Find The Best Short Term Health Insurance

The best short term health insurance is the plan that covers your needs and the needs of your family while still being affordable. There are plenty of choices available to you - let's explore your options!

Short Term Health Insurance Defined

Short term health insurance is coverage for accidents and illness for a set time period, and often it is far less expensive than an ACA (Obamacare) plan. A short term plan is a common health insurance solution when relocating, changing jobs, or waiting for your next health plan to kick in. Short term health insurance is also a great choice for those needing coverage, but not needing the type or breadth of coverage an ACA plan might provide.

There are two main advantages to short term health insurance.

First, your options for providers are far greater, as the best short term health insurance plans are often nationwide PPO (Preferred Provider Organizaiton) network plans. These plans provide coverage at discounted rates through a preferred network, but still provide some coverage outside of the network

Second, there is no open enrollment period to short term health insurance. You can apply for a short term plan at any time, often receive approval within minutes, and have coverage as soon as the next day!

Why Choose A Short Term Health Insurance Plan?

No two people share the same health insurance needs. While an ACA plan may well provide ample coverage including maternity coverage and coverage for pre-existing conditions, it will also on the whole be notably more expensive. A short term health plan is more streamlined and lean, providing practical coverage in case of illness or accident while keeping the cost reasonable.

The Best Short Term Health Insurance Plans Are Less Restrictive

While an ACA plan has certain guidelines it must meet for minimum coverage (10 coverage points, in fact!), a short term plan will specifically cover you in case of a major illness or accident without extra items driving up the cost. If you're generally in good health, a short term plan will likely be far less expensive month-to-month, and likely have a lower deductible.

No Open Enrollment Periods

You only have a narrow window through the year to enroll in an Obamacare/ACA plan - usually only a single month in November. A short term medical plan however can be purchased at any time. You are also often able to receive approval in minutes after answering a few health related questions, and coverage can start as soon as the next day. For this reason alone, a short term health insurance policy is a great way to ensure you stay covered when between jobs, or between policies.

Should I Consider A Short Term Health Insurance Plans?

Short term plans aren't for everyone. If you have recurring medical expenses due to a pre-existing condition, you might prefer the more comprehensive coverage of an ACA plan. In particular, some major health issues will not be covered by a short term medical insurance policy. Be sure to check what conditions might disqualify you from coverage. Major health issues such as heart diseas or, diabete would be better served by an Obamacare plan. Likewise, a major medical event or illness within the past five years might complicate or prevent you from being able to receive short term coverage.

What Is The Best Short Term Health Insurance Option For Me?

Consider a short term health insurance policy for any of the following scenarios:

Key Differences Between Short Term Health Insurance and Obamacare

The biggest difference between a short term medical plan and an ACA plan are the types of conditions and situations covered. Specifically, an Obamacare plan will cover pre-existing conditions, and also will include materinity coverage. A short term health insurance plan is more practical in coverage, meant to provide insurance in the event of major illness or injury.

Summary of Short Term Health Insurance Benefits


Coverage Term
364 days up to 36 months for some states.

Availability
365 days a year

Prescription Drugs
Covered where required by state law.

Mental Health Services
Covered where required by state law.

General Cost
Often 40% or more less than ACA plans.

Final Considerations Regarding Short Term Health Insurance

The best short term health insurance plans often do not cover pre-existing conditions. You may also not be eligible to re-enroll automatically at the end of your term - you would be required to re-apply and go through underwriting again. A short term plan does not meet the minimum coverage requirements to be ACA compliant.

All of that being said, a short term medical plan can often save you a lot of money both in premiums and deductibles, and is likely more widely accepted than an ACA plan, allowing more freedom and flexibility in selecting your doctors.

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