Getting Short Term Health Insurance in California

Individual and Family

Getting Short Term Health Insurance in California

Published on April 27, 2018


Are you a resident of California and wondering what your options are for California short-term health insurance? Look no further than eHealth—we have affordable short term health insurance plans for those who don’t have major medical coverage.
Keep reading to learn more about short term health insurance in California, how you can easily find a plan for yourself, and why some people are choosing short term health insurance instead of major medical coverage.

Short term health insurance: California

Short term health insurance in California is just like short term health insurance in any state—it’s meant to help you in certain situations including:

  • Change of employment
  • Inability to afford major medical insurance/Obamacare
  • Gap in coverage while waiting for Medicare to kick in
  • Need for proof of insurance quickly for an activity or trip (Short term health insurance will not suffice as proof of insurance for tax purposes)

This type of coverage is not meant to be used for an extended period of time, but it can be incredibly handy in certain circumstances. If you have a gap in your coverage and need temporary peace of mind that you’ll have access to medical care without breaking your bank account, short term health insurance might be a great affordable option for you.
According to an eHealth study on demand for short term insurance, although short term health insurance is meant to be temporary, many Americans are using this type of coverage for when they simply cannot afford ACA-compliant coverage (Obamacare plans).

Short term plans in California: What do they cover?

If you decide that short-term health insurance in California is the right type of coverage for you, it’s important to know that its low cost comes with sacrifices. While a short term plan in California will likely have lower monthly premiums than major medical (which is more traditional health insurance, usually with more benefits), it also has limited coverage. For some healthy individuals, who don’t have a lot of medical expenses, this may make sense. If you don’t foresee many medical costs, visits to the doctor, or prescriptions throughout the year, and only want some type of coverage in case of a serious medical emergency, the low cost of short-term health insurance in California may be a good option for gap periods.
California short term health insurance plans can include the following:

  • Services and treatments related to unexpected illness and injury:
    • Outpatient visits to doctors
    • Emergency room visits
    • Hospital stays
    • Surgeries
    • X-rays and lab services related to emergencies
  • Extra benefits like prescription drugs (although you may need to pay more for these benefits)

Why people use short term health insurance plans

Although short term health plans were originally intended for temporary coverage, an eHealth study shows that many people are turning to short term health insurance due to high prices of other plans, such as more traditional major medical health insurance.
According to eHealth’s data in 2017, 57% of combined short term and major medical plan applications we received were for short term health insurance–which is a 10% increase from the previous year. These applications suggest a steady growth in demand for short term health insurance plans.
A possible reason for this, is that short-term plans are often more affordable than major medical, or traditional health insurance.
In a survey conducted by eHealth, 61% of respondents reported that they chose short term as temporary coverage, but there was also a group of respondents (27%) who chose short term health insurance because they couldn’t afford other coverage.

How does California short term health insurance work?

A major benefit of short term health insurance in California, like most states, is that it starts quickly—sometimes within 24 hours.
Along with being affordable, short term health insurance in California may cover many emergency-related costs, and keep monthly costs low. You can also cancel your plan pretty easily once you get more permanent health insurance.
Learn more about short term health insurance plans here.
Each California short term health insurance plan has its own terms and limitations, so be sure to check the official plan documents to understand how that specific plan works.  This article is only for general education.

How to get short term health insurance in California

eHealth, like other private online health insurance exchanges, has a quick, streamlined process for you to shop and buy short term health insurance.
By using eHealth, all you need to do is enter your zip code, provide some general personal information, and we can show you what short term health insurance options are available to you.

Short term Health Insurance in California: Why to get it

UnitedHealthOne defines short-term health insurance plans as solely meant for providing “temporary care insurance during unexpected coverage gaps”.
Although since 2017, there has been talk about extending coverage periods of short term health insurance plans, it is still true that these plans are not designed as permanent coverage.
Don’t be afraid of choosing short term coverage. There are still plenty of reasons to purchase short term health insurance in California, and certain circumstances are well suited to this type of coverage. Short term plans in California can provide:

  • Affordable rates
  • Peace of mind
  • Quick approval
  • Flexible terms

We’ll let you know when we publish anything new.