Short Term Health Insurance, also know as Short Term Health Plans (STHP) are a big focus of discussion by millions of consumers within the USA. Reason being is simple, currently if you missed the open enrollment period (October 1st through March 31st for most states) and you wish to obtain healthcare, a short term health plan might be your only option.
That is unless you have a “qualifying life event” which would then make you eligible for an ACA approved plan. Use the following link to find out more about what is considered an “Obamacare Qualifying Event”.
The Top Five Short Term Health Plan Facts That You Must Know
- Short Term Health Insurance is not ACA Compliant (Affordable Care Act / Obamacare). So what does that mean? It means that if you are seeking health insurance because you do not want to receive the ACA tax penalty, a short term plan is not going to help. You will still be liable to pay the $75 or 1% of income penalty.
- Short Term Health Plans are NOT required to accept every applicant even if they have a pre-existing condition. This is the exact opposite of ACA approved plans which are required to accept everyone. So if you have been rejected before for health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, you can be almost 100% certain that you will not be able to obtain a short term plan. So what if you need a plan that doesn’t exclude for pre-existing conditions? You have two choices, one being to wait until open-enrollment starts in October 1st, the second would be to see if you have had a “qualifying life event” that may allow you to enroll outside of the open enrollment period.
- Short term plans are not a good option for your long term healthcare needs. This should be almost obvious, hence the name “short term”. One of the specific reasons that they’re not a good “long term” fit, is because there are often lifetime limits on the total maximum that these plans will pay out over the lifetime of the plan. So for example, if you needed $1,000,000 in healthcare service as the result of a serious illness, disease, car accident, brain injury and so on, some short term plans have caps that limit the total spend to $500,000. Sometimes it can be less or more than that, so be sure to read the fine print.
- Short term health plans are not ACA compliant, therefore they are not subsidized by the government. While many plans are very inexpensive, typically their benefits are somewhat limited as well. Again, be sure to read the fine print and make sure that any plan you are considering purchasing is a good fit for your short term healthcare needs. We strongly advise that you speak with a short term health insurance professional about the plan you are interested in before proceeding. Our phone lines are open 24/7.
- Short term plans are not offered by all insurance carriers. Some individuals often say they would prefer that only one health insurance carrier have access to all of their medical records and personal data. First, to set those concerns at ease, the government sets very strict HIPAA rules and regulations regarding consumer privacy. These are very strictly enforced and of all governmental agencies, many could argue that HIPAA compliance regulations are the most feared for any organization to be in violation of. All that said, if you would prefer to transition from a short term plan into an ACA complaint plan at a later date with a large insurance carrier, you’re options are going to be limited, especially depending on the state you live in.
Those are the primary five most important things you need to know whenever you are shopping for short term health care. Again, we strongly advise that you speak with a short term health insurance specialist before purchasing any plan. Licensed and trained professionals are available 24/7 (typically) and will happily answer any of the questions that you may have.
Update 12/3/2014: If you are interested in determining if you are eligible for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, please use the calculator provided below. This Obamacare Subsidy Calculator which has been updated for the 2014/2015 season will give you an accurate estimate as to how much of a subsidy you qualify for. Please keep in mind that it is still advised that you speak with a licensed health insurance agent to ensure that you aren’t overlooking anything that would prevent you from obtaining a larger subsidy.