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Short Term Health Plans
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Short Term Plans Starting at

(Sample rate is base monthly premium only for a Short Term Medical Value plan for unmarried female 19-24, non-smoker, ZIP code 493--, $10,000 deductible, 60/40 coinsurance.1

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Short Term Health Insurance

Short Term health insurance, sometimes called Term health insurance or Temporary health insurance, is designed to help bridge gaps in your health care coverage during times of transition.2

And if you’ll pardon the pun, you’ll find no “shortage” of information online telling you what Short Term Medical insurance isn’t or what it can’t do for you. But for many people, and for many situations, the best Short Term health insurance plan they can find may just be the right solution.

Flexible and Fast

We know that the life of you and your family can change quickly. That’s why our Short Term Medical insurance plans, underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, provide you with the following flexibility:

  • Start your coverage fast, as soon as the next day in many cases
  • Apply for another term of coverage if needed3
  • Select the length of time you want coverage (up to 360 days in some states)4
  • Drop your coverage without penalty
  • Choose from a range of available deductible amounts

And with your Short Term Medical insurance coverage starting in many cases as soon as the next day after you apply, you can get the security of that coverage fast, right when you need it.

A Long History with Short Term

Through Golden Rule Insurance Company, which became part of UnitedHealthcare in 2003, we have been in the personal insurance business more than 75 years and have offered a Short Term insurance product for over 30 years. We’re not capitalizing on a new market or exploiting a trend. We’re just continuing our commitment to offer Short Term products, providing access to a large provider network, that serve a necessary purpose for our customers who are between longer term health care coverage solutions.

The Strength of a Nationwide Network

Health care professionals in our network agree to provide you quality care at lower fees. UnitedHealthcare offers one of the largest networks in the U.S. With access to nearly 1,200,000 physicians and other health care professionals, and approximately 6,500 hospitals and other medical facilities,5 chances are your current doctor is already a part of our nationwide network.

Hospitals & Other Medical Facilities
Physicians & Other Health Care Professionals

Who Should Consider Short Term Insurance Plans?

Short Term health insurance plans can make sense for people who are:

  • Rolling off their parent’s insurance
  • In-between jobs
  • Without health insurance, have missed Open Enrollment and do not have a qualifying event for Special Enrollment
  • Waiting for your Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage to begin
  • A college student or just out of school
  • Waiting for benefits to begin at a new job
  • Waiting for Medicare
  • Needing a temporary alternative to COBRA insurance
  • Losing coverage following a divorce
  • Under 65 and in good health

Short Term Insurance Plans and the ACA Federal Tax Penalty

Short Term health insurance plans are not “minimum essential coverage” as defined by the ACA. If you don't have minimum essential coverage for any month in 2018, you may have to make a payment when you file your tax return unless you qualify for an exemption from the requirement that you have health coverage for that month.

Starting in 2019, the federal tax payment for not having minimum essential coverage is no longer applicable. 

What’s the Difference? Short Term Insurance Plans Versus ACA Insurance Plans

  Short Term Health Insurance Plans ACA Health Insurance Plans
Availability of coverage? As early as the next day after you apply. Apply during Open Enrollment (or during a Special Enrollment with a qualifying event).
Length of coverage? The federal Final Rule allows for terms of up to 364 days, though states have final authority to regulate that.4 You can apply for an additional short term plans if you need longer coverage.3 As long as you continue to pay the premium or as long at that particular health plan is available.
Type of coverage? Comprehensive medical insurance coverage. Coverage varies by plan, and plans are NOT required to include the 10 essential health benefits required by the ACA. Comprehensive medical insurance coverage. All plans include the 10 essential health benefits required by the ACA.
Monthly costs? Generally cost less than ACA health plans, but you may also be subject to a tax penalty. Generally more expensive than Short Term health plans, but tax subsidies may reduce your costs.
Is preventive care included? Preventive care coverage, if included, is limited. Yes. Preventive care is one of the 10 essential health benefits required in all ACA health plans.
Rx drug coverage? Available with some plans. Yes. All ACA plans have Rx drug coverage.
What network is included? Full access to the UnitedHealthcare Choice or Choice Plus network in most areas. Access to a network that varies by location.
Are referrals required? No primary care physician/specialist referrals are required. Some plans require referrals.
Is there coverage for preexisting conditions? No. Even if you are approved for a Short Term health plan, preexisting conditions are not covered. Previously covered conditions will be considered preexisting under subsequent policies. Yes. ACA plans are guarantee issue, meaning you cannot be turned down for coverage and your preexisting conditions would be covered.

You are under no obligation to buy a health insurance plan when using our site. After submitting your application, you may cancel it at any time during the underwriting process.

We do charge a $20 application fee for our Short Term plans in most states.

1 Premium effective date on date of viewing. Actual premium may be different based upon the situation at the time of application. Optional benefits require an additional premium cost. Products vary by state. Some Short Term plans available as association group insurance only to members of FACT, an independent association. Additional membership fees may be required.

2 Short term health insurance is medically underwritten and does not cover preexisting conditions. This coverage is not required to comply with certain federal market requirements for health insurance, principally those contained in the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to check your policy carefully to make sure you are aware of any exclusions or limitations regarding coverage of preexisting conditions or health benefits (such as hospitalization, emergency services, maternity care, preventive care, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services). Your policy might also have lifetime and/or annual dollar limits on health benefits. If this coverage expires or you lose eligibility for this coverage, you might have to wait until an open enrollment period to get other health insurance coverage. This coverage is not “minimum essential coverage.”

3 Some states excluded.

4 Term lengths available can vary by state.

5 UnitedHealth Group Annual Form 10-K for year ended 12/31/17.


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