Short-Term Health Insurance

Comparing Short-Term Health Insurance with Regular Health Insurance

Unlike traditional health insurance plans, short-term insurance policies provide medical coverage for a limited period of time, usually no longer than 12 months. Temporary health insurance is ideal for people who are only temporarily uninsured, such as those who are in-between jobs, waiting on employer or government-sponsored health benefits, or have missed their open enrollment period. 

A short-term insurance plan may be beneficial to you based on your insurance needs and employment situation. The primary differences between short-term and regular insurance policies are outlined below to help you decide if a short-term plan is right for you.

Short-term insurance is not required to observe the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements.

Short-term plans do not cover all of the ten essential health benefits that ACA health plans are required to cover. Most short-term plans are designed to protect against sudden illnesses and injuries and provide only emergency services coverage.


Short-term insurance is flexible.

The coverage duration of short-term insurance plans ranges from 30 days to 12 months, so your length of coverage is up to you. Short-term policies are also often approved quickly, and can go into effect as soon as the day after applying.


Short-term insurance is less expensive.

Short-term policies can use medical underwriting to reject less healthy people or those with certain health conditions. As a result, this makes the cost of short-term plans much lower than regular insurance plans.

Short-term insurance is not renewable.

Once your short-term insurance coverage period ends, you cannot renew your existing policy. However, you may be able to enroll in a new short-term health insurance policy. You can usually enroll in up to two policies each year.

Short-term insurance does not provide pre-existing condition coverage.

Unlike traditional insurance, which covers pre-existing conditions, short-term insurance plans do not provide pre-existing condition coverage. Short-term policies only protect against unforeseen incidents, covering basic medical needs and emergencies. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, a short-term insurance plan may not provide you with the coverage you need.

My SoCal Insurance Solutions is licensed by the California Department of Insurance and Covered California. 

Medicare has not reviewed or endorsed the information on this website.

Updated July 13, 2019

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