As the largest single health insurance carrier in America, UnitedHealth Group offers a number of policies covering every aspect of health care. The company operates under separate divisions for different types of insurance. If you’re searching for a short-term health plan, also called an STHP or short-term insurance, then you’ll be looking under UnitedHealth One, which is United’s subsidiary company that handles voluntary benefits, pet coverage and other similar insurance products. Short-term health insurance gives you temporary benefits while you’re without other options or waiting for a major medical plan to start.
UnitedHealth One offers four nationwide short-term health insurance policies and one temporary medical plan reserved for residents of Kentucky, South Carolina and Wyoming. The type of plan you pick will depend on your medical needs. As with major medical insurance, short-term policies cover things like doctor’s visits and emergency care. They may not cover preventive care, however, and many STHPs don’t provide for services related to maternity or substance abuse. With UnitedHealth One, you can choose from one of the following options:
- Short Term Medical Value: This lower cost option allows enrollees to get temporary protection without the price tag of more comprehensive policies. The company will pay 70 percent of eligible expenses after you meet a deductible, which ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. Once you reach a maximum out-of-pocket cap, United will cover the remaining expenses at 100 percent.
- Short Term Medical Copay: The copay plan under UnitedHealth includes predictable copays and set amounts for coinsurance. For example, doctor’s visits will cost $50 out of pocket, and the plan does offer prescription coverage. Out-of-pocket maximums are higher with this plan, but the company pays 80 percent of eligible expenses once you reach your deductible.
- Short Term Medical Plus: Medical Plus plans give members peace of mind when it comes to deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. United pays 80 percent of expenses after you reach your deductible, and there’s a $10,000 maximum amount that you’ll have to pay before the company will cover costs at 100 percent.
- Short Term Medical Plus Elite: The difference between Medical Plus and Medical Plus Elite comes in the lifetime payout amount. Under the Plus plan, United will only pay benefits up to a million dollars over the lifetime of your policy. With Plus Elite, the company adds $500,000 to this maximum so that you have a $1.5 million payout maximum.
- Short Term Medical: This plan is only available to you if you live in South Carolina, Wyoming or Kentucky. Designed for people “in transition” according to United’s website, the plan includes features such as lower deductibles, extensions for people who get confined as inpatients, and limited time frames up to six months.
Four of the above plans are available to most people living throughout the United States, but policies may vary by state and availability. You should also keep in mind that short-term plans don’t qualify as minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This means that you may not receive the same benefits as you would under a major medical plan, and the government will assess a tax penalty against you if you choose an STHP over a regular policy. Make sure you understand the full picture before signing up for a plan.