Best Short-Term Health Insurance in North Carolina

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Contributor, Benzinga
January 24, 2022

Securing health insurance can be stressful and expensive. Short-term health insurance can help. Learn more about short-term health insurance in North Carolina. 

Best Short-Term Health Insurance Options

Where should you start when it comes to getting a quote? Here are the best health insurance plans for the short term nationwide. 

  • securely through Sidecar Health Access Plan's website
    securely through Sidecar Health Access Plan's website
    Best For:
    No enrollment period health insurance
    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 website
    securely through Pivot Health's website
    Best For:
    Comparing short term health plans

    Availability of plans and policy duration vary by state.

  • securely through UnitedHealthcare Short Term Health Insurance's website
    securely through UnitedHealthcare Short Term Health Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Flexible plans and coverage options
  • securely through Everest | Health's website
    securely through Everest | Health's website
    Best For:
    Anybody who needs temporary health insurance
  • securely through Aetna Short Term Health Insurance's website
    securely through Aetna Short Term Health Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Temporary health plans

North Carolina Short Term Health Insurance Laws

  • You can renew short-term insurance plans for up to 36 months.
  • You may have to answer health questions to qualify for or renew coverage.
  • These plans may not cover preexisting conditions

What is Short-Term Health Insurance? 

Short-term insurance is an affordable health insurance option. It a good fit for those with coverage gaps, and you can typically purchase policies that last from 30 days to 12 months, with an option to renew for a total of up to 36 months of coverage. 

North Carolina short-health insurance doesn’t meet the minimum coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA, also known as Obamacare, requires health insurance plans to cover certain services like maternity and mental health care. ACA plans are sold through state marketplaces or offered by employers. 

Short-term health insurance plans don’t have to offer the same level of coverage as ACA plans. That makes them less expensive. It’s essential to carefully review any short-term insurance plans to make sure they offer the coverage you need. If prescription or mental health coverage is important to you, check to ensure the short-term plan you’re considering offers it. 

These insurance plans can also use medical underwriting to decide whether to accept applicants. That means that you need to answer health questions on the application. You also can be declined for coverage based on the answers to those questions. This is different from ACA health insurance plans, which can’t decline applicants based on their health. 

Short-term plans typically don’t cover preexisting conditions. That means that if you need care for a health condition that started before your plan, you won’t be covered. For example, if you break your arm before your short-term plan starts, it may not pay for follow-up doctor visits. 

How Short-Term Health Insurance Works

North Carolina short health insurance plans are structured like traditional ACA plans. You pay a premium, which is the monthly cost of your plan. 

You also have a deductible, which is the amount you pay for covered services before your plan pays. If you have a $5,000 deductible, you pay $5,000 for covered costs before your plan starts paying for care. The deductibles on short-term plans tend to be higher than with traditional health insurance plans, so keep that in mind as you compare plans. 

Plans also have copays, coinsurance or both. Copays are a set amount you pay for a service. You could pay $30 for a doctor’s visit. Coinsurance is a percentage you pay for a service. You could pay 20% of a hospital stay. 

Plans also have maximum benefits. The maximum benefit is the most it will pay for your care. A plan with a $1 million limit will pay up to $1 million. Any costs beyond that are your responsibility. 

Plans often have several options for deductibles, coinsurance and maximum benefits. You can select different options depending on what you’re comfortable with. Let’s say you have limited savings. You may want to buy a plan with a lower deductible, even though it’s a little more expensive, so you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket costs. 

Short-term plans are also easy to cancel, and you can cancel at any time. 

Who Needs Short-Term Health Insurance?

Short health plans are best for those who are waiting for other coverage. They could be a good fit if you’re:

  • A new employee waiting for your benefits to start
  • A 26-year-old transitioning off your parent’s insurance
  • A healthy 64-year-old waiting for benefits to start
  • Between jobs

When Can You Enroll for Short-Term Health Insurance?

One of the perks of North Carolina short-term health insurance is that you don’t have to wait to enroll. Some plans offer coverage as soon as the next day. With traditional health insurance plans, you can only enroll at certain times of the year or after life events like marriage. Short-term health plans accept applications throughout the year. 

Where Can You Enroll for Short-Term Health Insurance? 

When it comes to how to get health insurance, the process for short-term plans is relatively simple. Visit insurance provider websites and review plans, and then request a quote for the plans you’re interested in. Review the plans carefully, comparing the premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance and maximum benefits. 

When you apply, look at when the plan starts. Some start immediately, while others have a short waiting period. 

Is a Short-Term Health Plan Right for You?

Whether a North Carolina short-term plan is right for you depends on your situation. If you’re fairly healthy and you’re experiencing a temporary gap in coverage, it could be a good fit. If you have health conditions, it may still be worthwhile to enroll in a plan, but it’s important to keep in mind that plans typically won’t cover preexisting conditions. 

If your budget is limited, you may want to apply for North Carolina Medicaid. Medicaid offers very low-cost medical care to those with limited incomes. If you’re not eligible for Medicaid, a short-term plan could be an expensive way to ensure you have some coverage in place until you secure it another way. 

Frequently Asked Questions


How long can you have short term health insurance?


This depends on the laws where you live as well as what your provider offers, but typically, short term health plans last no longer than 364 days. Some can be renewed, often up to 3 times for a total of 36 months.


Can you extend short term coverage?


In some states and with some plans from certain providers, you can renew or extend your coverage, but this varies on a case-by-case basis.