Short term health insurance frequently asked questions
Explore these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to learn more about short term health insurance plans, underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company.
What is short term limited duration health insurance?
Short term health insurance is also called short term medical insurance, temporary health insurance or term health insurance. It can help fill gaps in coverage if you’re in-between health plans. With short term plans, you can get fast, flexible coverage for 1 month up to almost 12 months.1
Looking for short term coverage for longer?
TriTerm Medical plans, underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, offer coverage options lasting nearly 3 years.2
Choosing a short term health insurance plan
Short term health insurance can be a temporary solution to help fill gaps in coverage. It can be a good idea to consider a short term plan when you’re:
- Between jobs
- Waiting for other coverage to begin
- Waiting to be eligible for Medicare coverage
- Without health insurance, outside of open enrollment
For these situations and more where you have a coverage gap, it may be helpful to shop around and find the best short term plan you can. It’s a way to assure you have the benefits you want until you find a more permanent solution.1
Term lengths vary by state, but in some states, you can apply for a short term health insurance plan that can provide nearly 12 months of coverage.
If you need coverage for longer than that, TriTerm Medical plans can provide coverage for nearly 3 years.2
Many, but not all, short term health insurance plans can take effect the day after your application is received. You may also choose a later effective date based on your needs.
Yes, spouses and dependents can be covered under a short term health insurance plan. However, short term plans are medically underwritten. That means that all family members will need to answer medical questions and meet the medical requirements of the plan.
You can apply anytime — short term health insurance plans are available year-round. There’s no need to wait for open enrollment to apply.
Usually not. If you need coverage for longer, you may be able to apply for another short term health insurance plan.3 Some states will also allow you to purchase back-to-back plans for longer coverage. However, for any plan you get later, keep preexisting conditions in mind. If you were treated for a condition under a previous plan, that condition would be considered a preexisting condition if you apply for a new plan.
Coverage and benefits
No. In most cases, short term health insurance plans do not cover preexisting conditions. Depending on your state’s definition, a preexisting condition is a condition that was diagnosed or treated within the last 2 to 5 years. If you are in this situation, you may want to explore other options or see if you can extend your current insurance plan.
Limited preventive care can sometimes be covered under a short term health insurance plan. Check plan details for more information.
Prescriptions may be covered on some short term health insurance plans. Check specific plan details to learn more.
With some short term health insurance plans, if a regular network doctor's visit is covered on the plan and the doctor offers telehealth services, you can use the service at network lower rates. Your plan's deductible and coinsurance rates apply.
Some short term plans may also offer a telehealth benefit for an additional cost. With this benefit you could have access to unlimited $0 video visits with board-certified doctors 24/7.
Check your plan benefits to see details.
Doctors and providers
It is possible that your current doctor may be covered. But before you choose a short term health insurance plan, be sure to check the network for the plan you’re considering. Review the plan’s network list to be sure the providers and doctors you prefer are included.
Most of the time, with a short term health insurance plan (a temporary plan), you’ll have the flexibility to choose any qualified health care provider that’s in the network. Check your coverage details to learn more.
Referrals are not required to see a specialist with short term health insurance plans underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company. You can see any specialist you wish, but may want to choose one within the network.
Other short term plans may differ, so be sure to check the details before you buy.
Costs and enrollment
Yes. Choosing a plan with fewer benefits, or a higher deductible, or staying in the network for your care are all effective ways to save money. In some states, you may be able to pay your entire premium up front to save money, too.
Most often, the answer is yes. Short term health insurance plans (or temporary plans) underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company include multiple plans and deductible choices to meet a range of budgets and needs.
As always, check the short term plan you are considering carefully.
Short term health insurance plans offer different deductible options you can choose from to meet your needs.
Short term health insurance plans (also called temporary plans) can be canceled at any time without penalty.
If you need coverage for longer, you may be able to apply for another short term plan.3 However, for any subsequent plan, whatever you received treatment for under a preceding plan will be considered a preexisting condition.
No. Short term health insurance coverage is not “minimum essential coverage” as defined by the ACA. The federal tax penalty for not having minimum essential coverage no longer applies as of January 31, 2019. However, tax penalties may still exist at the state level. Talk to your tax advisor for more information.
No. Short term health insurance plans do not qualify for tax subsidies under the ACA. Short term plans (temporary plans) generally cost less than ACA health plans, so the option may still make sense for your situation.