Short term health insurance in simple terms is the insurance coverage provided for individuals for a short period. The duration can vary from 1 month to several months depending on your requirements. Another added advantage is that this insurance can be dropped at anytime without any penalty charges. There are different types of short health insurance offered based on the need or the current status of the person. People who already have any medical conditions may not be eligible for short health insurance as the scope of coverage for this type of insurance is limited.
A short term insurance provides the same feeling of security and stability when compared to the long term insurance. This ensures that any health problems that occur unexpected can be covered under this scheme. The procedure for applying for these insurance is very simple and only requires very few verification.
STM plans to cover the temporary insurance coverage gap
Short-term health insurance (STM) plans are useful when an individual has a temporary insurance coverage gap. Maybe you are out of a job, lack the eligibility for a group insurance plan, don’t want to pay for COBRA plans, or don’t qualify for special enrollment in an Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant plan and must persevere until the enrollment period reopens.
Who Is Eligible for Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance offers limited coverage and serves as a space for individuals waiting to qualify for an ACA compliant plan. It can help those waiting to qualify for a group insurance plan or missed the open enrollment. Some individuals prefer short-term health insurance as temporary coverage for emergency purposes if they are suddenly lacking coverage for several reasons. Here are some examples:
Those who leave jobs with a health insurance plan and fail to qualify for COBRA plans
Early retirement and looking for temporary insurance until qualifying for Medicare
Lacking the qualification for a group plan due to divorce
Migrating to a new state which blocks your existing plan and waiting for a new plan to start
Students or young adults aged 26 whose parentís insurance coverage is no longer valid
People in need of a plan with no network and find ACA plans very costly
Everyone is eligible for short-term health insurance. But since short-term health is not ACA compliant, it uses medical underwriting, and you may not be insured (or gain little coverage). Based on your current residing state, you may only gain limited coverage for a maximum of three years.
The 7 Best Short-Term Health Insurance Providers in Florida
Most individuals prefer short-term health insurance because it’s a cheaper alternative in contrast to an ACA marketplace plan. STM plans come with restrictions and exclusions; they may not offer coverage for essential benefits, or they have restrictive maximum limits, high co-pays or deductibles, or don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Due to the high restrictions and differences among plans, its recommended to be discreet when purchasing an STM policy. Ensure to check the coverage type and the duration of the coverage.
After reviewing plans for a dozen of the largest health insurers in the state of Florida, we found the best STM options for you.
- LifeShield, SGIC: Best value for money for GAP (supplemental) and bridging major insurance’s deductibles gap
- Aspen STM: Best for comprehensive coverage
- National General: Best for variety of STM insurance products and different features
- Everest: Best Overall
- Pivot Health: Best Value
- IHC Health Group: Best for Customized Coverage
- UnitedHealthcare: Best for Longest Policy Options
1.LifeShield VitalaCare Limited Benefit Medical
Review: This PPO plan from LifeShield National Insurance Co. is meant to offer you, and your covered dependents, with first dollar coverage that is capped at certain amounts for particular services. You can use your benefit to cover medical expenses or for expenses associated with your medical event and to assist with lost wages or lost job.
LifeShield uses PHS insurance network and offers excellent limited benefit medical insurance plans. Overall, LifeShield has recieved a high customer Experience rating of 4.5/5. LifeShield National Insurance Company has been rated B++ by A.M. Best, and has an A- rating on the BBB, with a total of 6 complaints over the last three years, which appear to have been resolved.
Benefits payable directly to the policyholder (unless specified otherwise) that can be used for any purpose
Availability for you, your spouse and eligible dependent children
Clear benefit amounts so you know the exact amount that’s payable for covered services
What is included?
Hospital Stays Benefits
This plan features a healthcare facility or hospital stays benefit – in order that you receive a set amount when you are confined in a hospital. The benefits are paid directly to you or your designee. This health plan benefits range from:
Inpatient Hospital Stay :$100/day, $200/day, $300/day, $500/day, $750/day, $1,000/day
Maximum Benefit Days (per Plan Year): 30
Maximum Benefit Amount (per Plan Year): $3,000, $6,000, $9,000, $15,000, $22,500, $30,000
Doctor Visits Benefits
This plan incorporates a doctor visit benefit – and that means you will receive a set amount if you have to go to the doctor due to an accident or illness. The health benefits are paid directly to you or your designee.
Physician Office Visit: $50/visit or $75/visit
Maximum Visits (per Plan Year): 3 or 5
Maximum Benefit Amount (per Plan Year): $150, $250, $375
A telemedicine solution that solves the three biggest issues in healthcare: Access, Cost, and Quality:
Available in all states
How it works
Get a comprehensive selection of telehealth solutions and consultation with a doctor 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by web, phone, or mobile app. Need to see the doctor? Choose “video” or “phone” as the method for your visit to the doctor.
Got a busy schedule? Decide on a time that’s good for you by choosing “schedule” instead of “as soon as possible.” The company will search our nationwide network of U.S. board- certified and licensed doctors, physicians, dermatologist and therapists and pair you with a health care provider licensed in your state.
If medically vital, a prescription will be delivered to the pharmacy of your choice. Get the treatment you need in a timely, expedient manner. Additionally, you can send your visit results to your primary care physician.
Karis360 makes healthcare simpler by assisting members with questions about insurance claims, medical billing, and where to go for care:
Concierge services for members for all healthcare questions and issues
Unlimited assistance from a Personal Advisor who works in coordination of healthcare providers to lessen members’ out-of-pocket medical expenses.
RX Helpline assists members with advocacy and discounts to make prescription medications more affordable.
Personalized Assistance: Review all possible savings with one of its specialized advocates.
Real Savings: Members save on average 44% per prescription.
Instant Access: Receive immediate access to top national cost-savings program for all brand name and generic medications.
Who is it for?
LifeShield VitalaCare Limited Benefit Medical is ideal for people:
Those who want the freedom to choose in using their benefit payment
Individuals who desire the added coverage of an indemnity plan
People seeking a secondary health insurance to supplement a higher deductible major medical plan
2.National General Health Insurance
Review: National General’s Short Term Medical insurance offers good temporary plans to face unpredictable moments in life with confidence. It provides the financial protection you need from unexpected medical bills and other health care expenses. Its plans are not the lowest priced and don’t cover all health care necessities, but the company offers wonderful features and a variety of products, including short-term health, supplemental and dental insurance.
Health insurance through National General is a good choice if you would like cheap, temporary coverage. Some of the ideal fit circumstances are
Missing open enrollment
Bridging the open enrollment (deductibles) gap
Students who recently graduated and waiting for job
If you are a student who is leaving your parents coverage
Part-time or temporary employees
When are between jobs and waiting for your new benefits to begin
Looking for low-cost alternatives to major medical insurance
Strong provider network through Aetna
Convenient short-term health plan deductibles, coinsurance levels, out-of-pocket maximums and coverage period maximums
Health benefits involve telemedicine and gym membership savings
Doctor visits and some preventive care
Emergency room and ambulance coverage
Urgent care benefits, and more
Insurance that covers the essential benefits (pregnancy, prescription drugs and other health care services)
Cheap short-term health insurance premiums
National General Short Term Medical Insurance Feature Highlights
Coverage Period Maximum of $250,000 and $1,500,000
Deductible options of $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000
Coinsurance Percentage of In-Network plan 100/0, 80/20, 70/30, and 50/50
Doctor Office Visit and Urgent Care Co-pay of $50
3.Aspen STM insurance
Review: Aspen Short Term Medical insurance includes flexible plan designs and options to help you and the plan that fits your needs, budget, and your time frame. Aspen STM plans are decent enough and provide a good, overall financial protection you need from unexpected medical bills and other health care expenses.
Aspen Short-term Health Insurance plans offer many attractive benefits for its members:
$40 Copayment to visit the doctor’s office and/or urgent care clinic.
Access to the PHCS nationwide network of providers.
Annual routine physical is included for each covered person with a $50 Copayment.
It is ideal for those who are:
Between jobs or have been laid off
Ineligible for Obamacare subsidies
Bridging the open enrollment gap
Looking for access to a PPO network
Waiting for employer benefits
Part-time or temporary employee
Without adequate health insurance
Aspen STM Feature Highlights
Coverage Period Maximums of $1,500,000
Deductible options of $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or $7,500
Access to the nationwide PHCS Network
Coinsurance options: 70/30, 80/20
Maximum out-of-pocket options: $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000
Purchase in full or make monthly payments
Aspen STM insurance Benefits
Urgent Care benefits
Access to Multiplan PHCS Network
Aspen is available in all states including Virgina, New York, Texas, Arizona, Florida etc.
4. Best Overall: Everest
Doesn’t enclose you to a network
Low copay and coinsurance options
Home health care, physical therapy, mental health, and substance abuse benefits
Prescriptions have no coverage
Pre-existing conditions have no coverage
Not found in most states
Everest is a well-known insurance underwriter since 1973. According to Moodyís insurance financial strength rating, this company is rated A1 with various policy types on the market, including property, casualty, specialty, accident, and health insurance. They do business in 23 states nationwide.
The premiums for Everest’s short-term health insurance plans vary depending on the person’s health status, deductibles, coinsurance, and more. These plans have a wellness benefit to handle preventative medicine.
Let’s look at the other features of Everest STM
Deductibles of $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, or $10,000
Maximum coverage benefits from $250,000 to $1,500,000
Coinsurance options are 50/50, 70/30, 80/20, or 100/0 with copays of $30, $40, or $50
After your approval, emergency coverage starts in 24 hours, and the routine wellness benefit has a five-day waiting period. Cancer benefits have a 30-day waiting period (cancer must be newly diagnosed 30 days after plan start date. Other covered services, including tonsillectomy, and herniorrhaphy have a six-month waiting period, and more. While Everest does not cover prescriptions, it compensates by providing discount cards.
Why We Chose It: We consider Everest as the overall best due to its low deductibles, rationale prices, and offering a highly dynamic doctor visit coverage that includes wellness visits, emergency care, and mental disorder care.
5. Best Value: Pivot Health
Zero network (all doctors accessible)
Available to 24/7 telemedicine
Extremely low maximums on cheap plans
You have to provide emergency pre-certification within 48 hours
Pivot Health started around 2016, controlling over $7 billion in insurance premiums, and has affiliated with Communicating for America, a consumer advocacy group that promotes affordable healthcare for Americans. Pivot Health is responsible for underwriting its short-term health plans through Companion Life Insurance Company, which has an AM Best financial stability rating of A+ (Superior). Pivot Health is available in 26 states including Washington, D.C.
Pivot Health offers easily understandable online tools that help you focus on your insurance needs before it gives you quotes. It also provides users with a selection of available features comprising of 70% to 75% off prescription drugs. Individuals also get discounts of 20% to 40% off of eye exams, frames, lenses, and contacts, which makes this company stand-out in terms of excellent STM value.
The Pivot website gives you a quote that shows what plans they offer in your area as well as their prices.
Individuals can select deductibles between $1,000 to $10,000, with the maximum out-of-pocket cost being between $3,000 and $10,000, and the maximum annual limits range from $100,000 to $1 million. All plans have coinsurance of 20% or 30%.
Pivot health exclusions include pre-existing conditions, immunizations, routine physical exams, and injuries from extreme sports. It has a five-day waiting period for illness, 30 days for cancer, and six months for certain specified issues like a tonsillectomy.
Why We Chose It: Pivot offers a wide array of economical basic coverages and significant alternatives to ensure that you can get the correct policy for the correct price, and you can potentially add many discounts for things like prescription drugs and vision care.
6. Best for Customized Coverage: IHC Health Group
Several plans comprise routine check-ups
It includes X-rays and several diagnostic exams
Ability to use your own doctor in- or out-of-network
Lifetime maximums up to $2,000,000
Pre-existing conditions covered on some plans up to $25,000
No coverage for Sport-related injuries
Highly customizable plans mean many coverages are excluded
Some plans have high deductibles before gaining access to coverage
You may need to join Communicating for America (CA)
The IHC Group association of insurance carriers operates in 35 states and includes member insurers like Standard Security Life, Madison National, and Independence American Insurance Company. Your policy will be handled by its member insurers depending on your location, and some states need users to join Communicating for America, a national non-profit organization that promotes health and wellbeing through member benefits. AM Best Financial Strength Rating (FSR), gave the IHC Group and Standard Security Life an A-. The IHC group plans cover 12 to 35 states, with plans differing by state.
You can request a quote online to discover their plans in your area and the price.
After investigating several policies from IHC Group carriers, we discovered that deductible options usually comprised of $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000. We also found coinsurance options of 20%, 30%, and 50% with out-of-pocket maximums between $4,000 and $10,000. Plans change depending on the state, though, and we also discovered outliers with lower deductibles, and higher out of pocket maximums.
Extra coverage for supplemental dental or hospital insurance is also included to plans. Furthermore, IHC members also provide prescription discount plans and telemedicine consultation options.
Popular exclusions include pre-existing conditions, such as items treated or consulted in the last five years before coverage was implemented. Exclusions vary by state and issuing provider. For example, the policy of Independence American Insurance Company lacked benefits for chiropractic care, mental health treatment, or periodic health exams which was compensated by an option to cover $25,000 for pre-existing conditions including known illnesses or injuries in the Connect Plus Plan.
Why We Chose It: The IHC Group provides low- to high-deductible options and users can add pre-existing condition coverage. Its among the top-ranked customizable plan providers on our list. It also offers supplemental health options like telemedicine and prescription discount plans meant to improve the basic offerings and allow consumers choose correctly.
7. Best for Longest Policy Options: UnitedHealthcare
The availability of up to three-year policy
The availability of $5,000 prescription coverage
Offers coverage for Preventative care wellness checks
Some pre-existing conditions may still gain coverage after 12 months
Only covers 19 states
Qualifying ages are 19 to 65
Limited out-of-network coverage that can change
Some plans are only accessible through FACT
UnitedHealthcare underwrites its policies through Golden Rule Insurance Company, a member of UnitedHealthcare since 2003. With over 30 years of experience, the company sells short-term health insurance, and policies are available in 19 states. Moodyís insurer financial strength rates UnitedHealthcare as an A1 company.
Visit their website to get a quote and discover the cost. Some states require users to join the Federation of American Consumers and Travelers (FACT), which requires an additional charge of $4 per month. The FACT consumer organization provides savings to members on 20 different benefits and coverages. The length of policies change depending on your plan, you can also optionally to renew up to 36 months on the TriTerm Medical plan.
They offer STM plans that cover 100% of medical costs after you meet the deductible (0% coinsurance) or options with 20%, 30%, 40%, or 50% coinsurance until you reach the annual maximums. Customization is also available for those whose plans need to include prescription medication.
Maximum benefits vary from $1 million to $2 million including exclusions like maternity care, accident-related events, emergency services, preventative care, hospitalization, pre-existing conditions, and prescription drugs. It starts covering you after you meet the deductible with options of $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, $10,000, or $12,500.
Waiting periods can change based on the coverage in the plan. Preventive care benefits have a six-month waiting period. Services comprising of pre-existing conditions only gain coverage after 12 months.
Why We Chose It: UnitedHealthcare gained the top spot for the longest policy options because it is the only provider that covers up-to-36-months where allowable by state law.
How We Chose the Health Insurance Companies
In our review, we analyzed the short-term health insurance plans through insurance companies and independent health insurance marketplaces. We researched factors such as the waiting periods, qualifications, coverage types, common exclusions, maximum limits, deductibles, and copays across the different plans. Our main objective was to feature a handful of top-ranked short-term health insurance options provided by trustworthy insurance companies so that you choose the best short-term health insurance.
Applying For It And Costs Involved
Even though short term health insurance is quite cheap and the finances can be arranged easily, there are some who find it difficult to pay for the insurance in one shot. There are multiple options available for these people where they can even split the payment across months. This helps them to balance their expenditure and ensure it does not burn a hole in their pocket. There are lots of insurance companies that provide short term health insurance.
You can easily get an online quote for the insurance based on the requirements specified by the individual. This helps you to decide on the right pick based on the cost, type and benefits. Some companies offer easy access to doctors and clinics which comes along with the package but the cost factor may be bit on the higher side. Insurance companies which provide low cost packages might have limited access to the clinics and the coverage may be less but the cost advantage is evident.
Who Needs Short-term Health Insurance?
Because people never know when some form of health insurance might be necessary, it is always a good idea to take the steps necessary to make sure that some form of it is readily available. Everyone knows that accidents happen all the time. The smartest thing to do is to be fully prepared for them when they do occur. In addition, many people go through the majority of their life in relatively good health, thus allowing them to assume that their good health will last forever. Regardless of one’s health history, though, a major illness or debilitating injury is always possible.
In the case that a person is stricken with something unexpected, it is always much better to use the time after a major illness or accident to focus on getting better. People often use much of their strength and emotional energy worrying about impromptu medical costs when they should be focused on doing what they need to do to get themselves healthy again.
A major cause of stress after an illness or accident is a lack of a clear answer as to how an untimely medical bill is going to be paid. This uncertainty as to when a medical crisis might arrive and what will happen immediately following is reason enough to make sure that one is protected at all times. Short-term health insurance is becoming an increasingly popular option for people who happen to find themselves without insurance for a brief amount of time. So, the question becomes: “Who exactly might need this type of health insurance, and what might they be entitled to?”
The thousands of people in Florida who suddenly find themselves having to deal with a change in status in regard to their job or their schooling are the ones who are encouraged to apply for short-term health insurance. Within the workforce, part-time and temporary employees are the most likely consumers of short-term health insurance. This is due mainly to the fact that many businesses do not make it a policy of theirs to cover part-time employees or those who were recently unemployed.
People who happen to be between jobs make up a large percentage of those who purchase short-term health insurance. Short-term insurance companies have made it very clear that they will gladly accept individuals who are temporarily out of work. This is good news for these workers, because most of the other insurance markets do not welcome those who find themselves unemployed with such open arms.
Since the establishment of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), people who have recently been fired or who have lost their job for one reason or another are allowed to hold on to their previous employer’s insurance for up to 36 months. Of course, this depends upon the circumstances. Most of the time, though, those people who are unemployed will be able to use COBRA to protect themselves until a new employer’s plan kicks in.
While COBRA sounds like an appealing option, it is usually the least favorite for those who do not currently have health insurance. This is due to the extremely high cost of the premium. Companies must be compensated for their willingness to continue an ex-employee’s health insurance, and charging a high price for a premium is one way to make sure that happens.
If COBRA premiums are too high for someone’s budget, a short-term health insurance policy with considerably lower premiums might be the solution. In fact, due to the increasingly competitive nature of the health insurance industry, one is likely to find a monthly premium that actually costs less than a car payment.
Another group of consumers who are beginning to make very good use of short-term health insurance plans are those who have recently graduated from college. Many graduates hunt for jobs that will offer health insurance benefits. Most of them are usually successful, but there is still a brief amount of time in between graduation and when the health insurance kicks in. Theirs is the perfect example of a situation which requires temporary coverage.
Young people who are about to lose their dependent status under their parents’ health coverage are now beginning to find comfort in short-term health insurance plans. Many young people who reach the age of 18 are not planning on going to post-secondary school. If they turn 18, and have not yet enrolled themselves as a full-time student, they will be excluded from their parents’ health insurance policy. If this situation occurs, the young person will be eligible for COBRA.
However, the premiums may be way too high for someone who is just coming out of high school and who has yet to line up a steady job. A short-term health insurance policy is much more feasible in this situation. The young person can be insured for a while, or at least until he or she finds a job that offers health insurance, or until they enroll in an individual health plan.
The final group of people who are making the move to short-term health insurance are those who are temporarily without coverage for some other reason than the ones already mentioned. For example, if a worker is on strike from his company, he or she may try to get coverage. Or, if someone has recently been discharged from the military, they most likely will be able to obtain short-term insurance.
Because of its tendency to offer both low monthly costs and high coverage limits, sales of short-term health insurance plans have skyrocketed in recent years. Those who run the business of short-term insurance can now boast of the shortest application in the health insurance industry. In addition, many insurers now offer credit card payment plans which make the whole process that much easier and stress-free.
Due to the fact that it offers low costs, high coverage amounts, and a fast purchase process, short-term health insurance serves an important function for people who are in dire need of medical coverage. Those who find themselves suddenly without a job or who have recently graduated from college are now able to take comfort in the fact that they too will be able to receive a limited form of medical coverage in the event that a medical situation arises. Thanks to the many benefits of short-term health insurance, these people, as well as others, now find themselves adequately protected in times of emergency.
What Does Short-Term Health Insurance Cover?
Short-term, limited duration (STLD) health insurance, otherwise called short-term medical (STM) offers coverage for hospital room and board, emergency health situations, inpatient doctor visits, and several unforeseen medical requirements not included in pre-existing conditions. Sadly, confusion relating to the functioning of the coverage and existing exclusions result to many claim denials. These exist emergency plans which limit preventative care, high deductibles, can stop user coverage until the deductible has been fulfilled.
Short-term health providers will customize different package types in diverse prices. Purchasing short-term health means you will discover several policies with more coverages than others. There is no need to settle for a bare minimum plan, carefully read about preventive care add-ons or other coverage for the best quotes. It’s advisable to compare several options before choosing.
What Does Short-Term Health Insurance Exclude?
There are many exclusions relating to short-term health plans such as no coverage for pre-existing conditions. Short-term health plans don’t include the ACA provisions and lack ACA compliancy. Short-term health plans can result in noteworthy risks of incurring medical debt due to high deductibles, extensive exclusions, and it may result in high chance of coverage denials.
Let’s look at some examples of exclusions that prove the limitations found in many short-term health plans:
- 43% offers no coverage for mental health services
- 62% offers no coverage for substance abuse
- 71% offers no coverage for outpatient prescription drugs
- Zero short-term health plans cover maternity care
Short-term health plans provide no coverage for wellness visits, but after our review, we found several that are offering it for a cost.
GAP Health insurance
Major Medical insurance is not cheap. In fact, this often takes up a large amount of our incomes each and every month. Unfortunately, just because we spend a ton of money on coverage, it does not mean that we will get an ample amount of it in return. Oftentimes, people are left to fend for themselves in many ways, because your major medical insurance (like the one you got enrolled during open enrollment) only kicks in when you have spent your deductible.
Because of the cost of insurance plans and their many shortcomings, people purchase additional policies. Such policies may come from the same insurer or from a different one. However, they are only small policies but they can help you with spending of those “deductible” amounts you need. And you can also show them off those “benefits” you receive from GAP medical insurance as expenses (deductibles) to your major medical insurance.
GAP policies are designed to fill in the gaps. For example, someone with insurance that covers visits to a general practitioner with a low co-pay may not have ample prescription coverage. In this case, they may take out a second policy to fill in that gap. For example, Aflac is one company that specializes in gap insurance.
People who are on Medicare may also take out a policy to supplement what they already have. This will depend upon the health condition of the Medicare recipient though. Some healthier people may decide that additional coverage is unnecessary.
Many plans fall short when covering visits to the emergency room or long hospitalizations. There may also be limits on how much of your expenses they will cover this is where gap health insurance plan can help. People with poor health histories may take out an additional policy that picks up where their main policy leaves off.
Gap health insurance can be complex. Remember when purchasing a policy like this, there can be many gotchas and sometimes the plan may not payout like you thought. So look at online reviews and find a reputable company so you will have good coverage for those uncovered health expenditures.