Short Term Health Plans

for Families and Individuals

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Short Term Health Insurance

Short Term health insurance, sometimes called Term health insurance or Temporary health insurance, is designed to bridge gaps in your health care coverage during times of transition.1

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 provide you with the following flexibility:

  • Drop your coverage without penalty
  • Apply for another term of coverage if needed2
  • Select the length of time (30 to 360 days in many states)3 for your coverage
  • Choose from a range of available deductible amounts

And with your Short Term Medical℠ insurance coverage starting 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 70 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, backed by a large provider network, that serve a necessary purpose for our customers who are between longer term health care solutions.

Offering Personal Health Insurance for over 70 years
Offering Short Term Medical Insurance for Over 30 Years

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 850,000 physicians and other health care professionals, and approximately 6,100 hospitals and other medical facilities,4 chances are your current doctor is already a part of our nationwide network.

Plenty of Hospitals in our Network 6,100
Hospitals & Other Medical Facilities
Physicians in Our Network 850,000
Physicians & Other Health Care Professionals

Who Should Consider Short Term Insurance Plans?

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

  • Under 65 and in good health
  • 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

Short Term Insurance Plans and the ACA Federal Tax Penalty

Short Term health insurance plans do not meet the minimum essential coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, 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.

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

  Short Term Health Insurance Plans ACA Health Insurance Plans
Length of coverage? 30 to 360 days in many states.3 If you need coverage for longer, you can apply for additional Short Term plans.2 As long as you continue to pay the premium. Also, you can change ACA health insurance plans during the Open Enrollment period each year, or during a Special Enrollment if you have a qualifying event.
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) for coverage beginning in 2-6 weeks.
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 Plus network in most areas. Access to a UnitedHealthcare network. 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. You must be approved for coverage, and there is no preexisting condition coverage. 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 nonrefundable $20 application fee for our Short Term plans in most states.

Looking for the best Short Term health insurance and have more questions? Check out our Short Term Medical Insurance FAQs or learn more about the differences between Short Term and ACA plans.

Visit FAQ Page Compare Golden Rule Short Term & ACA Plans Read More About Short Term Insurance Costs

1 Short Term Medical℠ plans are medically underwritten and do not provide coverage for preexisting conditions or meet the mandated coverage necessary to avoid tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

2 Some states excluded.

3 30 to 360 days in many states; 30 -123 days in KS; 30-184 days in AZ, DE, IN, LA, MI, NV, OK, VA, and WY; 30-337 days in SC; and 1-6 months in GA and MO.

4 UnitedHealth Group Annual Form 10-K for year ended 12/31/15.