Short Term Health Insurance

What is Short Term Health Insurance?

Short term health insurance is a flexible plan that provides coverage in certain medical conditions. Many of its features differ from traditional health insurance plans. Let’s understand more about these short term insurance plans and how you can get most out of these plans.

What is short term health insurance?

Short term health insurance also referred to as temporary health insurance or term health insurance, gives you temporary coverage to fill gaps when you are between plans or in case of an emergency. These are the affordable insurance plans when you need temporary medical coverage.

You should consider short term plans if you are:

  • Between jobs or waiting to start a new job.
  • Waiting for the ACA coverage to begin.
  • Waiting for Medicare coverage.
  • You missed the deadline to apply for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • You are 26 and no longer on your parent’s insurance plan.
  • You are younger than 65 and are healthy.

Short term health insurance coverage

Short term insurance coverage varies depending on the insurer you choose. It is not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines for these plans. Short term insurance plans do not cover any pre-existing conditions and do not have minimum essential coverage like the traditional ones.

In particular, these short term health insurance provide coverage for a routine doctor visit, preventive care, and emergency care. Some plans may also provide coverage for prescriptions. Make sure to go through the conditions and limitations of the plans before buying them.

Benefits of short term insurance plans

Short term insurance plans provide fast and flexible coverage during some dynamic changes in your life. These short term plans can:

  • Provide coverage in case of sudden sickness or harm.
  • Give Coverage soon after your enrollment application is submitted.
  • Allow you to pick the length of the plan’s coverage varying from 30 days up to 1 year.
  • Provide insurance during transitional periods.

Key facts about Short Term Health Plans

  • You can apply for coverage at any time and get coverage on the next day of your application.
    Short term health plan’s coverage typically lasts for about three months.
  • A card that discounts the cost of drugs may be provided by Short Term health plans since most of these plans do not provide drug coverage. Newer drug plans may offer generic drug coverage for prescriptions not related to any pre-existing conditions.
  • The costs associated with childbirth are not covered, but childbirth complications are generally covered.
  • Only the minimum state-mandated mental health coverage is provided.
  • Substance use disorder coverage, such as rehabilitation, is only provided when required by the state.
    Preventative care services are not usually covered by these plans, but some plans have coverage with cost-sharing requirements.
  • Pediatric, oral and dental care is provided when state-mandated.
  • Plans may either have a preferred network or are broadly accepted.

Short Term Health Insurance provides limited medical insurance for a predetermined period of time. Short Term Health plans are characterized by reduced medical coverage levels and by insurance premiums that can be fifty percent less expensive than basic Obamacare plans. Since Short Health Insurance plans do not comply with minimum coverage standards of the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”), you will have to pay the federal “Shared Responsibility Tax”.

Do short term health insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions?

Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered by Short Term Health Insurance as they do not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Your application for Short Term Health Insurance will have a series of questions about your present health status and it will not provide coverage for any pre-existing condition.

How Is Short Term Health Insurance Different From Obamacare and Standard Healthcare Plans?

Short term insurance policy’s coverage lasts no longer than 12 months. Based on your insurance requirements and employment condition short term plan may be beneficial to you. Some of the primary differences between short-term and regular insurance policies are outlined below:

Standard Health Insurance Short Term Health Insurance
Duration of coverage From 30 days to 12 months 1 year or more
Meets ACA requirements No Yes
When the coverage starts It begins with a quick application, generally within 1 to 14 days It can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks
Covers pre-existing conditions No Yes
Covers maternity care coverage No Yes
Covers medical emergency Yes Yes
The policy can be renewed No Yes
Affordability Affordable low premium Premium amount may be high

Pros and cons to short term health insurance

Here are some pros and cons that can help you understand if short term health insurance is the right choice for you:


  • Short term plans can be cheaper than the ACA plan, even after including the tax penalty.
  • It can fill the short term gap in your coverage when needed.
  • You can discontinue the plan at any time without any penalty.
  • Short Term plan limitations on pre-existing conditions won’t impact you If you don’t have any medical issues.
  • Ther is no specific enrolment period, you can enroll anytime.
  • It gives you financial protection from unexpected incidents.


  • It provides limited coverage on medical services and does not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • You need to fill the questionnaire and meet some required health conditions to be eligible for short term insurance.
  • There are no standard rules, coverage varies depending on the insurer.

Short term health insurance may not be a good fit for everyone. Before buying a short term health insurance plan make sure to read the policy details thoroughly. Understand the benefits and exclusions to make the right choice. With temporary coverage, these short term health insurance can greatly help you with health claims. Having some medical protection is better than having none. Be wise and make the right choice.