What are my health insurance options?

If you're looking for individual health insurance or family health insurance, you probably have some ideas of what you need, but not really what's available.

You can try searching for cheap health insurance, affordable health insurance, reliable health coverage, even the best health insurance for the money. However, the health plans you find through these general searches might not always apply to you.

Before you sort through those searches, this quick guide to individual health insurance plans can help you understand what you might find.

Need coverage now - Short term health insurance1

If you lost coverage or are coming off some other insurance, short term medical insurance might work as the right health plan for you while you find more permanent health coverage. Often called term medical insurance or temporary medical insurance, short term medical plans are designed to give health coverage during a limited series of months.

See what short term plans are available in your state

Short term health insurance in a nutshell

  • Not intended to be primary medical insurance, and doesn't have the same benefits as Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance. Plans vary widely in what they cover.
  • Generally less expensive than ACA coverage, but you may be subject to a tax penalty.
  • Application includes a series of medical questions to determine if you qualify for coverage.
  • Preexisting conditions are typically not covered.
  • You can apply at any time, all year round, and in many cases get covered as soon as the next day.


  1. Short term health insurance does not meet minimum essential coverage requirements, meaning signing up for this coverage may result in a tax penalty. Plans are subject to health underwriting, and do not cover preexisting conditions.
  2. THIS PRODUCT PROVIDES LIMITED BENEFITS. This is a supplement to health insurance and is not a substitute for the minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Lack of major medical coverage (or other minimum essential coverage) may result in an additional payment with your taxes.

Definitions of terms may vary by insurance plan or company.

Product design and availability varies by state.

All products require separate applications. Separate policies are issued.

No individual applying for health coverage through the individual Marketplace will be discouraged from applying for benefits, turned down for coverage, or charged more premium because of health status, medical condition, mental illness claims experience, medical history, genetic information or health disability. In addition, no individual will be denied coverage based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, political affiliation or source of income.

References to UnitedHealthcare pertain to each individual company or other UnitedHealthcare affiliated companies.

Each company is a separate entity and is not responsible for another's financial or contractual obligations.

Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services are provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

Products and services offered are underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, Health Plan of Nevada, Inc., Oxford Health Insurance, Inc., UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of New York, Inc.

This policy is subject to various exclusions and limitations. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call (or write) your insurance agent or the company (whichever is applicable).