The Silver State is the ninth least densely populated in the country, but it also has one of the country’s strongest growth rates. That means a growing number of people who have healthcare needs, especially during times of transition. Whether you’re changing jobs, entering a graduate program, or getting off your parents’ health insurance, you may be wondering about using short-term health insurance coverage.
What Is Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health plans are designed as a bridge between longer-term policies. This is basic, lower-cost health insurance for relatively healthy people who don’t have a lot of medical needs. Plans run from a few months to a year in length and cover those who may be:
- Waiting for Medicare eligibility to kick in
- Outside of the Open Enrollment Period for Affordable Care Act policies
- Starting a graduate program
- Getting off their parents’ health insurance and seeking individual coverage
- Between jobs or expecting a new job with benefits to begin soon
If you’re a Nevada resident who doesn’t need specialized care or a lot of prescriptions, temporary medical insurance might be a good option. You can choose a plan, quickly get approved and get on with your life. But if you have more extensive medical issues or preexisting conditions, short-term healthcare coverage might not be your best choice.
What You Need to Know
Short-term insurance is designed to offer temporary coverage for basic medical needs.
In Nevada, your short-term plan can only cover 185 out of 365 days, and you can’t renew the plan.
If you have a preexisting condition, it will not be covered under short-term insurance.
State-Specific Laws and Regulations
Under Nevada law, short-term insurance can only provide you coverage for 185 out of any 365-day period, with renewals prohibited. In its web page dedicated to short-term medical insurance coverage, the Nevada Division of Insurance warns that this coverage doesn’t qualify for tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), because it isn’t minimum essential coverage.
Did You Know?
Short-term health plans are designed as a bridge between longer-term policies.
How Much Do Short-Term Plans Typically Cost in Nevada?
According to PivotHealth.com, monthly premiums for short-term insurance in Nevada vary between $83.31 and $394.50. Deductibles begin at $1,000 and run as high as $10,000 for plans with less expensive monthly premiums. For coinsurance, plans run from 0 to 30%. Copays range between $1,000 and $10,000.
How Can You Buy a Short-Term Insurance Plan in Nevada?
Private insurance companies provide short-term health plans in Nevada. Call the companies or check their websites to compare the details of what they offer. The companies that have filed to offer short-term insurance are:
- Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company
- Companion Life Insurance Company
- Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, Tennessee
- Equitable Life and Casualty Insurance Company
- Medico Insurance Company
- National Health Insurance Company
- Reserve National Insurance Company
- Standard Life and Casualty Insurance Company
- Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
- The Order of United Commercial Travelers of America
- United National Life Insurance Company of America
Is Short-Term Health Insurance Right for You?
When you’re looking for healthcare coverage, you need to do your research. Not only does this mean comparing companies’ rates and coverage details, but it also means deciding what you most need from a policy. Here are a few things you should consider before making a commitment:
- How’s your health? If all you need are medical visits, emergency and urgent care, and preventive care and prescriptions, short-term insurance in Nevada may meet your needs. If you have more extensive medical needs, such as maternity care, or preexisting conditions like diabetes or cancer, those won’t be covered under a short-term policy.
- What’s your budget? Short-term health insurance policies are often more affordable than longer-term options. But short-term policies aren’t extensive enough to help with potentially pricey ailments such as kidney or heart disease, meaning you could pay a lot more out-of-pocket.
- What’s your personal situation? If you’re switching jobs or experiencing another kind of transition, temporary medical coverage can fill the gap until you’re ready to move on to a long-term plan.
- When do you want to enroll? Since short-term insurance policies aren’t considered minimum essential coverage, their expiration doesn’t trigger a Special Enrollment Period for an ACA individual policy. If you want to enroll in an ACA policy after your short-term coverage expires, you’ll need to wait until the Open Enrollment Period of November 1 to December 15.
When Might Short-Term Health Insurance Not Be the Right Choice for You?
Short-term healthcare coverage was never meant to address all medical needs. Nor was it meant to replace major medical insurance. If you might be facing a serious medical issue in the future, plan to get pregnant, or have a preexisting condition, this relatively low level of coverage will not be the right choice for you. Think about whether you need the essential health benefits offered by the Affordable Care Act — benefits not included in a short-term policy — before making a decision. These include:
- Emergency services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Prescription drugs
- Ambulatory services
- Mental-health and substance abuse treatment
- Laboratory work
- Pediatric services
- Chronic disease management
- Rehabilitative services
If you expect to need any of these benefits, a short-term health insurance policy will not work for your needs and you should consider looking elsewhere for coverage.
If a short-term health insurance policy provides the right amount of coverage for the right amount of time, your next step is to reach out to the insurers that offer short-term plans. Some insurers can get you approved as soon as the next day. Just be sure that the limitations on short-term healthcare work for you and your needs.