Short-term or temporary health insurance provides health coverage for a limited period of time.
If you want to understand short-term health insurance and how it works, a great place to start is with our new eBook, 3 Steps to Understanding Short-Term Health Insurance.
In a nutshell, short-term health insurance plans are designed to provide affordable, temporary health insurance. They do not meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), which means they don’t protect you from the uninsured tax penalty.
However, short-term health insurance plans are affordable, and may provide qualify health coverage for consumers who are waiting for coverage under an employer-based group health insurance plan to begin, or who are waiting for the next Open Enrollment Period (OEP) to buy their own major medical individual or family health insurance plan.
As of April 1, 2017, short-term health insurance plans can typically only provide coverage for 3 months at a time and may not cover things like pre-existing medical conditions, prescription drugs, or preventive care.
Be aware that insurance companies do not have to approve your application for short-term health insurance. In most instances, insurers can decline an application for short-term health insurance.
However, under limited circumstances, some companies may offer a guaranteed short-term policy.
Take a look at the table below to familiarize yourself with the cost of short-term health insurance plans, including annual premiums and monthly deductibles.
Short-Term Health Insurance Premiums
At eHealth, submitted applications for short-term health insurance plans grew 130% in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the second quarter of 2013, and the number of eHealth members approved for short-term coverage grew in excess of 100%.
|Short-Term Health Insurance Plans||Individual||Family|
|2014 Enrollees 18 to 24||15%|
|2014 Enrollees 25 to 34||46%|
|2014 Enrollees 35 to 44||15%|
|2014 Enrollees 45 to 54||11%|
|2014 Enrollees 55 to 64||8%|
|2012 Premiums Female||$71||NA|
|2012 Premiums Male||$66||NA|
|2012 Deductible Female||$2,935|
|2012 Deductible Male||$2,866|
|2012 Average Maximum Duration of Short-Term Insurance Plans||180 to 185 days|
|2012 Short-Term Policies with maximum duration greater than 300 days||4.2%|
|2012 Enrollees age 35 to 64||30%|
|2012 Enrollees age 18 to 24||27%|
|2012 Enrollees age 25 to 34||44%|
|2012 Short-Term Plans with Prescription Drug Coverage||55%||52%|
Notes * Average premiums based on plans selected by eHealth shoppers at eHealth.com. Average premiums for short-term plans reflect plans selected between January 1 and December 31, 2016. Average premiums for major medical plans reflect plans selected by unsubsidized customers during the 2016 open enrollment period, from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.
To help find the right health plan for you, enter your zip code where requested on this page to see a quote.