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QUIZ: What’s changing about short-term health insurance in 2024?

There may be differences in temporary health insurance plans next year. Will you be ready? Answer these questions to find out.

Whether you quit your job, miss the Open Enrollment Period or retire early, your next step will be to figure out health care coverage. Let’s say you choose short-term limited-duration insurance, such as a short-term medical plan, which helps fill the gap in coverage and helps pay for medical costs for a short period of time.

What your short-term plan options looked like in 2023 may not be how they look in 2024. That’s because some changes may be coming down the pike for short-term insurance this year.

What sorts of changes might you see? Take the quiz below to see if you’re up to date on short-term plans, including if they might be right for you.

Have questions about short-term medical plans? Get more details now, or call a licensed insurance agent at 1-844-211-7730 for more assistance.

Question #1: In 2024, what will be the maximum duration of short-term plans?

A. 3 years

B. 1 year

C. 3 months, plus a one-month extension

Answer: C. According to new rules proposed by the White House, which are likely to take effect, short-term plans must be truly short-term. “Right now, you can buy short-term health insurance for up to 3 years, so they’re not really short-term policies,” explains Todd Ackerman, president and unit leader of World Insurance Associates in Burlington, Iowa. But under the new rules, short-term plans may be limited to just 3 months, or 4 months if they’re extended.

If that seems like a big change, it is. “These types of plans will really only be used if someone has a couple month gap between jobs,” says Ackerman.

Question #2: What do short-term plans cover?

A. Emergency care

B. Preventive care

C. Doctor’s visits

D. Prescription drugs

E. It depends

Answer: E. Short-term health insurance plans vary in terms of the benefits that they offer. That’s why it’s important to read the policy’s fine print before you enroll. Some short-term plans cover preventive care visits and drug costs and also have in-network providers.

Question #3: What is the best reason to get short-term health insurance?

A. You’re 26, just got booted off of a parent’s insurance and need something temporary.

B. You missed the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) deadline and don’t have a Special Enrollment Period, or SEP (that’s a special window that opens up only when you get married, divorced or have another big life event, like getting taken off your parent’s insurance).

C. You’re waiting a couple of months for your individual or family health insurance coverage to begin.

D. You’re waiting for benefits to begin at a new job.

Answer: All of the above. These are all reasons why you might need short-term insurance in a pinch. But remember, since the rules may be changing in 2024, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan if you think you’ll need coverage for longer than 4 months.

Looking for the family or individual health plan that’s right for you? Learn more now, or call a licensed insurance agent at 1-844-211-7730 to discuss your health insurance options.

Question #4: True or false? You can get on a short-term plan almost immediately.

Answer: True. If you purchase a long-term health insurance plan, you’ll have to wait for coverage to start. But with short-term plans, you can get coverage quickly, sometimes even the day after you sign up for it.

Another benefit: You can get short-term health insurance at any time. You won’t need to wait until the annual OEP, which usually takes place in the late fall, or for an SEP to apply for coverage. You can apply for short-term insurance at any time during the year.

Question #5: What are some advantages of short-term plans?

A. Some plans cover a wide array of preventive care.

B. They’re usually less expensive than long-term health insurance plans.

C. They have out-of-pocket limits. (This is the most you’ll have to pay out of pocket during a plan year.)

D. They can have more flexible coverage than long-term health insurance plans.

Answer: B and D. Short-term plans are often designed to have a lower monthly bill (premium) than long term health insurance plans. In some states, if you pay your entire bill up front, you can get a discount as well. You’ll also save money if you stay in the network. (That means you use the doctors and facilities that are contracted with your insurance company.)

Question #6: True or false? Short-term plans require medical underwriting.

Answer: True. You may have to undergo something called medical underwriting. That’s when you fill out a medical questionnaire and release your personal medical records. Short-term plans can deny you coverage if they find out you have a preexisting condition, and they usually have preexisting limitations and exclusions for benefits.

That’s why, if you have a chronic condition such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes or cancer, you may be better off with more comprehensive coverage. It’s also worth noting that short-term insurance isn’t a replacement for traditional health insurance. You can explore your options online, or call a licensed insurance agent at 1-844-211-7730 to discuss your options.


The White House. “Fact Sheet: President Biden Announces New Actions to Lower Health Care Costs and Protect Consumers from Scam Insurance Plans and Junk Fees as Part of “Bidenomics” Push.” July 7, 2023. Retrieved from

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