Best Short Term Health Insurance in South Carolina

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Contributor, Benzinga
October 14, 2020

Curious about short-term health insurance? You’re in the right place! Follow this guide to learn more about this affordable health insurance option and how you can get short-term health insurance in South Carolina. 

Best Short Term Health Insurance in SC:

South Carolina Short Term Health Insurance Laws

  • You can get an initial term of up to 11 months
  • South Carolina allows renewals of short-term health insurance for up to 33 months total of coverage
  • If you’re under the age of 26, you can stay on your parent’s health insurance plan as long as it covers children

What is Short Term Health Insurance? 

Short-term health insurance is a type of health insurance that offers health coverage temporarily. It is often considered to be an affordable alternative to more traditional health insurance options.

Employer and Marketplace Plans vs. Short-Term Health Insurance

When you think of health insurance, you most likely think about health insurance plans that are offered through your employer or through the South Carolina Health Insurance Exchange. These plans have to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires coverage of the 10 essential health benefits. These benefits include prescription drug coverage, doctors’ services, mental health services and more. However, short-term health insurance plans are not required to provide these essential health benefits, as they are not part of the ACA.

Even though they aren’t required to meet the requirements set by the ACA, short-term health insurance plans do offer important health benefits. Short-term health insurance medical plans usually include coverage for some or all of the following common medical expenses:

  • Doctors’ services, including physical examinations
  • Preventive care services
  • Visits to urgent care centers
  • Emergency care 
  • Hospital care
  • In some cases, prescriptions

Before You Sign Up

It’s important to review the coverage and exclusions of each plan that you’re considering. Some short-term health insurance plans may not cover pre-existing conditions or certain medical conditions such as kidney stones. It’s important to consider your risk factors and what you may need to use your health insurance coverage for when deciding which short-term health insurance plan is right for you. 

No matter which type of insurance you decide to go with, become familiar with these terms to understand the true cost of the plan:

  • Premium. An insurance premium is the cost of your health insurance plan. This is the base cost of the plan to keep your benefits active. Most health insurance plans ask you to pay your premium monthly. 
  • Deductible. The deductible is the amount that you must pay out-of-pocket for the health services covered by your plan. When you’ve met your deductible, your health insurance company will begin to contribute toward the costs of your covered health services. For example, if your plan has a $1,000 deductible, you’ll need to pay for 10 doctor’s visits that cost $100 each before your health insurance plan will start to pay for your covered doctor’s visits.
  • Copayment. This is the amount that you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket for your covered health services after you've met your deductible.
  • Coinsurance. This is a percentage of your total bill, and copayments are a set amount that you’ll pay for covered health services. For example, your plan may have a 40% coinsurance or a $40 copay for doctor’s visits after meeting your plan’s deductible.

Who Needs Short Term Health Insurance?

Short-term health insurance has its benefits but may not be for everyone. You may want to consider this temporary coverage option if:

  • You’re between jobs and without other health insurance
  • You’ve just started a new job and you’re waiting for your new employer-sponsored health insurance plan to begin
  • You’re unable to enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace because the Open Enrollment period is closed
  • You are waiting to enroll in Medicare coverage

When Can You Enroll for Short Term Health Insurance?

Unlike plans sold through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you do not need to wait for an Open Enrollment period to enroll in short-term health insurance. You can enroll in a short-term health insurance at any time, and your coverage may begin as soon as the next day.

Where Can You Enroll for Short Term Health Insurance? 

Since short-term health insurance isn’t available through the South Carolina Health Insurance Marketplace, it may be confusing figuring out where to go to enroll. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to start the process.

All you need to do is enter your ZIP code to get a health insurance quote. This quote will allow you to see what short-term health insurance policies are available where you live.

After you’re received your personalized quote, you may want to take some time to review your health insurance options. When you’re ready to come back to your quote, you can follow the directions to enroll in the plan of your choice.

Best Short Term Health Insurance Options in South Carolina

Do you think short-term health insurance might be the right option for you? Then you’re going to want to know how to get the best health insurance for your situation. 

Here are some of the top South Carolina short health insurance options. 

Pivot Health
Best For
  • Comparing short term health plans
securely through Pivot Health's website

1. Best Overall: Pivot Health

Pivot Health offers affordable health insurance to its short-term health insurance members. Its short-term health insurance plans are a great option if you’re looking for coverage that comes with some of the benefits that other health insurance plans offer. 

For example, Pivot Health offers low-cost or free telehealth visits as a benefit of all of its short-term medical plans. This means that you could have access to a doctor 24/7 without ever leaving your home.

Pivot Health also offers flexibility with its plans, allowing you to pick your deductible and choose whether you prefer coinsurance or copayments for your plan. 

Best For
  • Comparing plans in your area

2. Best for Comparing Plans: eHealth Insurance

eHealth Insurance is what you might want to use if you want to get more clarity on how to get health insurance. This website can walk you through how to find the health insurance options that are available to you and how to choose the right 1. 

As far as short-term health insurance goes, you’ll be happy to know that you can use eHealth Insurance to help you compare these plans to traditional health insurance plans. eHealth Insurance has a partnership with almost 200 insurance companies to offer you the lowest prices for short-term health insurance.

Everest | Health
Best For
  • Anybody who needs temporary health insurance
securely through Everest | Health's website

3. Best for Flexibility and Clarity: Everest Prime

Everest Prime offers affordable short-term health insurance plans that clearly lay out exactly what is and is not covered. Before you ever sign up, you can review Everest Prime’s plan brochure online to see if it’s a good option for your health coverage. 

If you decide that Everest Prime is the right plan, move on to select the options that make the most sense for your budget. You’ll start by choosing a deductible of $1,000, $2,000 or $5,000. You will also have the option to choose the coinsurance cost that you’d like to pay after you’ve met your deductible.

UnitedHealthCare Health Insurance
Best For
  • Same day coverage available

4. Best for Plan Options: UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is a well-known health insurance company that offers short-term health insurance plans to those who need it.

UnitedHealthcare’s short-term insurance policies provide choices designed to meet different needs. For example, you can choose an accident insurance plan or a critical illness insurance plan if you want coverage only for unforeseen injuries and illnesses. 

It also offers a short-term insurance plan that can even act as a supplement to other health insurance plans to help you pay for common medical services such as a visit to the doctor’s office or an urgent care center.

National General Short Term Health Insurance
Best For
  • Large network access and flexible plans
securely through National General Short Term Health Insurance's website

5. Best for Personalized Selection: National General

National General makes finding the right short-term health insurance plan as simple as it can be. You can choose from an accident or medical short-term health insurance plan, depending on what you want to receive coverage for. 

Begin the enrollment process by completing a health questionnaire to help National General understand your needs so it can show you the options that may be best for your situation. You’ll be able to choose your deductible, coinsurance amount and coverage term within the state’s limits. 

Find Short Term Health Insurance

Short-term health insurance is designed to meet you where you are. Start with a personalized quote. Enter your ZIP code to receive details from our top providers.

Compare your options, and enroll in the short-term health insurance plan that’s right for you.