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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4. Best for Payment Structure Options: Everest
Everest offers short-term health insurance for customers that fit a variety of circumstances, including recent graduates and those between jobs. It also offers coverage for children ages 2 to 25 even if other family members are not on the short-term health insurance plan.
Everest has several payment structures that you can choose from to help your health insurance fit your budget. It offers deductible options that range from $1,000 all the way up to $10,000. You also have options when it comes to copayments and coinsurance. Copayments can be as low as $30, and coinsurance options can be anywhere from 50/50 to 100/0.
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.
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.