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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.

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