Short Term Health Plans

for Families and Individuals

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Short Term Health Insurance

Short Term health insurance plans are health plans designed to bridge gaps in coverage for individuals and families in times of transition.1 Because we know that life can change quickly, our Short Term health insurance plans give you the flexibility to drop your coverage at any time without penalty; or apply for another term of coverage.2 Based on your needs, you can select the length of time (1 to 11 months in many states) and from a range of available deductible amounts.

Who Needs Short Term Coverage?

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

  • Rolling off their parent’s insurance
  • In-between jobs
  • Recently discharged from the military
  • Missed Open Enrollment and do not have a qualifying event
  • Waiting for benefits to begin at a new job
  • Waiting for Medicare
  • Needing a temporary alternative to COBRA insurance
  • Losing coverage following a divorce

Short Term Plans and the ACA

Short Term health plans do not meet the minimum essential coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and may result in a tax penalty. They are designed solely to provide temporary health care insurance during unexpected coverage gaps. To avoid the risk of penalty, apply for an ACA health insurance plan as soon as you qualify.

Differences Between Short Term Health Insurance and Health Insurance

    Short Term Health Insurance Health Insurance
  What is the length of coverage? Short Term coverage can last from 1-11 months.3 Individual ACA health insurance plans have the ability to change plans during Open Enrollment.
  What is the type of coverage? Comprehensive medical insurance coverage Comprehensive medical insurance coverage
  When can coverage start? Coverage can start as early as the very next day. Coverage available during Open Enrollment, unless you have a qualifying event.
  How much are the premiums? Short Term health insurance premiums are typically much lower than individual health insurance premiums. Individual health insurance premiums may be higher than short term insurance premiums.
  Is preventive care included? No Yes
  What network is included? Full access to the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network in most areas. Access to a UnitedHealthcare network. Network varies by location.
  Can I see a specialist? Yes. There are no primary care physician/specialist referrals required. Yes. Some plans require referrals.
  Are there any preexisting condition limitations? No benefits are payable for preexisting conditions with Short Term health insurance plans. Previous covered conditions will be considered preexisting under subsequent certificates/policies. ACA plans are guarantee issue and do not have preexisting condition limitations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about Preexisting Conditions?

Short Term health insurance plans typically do not cover preexisting medical conditions. The definition of preexisting condition varies by state, but, in general, Short Term health insurance policies exclude coverage for conditions that have been diagnosed or treated within the previous 2 to 5 years. If you have an existing medical condition, you may want to find out whether you can extend your current insurance. Employer-sponsored insurance may be extended under COBRA (or a similar state program). 

If I Apply for an Insurance Plan, Am I Obligated to Buy?

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 nonrefundable $20 application fee for our Short Term plans in most states.

1 Short term health insurance does not meet minimum essential coverage requirements, meaning signing up for this coverage will result in a tax penalty.

2 Some states excluded.

3 30-180 days in IN; 30-184 days in AZ, DE, LA, MI, NV, OK, VA, and WY; 30-337 days in SC; and 1-6 months in GA and MO.