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?
Learn more about short term health insurance in Arizona.
- Arizona Short Term Health Insurance Laws
- What is Short Term Health Insurance?
- How Short Term Health Insurance Plans Work
- Who Needs Short Term Health Insurance?
- When Can You Enroll for Short Term Health Insurance?
- Where Can You Enroll for Short Term Health Insurance?
- Best Short Term Health Insurance Options in Arizona
- Find Short Term Health Insurance Now
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.
Best Short Term Health Insurance Options in Arizona
Here are Benzinga’s picks for the best health insurance providers for short term plans in the Grand Canyon State.
1. Best Overall: Pivot Health
With excellent reviews and flexible plan options, Pivot Health is our No. 1 pick for short term plans. While some plans don’t cover preventive care, Pivot Health offers plans that include some preventive care benefits, and all of its plans offer access to telehealth. Its telehealth providers are experienced and available around the clock.
Applying for a plan is quick and easy, and it also offers plans with prescription coverage. All of its plans include a prescription discount card, which helps bring down your prescription costs even more. You can enroll for 30 days for up to 3 years, depending on your needs.
2. Best for Comparing Plans: eHealth Insurance
If you dread the thought of contacting multiple insurance providers, eHealth Insurance can help. eHealth Insurance isn’t an insurance provider. Instead, it offers 1-stop shopping for short-term insurance plans. You just enter your ZIP code and answer a few quick questions to view plans in your area.
eHealth Insurance allows you to sort your options by deductible, premium, coverage limits, coinsurance or plan term so you can focus on what’s important to you. You can choose up to 4 plans to compare at once.
When you’re ready to apply, you can add dental or vision insurance and enroll right from the eHealth Insurance site.
3. Best for Affordability: UnitedHealthcare
Golden Rule Insurance Company underwrites UnitedHealthcare’s plans. UnitedHealthcare offers multiple plans under $100, making it easier to fit the coverage into your budget. You can add on telehealth services and choose from a range of deductible and coinsurance options.
Its plans also include a prescription discount card, which offers an average savings of 20% to 25%. The plans also cover doctor visits and you can add on a supplemental accident benefit, which provides additional coverage if you experience accident-related injuries.
4. Best for Pre-Existing Conditions: Independence American
In partnership with BlueCross BlueShield Arizona, Independence American Insurance Company offers a range of short-term plans. It offers coverage for pre-existing conditions with some of its plans. The coverage has a limit, but that’s still significantly more than what most short-term plans offer.
With Independence American Insurance Company’s plans, you can also add on telehealth and prescription discount plans and choose from a range of deductibles, coinsurance options and maximum benefits. Some plans also include prescription benefits.
5. Best for Benefits: Everest
Everest sets itself apart by offering benefits that aren’t always included in short term health plans. Depending on the plan you choose, it offers preventive care, including OB/GYN visits and well baby care. It also offers mental health service coverage for inpatient and outpatient care.
If you need additional help after a hospital stay, some of its plans cover extended facility care and home health care. It also covers up to $50 per visit for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
With Everest’s plans, you can choose your deductible, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximum and coverage limits, so it’s easy to configure a plan that fits into your budget.
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.