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 in 2018. In 2019, the individual mandate will no longer apply, so those who do not have healthcare that meets ACA coverage requirements will not be facing fines for that reason.
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.
Short-Term Health Insurance Premiums
In 2017 eHealth published a report of trends and costs of the short-term health insurance market. At eHealth, over 121,000 short term applications were submitted in 2016, which almost doubled the amount of applicants in 2013 (the year before major provisions of Obamacare took effect).
|Short-Term Health Insurance Plans||Individual||Family|
|2016 Monthly Premiums||$110||$276|
|2016 Enrollees 18 to 24||57%|
|2016 Enrollees 25 to 34||43%|
|2016 Enrollees 35 to 44||19%|
|2016 Enrollees 45 to 54||13%|
|2016 Enrollees 55 to 64||8%|
|2016 Female Enrollees||47%||NA|
|2016 Male Enrollees||53%||NA|
Notes * Information included in this report is based on shopping trends at eHealth’s websites (including
eHealth.com and eHealthInsurance.com) only and does not provide a comprehensive view of short-term
health insurance trends on a national or state basis.
To help find the right health plan for you, enter your zip code where requested on this page to see a quote.