What Is Short Term Health Insurance?

Short-term health insurance provides temporary coverage that typically lasts from a few months to a year. This type of health plan isn't regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so they're not required to provide the minimum essential health benefits other plans mandated by the ACA do.

If you're in between health insurance plans, short-term health insurance can be an affordable option if you're looking for health coverage. Depending on your circumstances, short-term plans can even be more affordable than a major medical plan. 

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn
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Short-term health insurance provides temporary coverage that typically lasts from a few months to a year. This type of health plan isn't regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so they're not required to provide the minimum essential health benefits other plans mandated by the ACA do.

If you're in between health insurance plans, short-term health insurance can be an affordable option if you're looking for health coverage. Depending on your circumstances, short-term plans can even be more affordable than a major medical plan. 

Is short-term health insurance worthwhile?

A short-term health insurance plan may be a good option if you're fit and healthy and don't usually require health services or take regular prescriptions. In addition, a short term plan can be a good option if you want coverage in case of a medical emergency or if you're looking for immediate coverage. 

What does a short-term insurance plan cover?

Your short-term health insurance coverage varies depending on the plan you choose. For example, many short-term plans offer coverage for emergency hospital visits (including room and board if you require a longer stay), specific prescription medications, and some doctor appointments (where they don't relate to pre-existing conditions).

Most temporary or short-term health insurance plans don't provide coverage for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions, mental health or maternity care, or some other items subject to your specific plan. If you need coverage for these items, then a short term plan may not be the right option for you.

Unlike other plans, short term health insurance plans don’t guarantee the essential health benefits and protections you'll find in an Affordable Care Act plan. Some short-term insurance plans can have waiting periods, during which time the plan won't cover certain conditions until you've fulfilled the set waiting period. 

What happens when my short-term plan ends?

It's also important to be aware that if you end one term on a short-term plan and begin another short-term plan, it can mean you lose coverage for certain conditions that become pre-existing conditions. Depending on your plan, you may also have to restart any deductible or waiting period requirements. Sometimes, you may be unable to extend your short-term coverage or purchase another short-term plan when your short-term coverage ends. Many plans also typically have a maximum amount they'll pay out in coverage, so if you exceed this limit, you'll need to cover any medical costs yourself.

How to check your coverage

Like any insurance plan, it's essential to read your short-term plan details carefully to understand the limitations of your plan and coverage. Working with a local health insurance broker NC who understands the different types of short term plans available in North Carolina can help ensure you get the best coverage for your health needs and budget. Before you make a decision, we recommend checking your plan's limitations, restrictions, and level of coverage to ensure it's right for you.

How much is short term health insurance?

Although prices can vary depending on your chosen plan, the average cost of a high deductible short-term health insurance plan for a single person is $124 a month, compared to an ACA-compliant plan for a single person, which averages $456 per month.

It pays to shop around for any type of health insurance coverage to ensure that it covers the items you need at a budget you can afford. If you live in North Carolina, you have plenty of options. Our expert team at Health Plans of NC can help organize quotes for you to get your coverage started immediately within 24 hours.

Who qualifies for short-term health insurance?

To be able to qualify for a short-term health insurance plan, it's typically required to complete a health questionnaire and disclose any pre-existing conditions you have. Depending on your circumstances, you may be ineligible to obtain temporary health insurance on a short term plan. Some reasons for disqualification can include: 

  • you're currently pregnant

  • you already have an existing health insurance policy

  • you weigh over 300 pounds as a male or over 250 pounds as a female

  • you've been diagnosed with or are currently being treated for HIV or AIDS

  • you qualify for Medicaid

  • you're not a U.S citizen

Depending on the insurance provider, other reasons may disqualify you from coverage under a short-term plan. In addition, each plan sets out its own qualifications, so it's essential to check your eligibility before purchasing any plan. If you live in North Carolina, talk to Health Plans of NC today to find out more.

Get help with your health insurance

If you need help comparing short term health insurance North Carolina plans or have questions about health insurance, contact Health Plans of NC today. We offer impartial, free advice to North Carolina residents and can help get your health coverage sorted quickly and easily.

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