Many short-term plans do not have networks, which means you can generally go to whatever facility or provider you want. If your plan does have a network, you’ll need to check the plan specifics in order to see where you can go in order to receive covered care. Short-term plans typically restrict what type of doctor visits are covered, so check your plan details.
Some short-term plans can provide coverage for up to 3 years in some states! However, unlike a major medical plan, your short-term health insurance does not automatically renew. You can submit a new application if you want to add another period of coverage. Some states and some plans do not allow coverage up to 3 years. In addition, pay attention to deductible resets, pre-existing condition exclusions, and other issues that may come up when you re-apply for a short-term plan. Check your policy to find out how long you’re covered and your options for applying for longer coverage.
If you want a major medical plan (sometimes called long term health insurance or ACA plans), you’ll have to wait for the annual Open Enrollment Period or until you have a qualifying life event that triggers a Special Enrollment Period. The end of a short-term plan is not a qualifying life event, whether or not you are able to apply for additional short-term coverage. With that in mind, make sure to stay on top of the annual Open Enrollment Period (generally in November to December) so that you can switch to long term coverage.
Get even more of your questions about short-term health insurance answered here.