Are you considering purchasing short-term health insurance? There are a few things you should be aware of first.

What does short-term health insurance cover?

Insurance companies offer their short-term health plans outside of the ACA’s Marketplace. They may seem like an appealing option at first glance, but they have high upfront costs. These plans have reduced monthly premiums, and you can apply for coverage at any time of the year. Nevertheless, they are not required to include consumers protections in their programs as outlined in the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Also, they do not meet the criteria of minimum essential coverage, which means they don’t cover certain mandatory healthcare benefits. 

For example, they may not cover many healthcare services as ACA plans. These plans don’t provide coverage for essential benefits such as pre-existing medical conditions, preventive care, mental healthcare, emergency services, prescription drugs, and maternity care. 

Costs and benefits of Marketplace plans

According to experts, individuals should not use short-term health insurance plans to replace regular health insurance. That’s because short-term policies do not comply with the ACA plans and do not protect you from high medical costs. 

If you qualify for a subsidy, marketplace health insurance can become pretty affordable, even less expensive than short-term insurance. Most applicants who purchase ACA plans through InsuranceShopping pay $35 or less per month for ACA-complaint health insurance. Get more information by reading our free step-by-step guide to enlisting in Marketplace health insurance here. 

If you want to register in a comprehensive Marketplace health insurance plan that includes all of the consumer protections and essential benefits laid out in the ACA, please visit Enter your zip code here to see health insurance plans available in your state. 

Other low-cost options: CHIP, Medicaid, and Medicare

Some individuals may also qualify for additional health insurance options. If you have a low income, you should consider applying for CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and Medicaid. You can enroll in CHIP or Medicaid coverage at any time of the year, even outside of annual enrollment, and begin receiving your healthcare almost immediately. Those who meet the eligibility requirements for Medicare can apply when they reach the age of 65.