When you’re considering health insurance plans, the premiums can be daunting. Short term health insurance is an affordable option, but is it the right fit for you? Short term health plans aren't ACA-compliant, so it's best to do your research before signing on. Benzinga can help you out. Learn more about short term health insurance in Arizona.
Best Short Term Health Insurance Options
Here are Benzinga’s picks for the best health insurance providers for short term plans in the Grand Canyon State.
- securely through Sidecar Health Access Plan's websiteBest For:No enrollment period health insuranceRating:Read Review
Plans referred to above are excepted benefit fixed indemnity insurance products marketed and administered by Sidecar Health Insurance Solutions, LLC and underwritten by Sirius America Insurance Company or United States Fire Insurance Company, depending on the state. As an excepted benefit plan, it does not provide comprehensive/major medical expenses coverage, minimum essential coverage, or essential health benefits. You cannot receive a subsidy (premium tax credit and/or cost-sharing reduction) under the ACA in connection with your purchase of such an excepted benefit fixed indemnity insurance plan. Also, the termination or loss of this policy does not entitle you to a special enrollment period to purchase a health benefit plan that qualifies as minimum essential coverage outside of an open enrollment period. Coverage and plan options may vary or may not be available in all states.
- securely through Pivot Health's websiteBest For:Comparing short term health plansRating:
Availability of plans and policy duration vary by state.
- securely through UnitedHealthcare Short Term Health Insurance's websiteBest For:Flexible plans and coverage optionsRating:
- securely through Everest | Health's websiteBest For:Anybody who needs temporary health insuranceRating:
- securely through Aetna Short Term Health Insurance's websiteBest For:Temporary health plansRating:
Arizona Short Term Health Insurance Laws
- You can renew Arizona short health insurance plans for up to 36 months.
- Short term insurance plans aren’t required to cover any minimum type of care.
- You have 10 days to review and return a policy for a full refund.
What is Short Term Health Insurance?
Short term health insurance plans are designed for a limited period. The initial policy can be up to 364 days, and in Arizona they’re renewable for up to 3 years.
They’re less expensive because they don’t have as many benefits as health insurance plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
ACA plans have to cover certain benefits like maternity care. Short term health insurance plans don’t have minimum requirements since they don’t have to follow the rules of the ACA, so they may not cover maternity care, prescriptions and mental health care.
Short-term health insurance plans cover hospital stays and other serious medical situations. Some also cover preventive care. If that coverage is important to you, review the plan benefits carefully.
How Short Term Health Insurance Plans Work
Short term health insurance plans typically have a deductible, which is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before the plan starts coverage. The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. Your premium is the amount you pay for the plan each month.
Keep in mind that higher deductibles also mean more out-of-pocket costs, so it may be better to pay a higher premium so you don’t have as much to pay out-of-pocket. It all depends on your financial situation and your health.
Like other health insurance plans, short term plans also have copays and coinsurance. A copay is a set amount you pay for a service, like $500 for an emergency room visit. Coinsurance is a percentage you pay for a covered service. For example, you might pay 20% of a hospital stay.
Short term plans usually have lifetime and annual limits. The annual limit is the maximum the plan will pay in a given year. The lifetime limit is the maximum the plan will pay for as long as you have the policy.
Short term plans may not cover pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is a health condition that you had symptoms of before the policy starts. For example, if you sprain your ankle right before your plan starts, the plan wouldn’t cover follow-up visits for your ankle.
Who Needs Short Term Health Insurance?
While these plans have their limitations, short term plans offer affordable health insurance for those who can’t afford or don’t have access to comprehensive plans. Short term health insurance might be a good fit if you’re:
- Waiting for benefits to start at a new job
- Healthy and waiting for Medicare to start
- In between open enrollments for an ACA plan and not entitled to a special enrollment period
- Turning 26 and no longer eligible for your parent’s health insurance
- In between jobs
- Healthy and looking for a less expensive insurance option
When Can You Enroll for Short Term Health Insurance?
One of the more challenging aspects of how to get health insurance is figuring out enrollment. With employer health insurance and ACA plans, you can only sign up at specific times of the year or if you have a significant life change, like marriage or the birth or adoption of a child.
Short term health insurance plans don’t have the same limits on when you can enroll. With some plans, you can get coverage as soon as the day after you apply, and you can apply any time.
Short term health insurance plans typically require you to fill out a health questionnaire, and you can be declined for coverage. If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll qualify for coverage, contact the insurance company. They can help you determine whether a short term plan is a good fit for you.
Where Can You Enroll for Short Term Health Insurance?
There’s no single website or marketplace for short term health insurance plans in Arizona. Instead, you’ll need to contact companies directly.
Get quotes from multiple short term insurance providers so you can compare benefits and pricing. Dig into the fine print on each plan. For example, a plan with a higher premium that covers preventive care might be a better fit than a lower premium but no preventive care.
Most short term health providers make it easy to get a quote online. You can also call to learn more about the plans.
Find Short Term Health Insurance Now
While Arizona short term health insurance plans don’t have all the bells and whistles of ACA plans, they provide some coverage. Having something in place can make all the difference if you’re faced with a significant hospital or doctor bill.
These plans can help fill the gap while you’re waiting for access to a more comprehensive plan. Start with our recommended providers to find short term health insurance now.
Are short term health plans available everywhere?
Many states allow them and several outlawed this type of coverage. Others place restrictions. These laws have been in flux over the past few years, so we suggest refreshing your knowledge each time you search for a plan.
Are short term health plans more affordable?
A short term health plan premium is often lower than your average health insurance premium. However, due to limited benefits, high deductibles, low annual maximums and a lack of certain coverage, such as for preexisting conditions, may mean you end up paying more in the long run.