What You Need to Know
Short-term plans can cover up to 364 days in Nebraska with renewals for 36 months.
There are monthly premiums for short-term plans to fit a wide range of budgets.
Most short-term plans don’t cover preexisting conditions, including pregnancy.
For Nebraska residents in certain situations, short-term health insurance might provide an affordable coverage option. Because illness and accidents can happen at any time, it’s a wise decision to always have health insurance coverage, even if it’s temporary. But if you missed the enrollment deadline for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan, if you’re waiting to turn 65 to enroll in Medicare, or if you’re between jobs, a short-term plan might keep you covered.
What Is Nebraska Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance plans are available in Nebraska. They provide temporary coverage you can purchase at any time during the year. These medical insurance plans are designed to bridge periods when you may not have health coverage. Coverage may begin as soon as you enroll.
In the Cornhusker State, plan terms last no more than 364 days a year but maybe renewed three times or up to 36 months. Premiums tend to be more affordable than the cost of an ACA plan without a subsidy. But short-term plans aren’t required to provide the comprehensive coverage that ACA plans do. They don’t have to cover preexisting conditions, for example.
Know the details
Make sure you understand the coverage—and limitations—of the short-term plan you choose.
Who Should Buy Short-Term Plans in Nebraska?
Short-term plans are designed to provide easily accessible, temporary, and affordable health insurance coverage. They may be a good option if you:
- Don’t qualify for an ACA subsidy and need an affordable alternative.
- Missed the ACA Open Enrollment Period and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You can enroll at any time.
- Are in relatively good health and don’t access healthcare services often. The high deductibles that accompany many short-term plans might be an acceptable risk.
- Are aging out of coverage on your parent’s plan.
- Need to fill a gap between employer sponsored coverage and your next job. Short-term plans can be an affordable alternative to COBRA.
- Are waiting to be eligible for Medicare coverage.
Short-term plans are not sound options if you have a preexisting condition or need any of the 10 essential health benefits that ACA plans offer. These benefits include mental health services, prescription drug coverage, and preventive screenings, among other services. Although some short-term plans cover some of these services, those who need them should consider an ACA plan instead.
Bridging the gap
If you’re in transition and can’t afford traditional healthcare coverage, short-term health insurance may be a good option.
PROS AND CONS OF SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS
|Plans provide options for people who need to bridge coverage between traditional insurance plans.
|Plans tend to have higher deductibles and other costs than many traditional insurance plans.
|Most plans offer options for add-ons such as dental or prescription drug coverage.
|Most plans don’t cover preexisting conditions or offer all 10 essential health benefits that ACA plans are required to offer.
|Monthly premiums for most plans are less than ACA plans without subsidies.
|There are no premium subsidies based on household income.
|Plans can be renewed up to three times or 36 months.
|When the term ends on a temporary plan and can’t be renewed again, that does not make you eligible for an ACA Special Enrollment Period.
How Much Are Nebraska Short-Term Plans?
Some plan providers may charge a small one-time enrollment fee. To compare the costs of short-term health plans, look at these categories.
Premium: The amount you pay monthly for your plan. The premium will vary based on factors including lifetime maximum benefit, deductible, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximum.
Deductible: The amount you pay each covered year before your plan begins to pay for covered expenses.
Coinsurance: The percentage of each medical bill you pay after you meet your deductible.
Copayment: The fixed amount you pay for a covered health service, such as a visit to your primary care physician.
Out-of-pocket maximum: Covered medical expenses not reimbursed by your policy, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
Lifetime maximum benefit: The maximum dollar amount your plan will pay over the lifetime of your plan. For Nebraska’s short-term plans, the lifetime would not exceed three years.
For example, according to Pivot Health, monthly deductibles for a 35-year-old woman living in Omaha range from $81.09 to $381.39. The low monthly premium plan has a $10,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance. The plan with the high-end premium has a $1,000 deductible and 20% coinsurance. The out-of-pocket maximum for the low-premium plan is $10,000 versus $3,000 for the higher premium. Monthly premiums for the same two plans in Lincoln are slightly lower, at $76.43 and $353.82, respectively. 1
What Are Rules Governing Short-Term Plans in Nebraska?
Plans cover no more than 364 days a year but maybe renewed three times or up to 36 months. Insurance companies must disclose any reasons for not renewing a policy. Plans must also disclose annual and lifetime limits. 2
As with nearly all insurance policies in Nebraska, short-term plans must offer a “free look period” which gives you 10 days to cancel the policy and receive a full refund if you change your mind. 3
Who Sells Short-Term Plans in Nebraska?
There are currently seven private insurance companies that sell short-term health insurance plans in Nebraska:
- Companion Life Insurance Company (Pivot Health)
- Golden Rule Insurance Company (UnitedHealthcare)
- Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
- Armor Health (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska)
- National General Accident and Health
- Independence American Insurance Company (The IHC Group)
If you think a short-term plan may be right for you, it’s time to compare Nebraska plans to find one that will fit your health needs and your budget. Start shopping and get covered.