Best Short-Term Health Insurance in Virginia

Contributor, Benzinga

Did you know many people find the best temporary health insurance plan from Pivot Health or opt for no enrollment period coverage from Sidecar Health Access Plan?

It’s unfortunate, but your health insurance could change or go away completely for a number of reasons. Are you in need of a new health insurance solution quickly? Then short-term health insurance may be for you. Here’s what you need to know about short-term health insurance in Virginia.

Best Short-Term Health Insurance Options in Virginia

Here are some of the best health insurance companies that offer short-term insurance plans in Virginia.

1. Best Overall: Pivot Health

Pivot Health offers flexible short-term health insurance options to give you the ability to choose what you need for your healthcare. This health insurance provider offers the ability for members to use its video consultation services, even for its short-term health insurance members. This service allows you to have quick access to a doctor that can help diagnose minor ailments and prescribe medication, if necessary. 

Pivot Health also offers discounted prescriptions and vision services to short-term health insurance members. It currently offers short-term policies that can last from 1 month to 12 months. 

Compare Plans securely through Pivot Health’s website
Disclosure: Availability of plans and policy duration vary by state.
# of Healthcare Providers
Wide range of providers
Online Application?
1 Minute Review

Pivot Health is your partner in big life changes that may require you to seek temporary health insurance.

Pivot Health can help you find short term health plans, supplemental insurance products and more. Compare plans from multiple providers and get insurance that fits your needs today.

Best For
  • Comparing short term health plans from multiple providers
  • Work with the most trusted short term health plan providers
  • No network restrictions
  • Telemedicine coverage
  • Plans not available in every state

2. Best for Comparing Plans: eHealth Insurance

eHealth Insurance is a great resource if you need a high-quality, affordable health insurance plan. This company is partnered with over 180 insurance companies and has the tools you need to make informed decisions about your health coverage. You can get access to the lowest possible price for each health insurance plan it suggests for you and no extra fees to be paid by you.

eHealth Insurance provides resources to help you understand and compare short-term health insurance options in Virginia with other health insurance options. It reports that the average individual premium for its short-term health insurance plans is $103. For reference, the average premium that it reports for individual ACA health insurance plans that were bought through its website was $378 in 2017.

get started securely through eHealthInsurance’s website
# of Healthcare Providers
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1 Minute Review

eHealth works with the top insurance carriers to make searching for and comparing healthcare plans easy. eHealth offers the following types of insurance:

  • Individual and family
  • Medicare
  • Short-term health
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Small business health insurance

Best For
  • Comparing plans in your area
  • 1-stop health insurance shopping
  • Works with trusted carriers
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Positive customer service reviews
  • Plans not available in every area

3. Best for Making Plans Easy to Understand: UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare offers a range of short-term health insurance products that are fit for both individuals and for families. Each plan has been designed to offer a specific area of coverage that you may want to have, depending on your needs. 

Its short-term health insurance products include:

Health ProtectorGuard fixed Indemnity Insurance to supplement your major medical plan. It pays for eligible covered medical services, including visits to your doctor, a trip to an urgent care facility and even some surgical procedures. There are no deductibles or copays, and you can receive benefits even if you have other insurance. 

Accident insurance is available as well. This is a great option if you want to have coverage for unexpected health expenses that can arise from accidental injuries. 

# of Healthcare Providers
Online Application?
1 Minute Review

UnitedHealthcare is an insurance company that is dedicated to making the health care system work better for everyone. Its plans can serve customers of all ages, starting in childhood and continuing all the way through the retirement years. The company partners with more than 1.3 million health care professionals and over 6,500 hospitals to give customers the freedom to access healthcare wherever they are. This insurance provider has a strong financial standing and good ratings, making it a reliable option for just about anybody.

Best For
  • People who want flexibility in their health care coverage
  • People who want supplemental insurance coverage
  • People who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid
  • Offers a wide variety of plans
  • Strong financial and customer service ratings
  • ACA and non ACA plans available
  • Not all plans ACA-compliant
  • The website can make it difficult to get a quote

4. Best for Payment Structure Options: Sidecar Health

Short-term insurance from Sidecar Health allows you to see any doctor you please, using the Sidecar Health card to help pay for your medical expenses. You can customize the plan to meet your needs, there are no deductibles and you don’t receive bills after your appointments.

You can enroll at any time, especially if you have lost your health insurance or need to get a short-term plan to tide you over until your new insurance kicks in. Plus, Sidecar can help you save up to 40% over the cash price model.

Preventative services and prescriptions are covered. Plus, you can check your coverage in the app or online at any time.

Get Started securely through Sidecar Health Access Plan’s website
Disclosure: 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.
# of Healthcare Providers
See any doctor
Online Application?
1 Minute Review

Sidecar Health Access Plan is another approach to traditional health insurance. Instead of your health care providers billing your insurance, you pay upfront using the Sidecar Health payment card. This results in savings of up to 40% on healthcare costs for its customers. 

Established in 2018, Sidecar Health Access Plan is based in El Segundo, California. Its plan options are easy-to-understand and allow you to shop upfront for affordable health care rather than receiving care and finding out what it costs later. 

Learn more about Sidecar Health Access Plan and how it works.

Prefer to talk to an agent on the phone? Call 866-794-1192 to speak to a representative now.

Best For
  • People who are younger than age 65
  • People in relatively good health
  • People who want to shop for affordable doctors, specialists or procedures
  • People who want transparency in healthcare costs
  • You can customize your plan
  • It may reduce healthcare costs by as much as 40%
  • It has a mobile app to access information on-the-go
  • No provider network, so you can see any doctor with no referrals needed
  • No enrollment period
  • Plans are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Plans have an annual coverage limit

5. Best for Maximum Coverage Period: National General

National General offers short-term health insurance with substantial benefits. Its coverage includes doctor visits, some preventive care, emergency room and ambulance coverage, urgent care benefits and more. National General also allows you to choose from flexible plan designs to help you create a short-term health insurance plan that fits your needs and your budget. 

National General’s short-term health insurance plans offer deductible options of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000. It has $50 copays for doctor office and urgent care visits, and coverage period maximums of $250,000 and $1,500,000.

Get a Quote Call Now securely through National General Health Care’s website
# of Healthcare Providers
Wide range of provider access
Online Application?
1 Minute Review

Get next day short term health insurance coverage from National General Health Insurance. Licensed agents are waiting to help you find the right coverage today.

Best For
  • Families and individual plans
  • Anybody who needs temporary health insurance
  • Licensed agents available for help
  • Telemedicine available
  • Flexible policy terms
  • Short term health plans offer limited benefits

Virginia Short-Term Health Insurance Laws

  • In 2020, short-term health insurance is available in Virginia with initial terms of up to 364 days. 
  •  In July of 2021, a new law will go into effect. This law will restrict short-term health insurance plans to terms of 3 months. Short-term health insurance can be renewed, but the total duration of a short-term health insurance plan cannot last more than 6 months.
  • The new law that takes effect in July 2021 also bans the sale of short-term health insurance plans during the Affordable Care Act open enrollment window of November 1 to December 15.

What is Short-Term Health Insurance? 

Short-term health insurance is exactly what it sounds like. This is a health insurance product designed to provide you with coverage for a short period of time. 

The coverage that is provided by short-term health insurance plans varies depending on the type of plan you choose and the insurance company that is selling the plan. However, it’s important to understand that short-term health insurance plans are not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines. 

Typically, a short-term health insurance plan will provide some coverage for:

  • Preventative care
  • Doctor visits
  • Urgent care visits
  • Emergency care
  • Prescriptions, in some cases

Each plan will have exclusions and limitations information which will tell you exactly what the plan covers and does not cover. Be sure to read this carefully before choosing your short-term health insurance plan.

Short-term health insurance uses the same terms as other types of health insurance.

A premium is the amount of money you must pay for your health insurance plan to keep it active.

A deductible is the amount of money that you must pay out-of-pocket for covered services before your health insurance company will pay for covered services. 

A copay is a fixed amount of money that you must pay to your doctor or other health provider for covered services after you’ve met your plan’s deductible.

Coinsurance is a percentage that you must pay to your doctor or other health provider for covered services after you’ve met the plan’s deductible.

Who Needs Short-Term Health Insurance?

Short-term health insurance isn’t for everyone. While it can be beneficial, it does come with some downsides. For example, many plans have limited coverage and may not cover pre-existing conditions because it doesn’t have to comply with ACA guidelines.

Since you can only have short-term health insurance for a temporary period of time, it should be reserved for when you really need it. 

Here are some situations in which you may find that short-term health insurance is a good option:

  • If you’re between jobs and lost your health insurance when you lost or left your job
  • If you’re waiting for other health insurance coverage to begin
  • If you’re waiting to be eligible for Medicare coverage
  • If you have no health insurance coverage and are unable to get coverage outside of Open Enrollment

When Can You Enroll for Short-Term Health Insurance?

Short-term health insurance is not part of ACA coverage. A benefit of this is that you do not have to wait for a special enrollment period to begin before you can purchase a short-term health insurance plan. 

To provide you with flexibility when you need it, short-term health insurance is available at any time of year. You can apply for short-term health insurance coverage when you need it. 

Several insurance companies provide short-term health insurance coverage that can begin on the day after your application is received. You can also choose for your short-term health insurance coverage to begin on a later date.

Where Can You Enroll for Short-Term Health Insurance? 

It can be difficult to figure out how to get health insurance. Unlike other types of insurance plans, short-term health insurance isn’t available through Virginia’s Health Insurance Marketplace. 

You’ll have to do some research to see which companies offer short-term health insurance. Review the specifics of the plans that each company offers, including coverage and the length of time you can be enrolled in the plan. 

The easiest way to find short-term health insurance plans is to get a quote. Getting a quote is a fast, free and easy way to see what plans are available to you. It is also a great place to start if you want to compare different short-term health insurance plans.

Next Steps

If you think that short-term health insurance may be a good option for you, the next step is to get a quote. Getting a quote will allow you to view and compare the available insurance companies and plans in your county. All you need to do to get started is enter your home ZIP code.