Short-term Insurance

Who’s Buying Short Term Health Insurance?

Updated on November 18, 2019


Who is buying short term health insurance?

Short term health insurance is an option that is increasing in popularity for those looking for a cheap or temporary solution to their health insurance coverage needs.
According to a 2019 study by eHealth, those that are buying short term health insurance include:

  • Older enrollees looking for affordable coverage
  • Those looking to fill gaps in coverage
  • Those who missed the Obamacare open enrollment period

Why are people buying short term health insurance?

Short term coverage can be a great option for those who need a short-term solution to their health insurance needs.
According to an eHealth survey affordability is a key factor for many enrollees, particularly for those from ages 55-64. Many of the older people in this age group (70 percent) said that affordability was their primary reason for choosing short term health insurance.
Many of those 55-64 say they value lower premiums more than comprehensive benefits (about 88 percent). More than half of these adults said that they would be retaining their coverage for 7 months or longer.

What is short term health insurance?

Short term health insurance provides you with coverage for a limited amount of time. Up until 2019, short term coverage was limited to 3 months (or 90 days), but due to an executive order signed in August of 2018, short term plans have been extended. Depending on which state you live in, you may be able to have a short term health insurance plan for up to a year, with the chance to renew for up to three years.
Unlike Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant plans, there is no open enrollment period for short term plans. You also don’t need to experience a qualifying life event to trigger a special enrollment period, so you can buy short term coverage year round.
This type of health insurance may be ideal for those who are between jobs, waiting for coverage to start, or missed the open enrollment period.
This is a great option for those who need fast coverage as well, with some plans beginning coverage just days after enrollment.
Keep in mind that short term plans typically do not provide as comprehensive of coverage as most major medical health insurance plans. Because these plans provide less coverage, they tend to be less expensive. Unlike ACA-compliant plans, which are required to cover the 10 essential benefits (such as maternity care, prescription drugs, and preventative visits to name a few), short term plans are not required to cover these benefits and they typically do not cover pre-existing conditions.

Source: eHealth
While the laws surrounding short term health plans have been changed at the federal level, access and length of short term plans may vary depending on where you live in the United States. There are a few states where short-term plans are not offered at all, while some states still offer short term plans, but limit them to just a couple months.

Is short term health insurance right for me?

Short term coverage may be right for you if:

  • You are waiting for your health insurance to kick in or to qualify for Medicare
  • You need coverage between jobs/employer-sponsored insurance
  • You missed the open enrollment period
  • You are between the ages of 55-64 and are looking for affordable short term coverage

According to [source] 9 in 10 enrollees said that they are very or somewhat satisfied with their short-term coverage that they purchased through eHealth even though their coverage is not as comprehensive as coverage available under ACA-compliant plans.
eHealth offers a wide selection of health insurance plans, including short term plans. We carry more than 3,600 short term plans from over 16 carriers. Visit eHealth’s short term health insurance page and enter your zip code to start shopping for an affordable plan that suits your needs and budget.

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