The 4 best short-term health insurance providers of 2021

Company Name Best for Network requirement Rx inclusion State coverage Deductible
Everest Best overall No network requirement Prescription not covered Available in a limited number of states $ 1,000, $ 2,500, $ 5,000, $ 7,500, $ 10,000
Pivot health Best value No network Prescription coverage Available in 26 states and DC Between $ 1,000 and $ 10,000
IHC Health Group Ideal for personalized coverage On-grid and off-grid options Prescription Discount Plans Operating in 35 states $ 2,500, $ 5,000, $ 10,000
UnitedHealthcare Best for the longest policy options No off-grid coverage $ 5,000 prescription coverage available Available in 19 states $ 2,500, $ 5,000, $ 7,500, $ 10,000, $ 12,500


Who is eligible for short term health insurance?

Short-term health insurance offers limited coverage as a temporary bridge while you wait to qualify for an ACA-compliant plan. It can be used in circumstances where you are not yet eligible for a group insurance plan or you are waiting for the next open enrollment. Some people choose short term health insurance as their temporary emergency cover if they suddenly find themselves without coverage for various reasons. Here are some examples:

  • Leaving a job that had Medicare and not being eligible for COBRA regimes
  • Early retirement and search for term insurance until eligibility for Health Insurance
  • No longer eligible for a group plan due to a divorce
  • Switch to a new state where an existing plan cannot follow and wait for a new plan to start
  • 26-year-old students or young adults who are no longer eligible for their parents’ insurance
  • People who wish to have a plan without network and find the ACA plans too expensive

Anyone can buy short-term health insurance. However, because short-term health is not ACA-compliant, it uses medical underwriting and may refuse to insure you (or offer only limited coverage). Depending on the state you are in, coverage may only be available for a very limited time, for a maximum of three years.

How to buy short term health insurance?

Short-term health insurance is available through quotes that you can get over the phone or directly from the insurance company’s website. Online marketplaces and insurance agencies also have websites that provide quotes with various insurers (in some cases hundreds), making it easy to find options. Some examples include eHealth and Agile.

Short term coverage has always been known as a lower cost health insurance option. Still, with the many changes to tax credits for low-income people, it’s important to consider all of your options. Find out if you are eligible for a special registration period, and be sure to check out what you can get in the ACA market first. There are even “free” (zero premium) Bronze ACA plans for low-income registrants in some parts of the country.

How much does short term health insurance cost?

The average cost for short-term health insurance is $ 124 per month, compared to $ 393 for an unsubsidized ACA-compliant plan.seWe have found plans with very limited coverage, or coverage more suited to the concept of catastrophic plans (due to their high deductibles), for as little as $ 60 per month. It can be confusing due to the lack of consistency in plan coverage, but it is recommended that you shop around and compare options line by line.

What does short-term health insurance cover?

Short Term Limited Time Health Insurance (STLD), also known as Short Term Medical Care (STM), is intended to cover hospital room and board, emergency health situations , inpatient doctor visits and other unexpected medical needs that are not part of the pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, the confusion over how the coverage works and the existing exclusions create many claim denials. These are emergency plans with limitations for preventive care, high deductibles, which prevent you from being covered until the deductible is reached.

Short-term care providers will adapt different types of packages in different price ranges. When purchasing short term health care, you may find some policies that offer more coverage than others. You don’t need to settle for a minimum plan, be sure to ask for preventative health supplements or other coverages to get the best quotes. It is worth comparing a few options before making a decision.

What does short-term health insurance exclude?

Short-term health plans have many exclusions, including no coverage for pre-existing conditions. Short-term health plans are not subject to the provisions of the ACA and do not comply with the ACA. Short-term health plans put you at significant risk of incurring medical debt due to high deductibles, extended exclusions and hence potential denials of coverage.

Here are a few examples of exclusions that demonstrate the limitations found in many short-term health plans:

  • 43% do not cover mental health services
  • 62% do not cover drug addiction
  • 71% do not cover outpatient prescription drugs
  • No short-term health plan covers maternity caresese

Short-term health plans don’t cover wellness visits, although we’ve found a few in our reviews that do offer it at a cost.

Short-term health insurance vs COBRA

COBRA plans allow you to maintain the coverage you had through your employer or previous group plans, including all essential ACA-compliant benefits, and allow you to maintain coverage for things like pregnancy. or mental health if your old plan covered it. On the other hand, the STM plans will offer you much less coverage and no essential benefits.

The average cost of a COBRA plan will depend greatly on the type of plan your employer or group had in the first place. In some cases, the employer may continue to contribute to the plan for you, which will provide you with a reduced cost. In others, you may have to fully contribute to the plan yourself. Remember to consider that any amounts you have already paid for your deductible will count towards maintaining COBRA benefits, which can save you a lot of money, especially if you plan to only use it for a short time.

Sometimes not having to pay the deductible again can justify the additional monthly fees. These savings can be significant if you consider that the really “cheap” health care options offered by short term health plans exclude many of the coverages you might need and often have very high deductibles before you can access it. the cover.

How we choose health insurance companies

We looked at short-term health insurance plans offered by insurance companies and independent health insurance markets to find out what options exist. We looked at the waiting periods, qualifications, types of coverage, common exclusions, maximum limits, deductibles and co-payments in the different plans. Our goal was to highlight some of the best short term health insurance options offered by reputable insurance companies to help you compare and decide if short term health insurance is a good idea for you.

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