly, do you feel the need to leave a review??
No one LOVES health insurance!
As one of the largest writers of short term health, we can only give our review.
The carriers act and pay as expected.
If they didn't, the premium would be much lower!
They are legitimate insurance.
That's what matters to us.
You can find our short term health carrier and plan review here.
They may also be the only game in town for temporary coverage!
Beyond 3 months.
Creditable coverage means that a health plan meets the ACA (Obamacare) requirements for coverage.
Short term does not meets these requirements.
The main effect of this is that you may face the penalty in 2018 for not having coverage.
This penalty is slated to go away in 2019.
Here are the main reasons we see people get temporary health coverage:
The reasons are as varied as the people who need coverage.
Either way, short term is generally a good fix for the underlying need.
You can quote and enroll in short term here:
Unless your company gives you some type of severance where coverage is paid for.
This does happen but is not common.
If you are terminated on the 1st of the month, your coverage may end on that day.
Either way, most people are offered a Cobra option which allows them to continue the group plan but pay the premium.
That premium can be very high!
This is why many people compare short term health coverage with Cobra.
Especially if they think they might get other coverage fairly shortly.
You should also investigate ACA plans versus Cobra.
Lots to consider.
We're happy to help with this comparison.
There's no cost for our assistance either way.
Call 800-320-6269 or email us at email@example.com
Many people get temporary or gap coverage between jobs.
It's also typical to have a waiting period for new employment.
This generally runs from 1 to 3 months.
Short term can a very effective way to handle this gap in coverage between jobs.
Short term plans do not cover pre-existing conditions.
More detail on short term between jobs
Speaking of which...
Most people are offered Cobra when they leave a company and its group health plan.
We've written an entire article on how to compare Cobra and short term or even Cobra and ACA health plans but here are the key points:
It generally comes down to cost and health.
Cobra can be very expensive.
Short term is more for catastrophic and emergency situations.
We're happy to compare these option with you at 800-320-6269 or by email.
This is a whole other calculation!
A little more involved.
Obamacare plans share many of the traits with Cobra up above.
Which makes sense since most Cobra (group) plans are ACA compliant.
Run your ACA health plan quote here:
Make sure to enter in your income and size of household (everyone that files together on a 1040 tax form).
See if you can get a tax credit!
If so, ACA is probably the way to go.
Also, if you have healthcare expenses and needs, the higher cost of ACA plans might still make more sense versus short term.
We're happy to help with any questions.
You can find more information on short term versus ACA Obamacare
Covered California IS Obamacare in California.
The State created their own marketplace.
Most of the same rules apply.
Also, most of the same calculations mentioned above in the Short term versus ACA.
We're happy to help you compare the two options.
More detail on Covered Ca versus short term here.
Everything's online now.
The process generally takes a few days and coverage can start as early as midnight following online enrollment.
These are the best rates available and the strongest carriers available.
Please call 800-320-6269 or email with any questions.
There's no cost for our assistance.
Yes. Month to month.
The quoting system may show 90 days but that just means that you can renew up to 3 blocks of 30 days.
In fact, there are new options to get two blocks of 3 months.
Potentially, that's 180 days without having to re-apply.
You can still cancel before any next 30 day block starts with an emailed request to the carrier.
Health insurance (including short term) is funny that way.
The rates are standardized so you can be sure these are the absolute best rates for each carrier.
If you have any questions or issues with the quote or plan selection, please let us know.
Call 800-320-6269 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The online application is available right through the online quote here:
Everything's online now.
If you run into any questions on the application, please let us know.
We've covered a lot.
That's doesn't mean we've answered every questions!
We can help with the plan selection as well.
Short term have become a very handy way to cover gaps in coverage.
This will continue as the rates keep going up on the standard plans.
How can we help?
Get help in other States on the new Trump expanded short term health insurance.
Again, there is absolutely no cost to you for our services. Call 800-320-6269 Today!
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