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Short Term Health Insurance

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.

Fast Quote and Application
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apply in just minutes

Budget-Friendly Plans
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Next Day Coverage
Apply today for coverage tomorrow in many cases

Available Year Round
No waiting to apply

Short Term Insurance Is 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:

  • Apply anytime of year in minutes
  • Apply for another term of coverage if needed1
  • Select the length of time you want coverage (1 month to just under 12 months in some states)2
  • 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 Health Insurance for Short Terms

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 new to the industry, and we're not looking to take advantage of the latest trends in insurance. Our commitment is to people like you, looking for health insurance coverage solutions. We offer Short Term health insurance products, with access to a large provider network, that serve a necessary purpose for our customers who are between longer term health care coverage solutions.

Temporary health insurance plans may make sense if you are:

  • A college student, just out of school, or rolling off your parent’s insurance
  • Between jobs, waiting for benefits to begin at a new job, or needing a temporary alternative to COBRA insurance
  • Without health insurance, have missed Open Enrollment and don't qualify for Special Enrollment, or you are waiting for your Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage to begin
  • Under 65 and in good health, or waiting for Medicare
  • Losing coverage following a divorce

Are there Cost Advantages to a Short-Term Insurance Plan?

In general, a Short-Term health insurance premium is significantly less than that of an ACA plan. For some people, this is one of the most important factors in choosing what’s affordable health insurance to them. But premium shouldn’t be the only cost consideration.

  • With an ACA plan, you may be eligible for tax credits or subsidies for which a Short-Term health insurance plan does not qualify. That won’t make an ACA plan anyone’s idea of cheap health insurance, but it may move the price of the plan much closer to your budget.
  • Since a Short-Term insurance plan isn’t required to include the 10 essential health benefits defined in the ACA, you can choose a less expensive plan that offers less coverage.
  • An ACA plan covers preexisting conditions, but with a Short-Term plan, you should expect to pay the costs related to preexisting conditions without coverage.
  • Visit the Short-Term Insurance Costs page to learn more.

What’s the Difference Between Affordable Health Insurance and Cheap Health Insurance?

The difference may be in understanding what you’re getting. Short-term health insurance is not ACA insurance. If you accept the limited benefits and duration of a short-term insurance plan, then it may be affordable health insurance for you that fits a temporary insurance need. If you don’t, it may seem like cheap health insurance that doesn’t have all the benefits you want.

Buying health insurance for short terms may be the right choice for you right now, but it won’t be ACA coverage. Be aware of what you are and aren’t getting for the price.

Medical Benefits Covered Short Term Health Insurance Plans Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Plans
Are the following health benefits covered?
Doctor visits for illness and injury and other outpatient care (ambulatory services)
Yes Yes
Emergency services
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Maternity and newborn care
Pregnancy not covered, except for complications. Newborn care limited. Yes
Mental health and substance use disorder services
No coverage or limited coverage, depending on your plan. Yes
Prescription drug coverage
Possibly, depending on your plan. Yes
Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
Limited. Check your plan. Yes
Laboratory tests and services
Yes Yes
Preventive and wellness care
Possibly, depending on your plan. Yes
Pediatric services (including both oral care and vision care)
Possibly, depending on your plan and state. Yes
Other differences to consider when comparing plans
Apply anytime?
Yes. Get coverage as soon as the day after you apply. No. Only during open enrollment or qualifying special enrollment
Referrals required?
No. Maybe. It depends on the plan.
Preexisting conditions covered?
No, and a series of medical questions determines eligibility. Yes. Plans are guaranteed regardless of health history.

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.

In some cases, an application fee may apply.

This policy has [exclusions] [limitations] [reduction of benefits] [terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued]. For costs and complete details of'the coverage, call [or write] your insurance agent or the company [whichever is applicable).

5 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.

4 Short term plans are medically underwritten. 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/certificate 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/certificate 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 is not Minimum Essential coverage as defined in the Affordable Care Act and may not cover all Essential Health Benefits in your state. Some Short Term plans are available as association group insurance only to members of FACT, an independent association. Additional membership fees may be required.

2 Some states excluded.

6 Term lengths available can vary by state.

8 UnitedHealth Group Annual Form 10-K for year ended 12/31/19.


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