As the country’s seventh most populous state and its tenth most densely populated, Ohio has a diverse set of residents with a range of needs. Many residents are going through a transition — entering a graduate program, changing jobs, or getting off their parents’ health insurance. If you’re one of them, you may be thinking about using short-term health insurance coverage.
What Is Short-Term Health Insurance?
A temporary option designed to bridge the gap between longer-term policies, short-term health insurance offers basic, lower-cost coverage for Ohio residents who are in good health and don’t have preexisting conditions. These policies run from a few months to a year and cover people who may be:
- Beginning a graduate program
- Waiting for their Medicare eligibility to begin
- Between jobs or expecting a new job with benefits to begin soon
- Outside of open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage
- Getting off their parents’ health insurance and searching for individual coverage
State-Specific Laws and Regulations
Short-term health insurance policies in Ohio can last up to 364 days. These policies are typically not renewable. Previously short-term health insurance couldn’t last longer than three months, but new federal regulations relaxed the rules so that short-term plans can cover a longer period. In October 2018, Ohio’s regulations changed1 to the longer period.
How Much Do Short-Term Plans Typically Cost in Ohio?
According to PivotHealth.com, monthly premiums for short-term insurance in Ohio range from $79.35 to $371.08. 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%. Copayments range from $1,000 to $10,000.
How Can I Buy a Short-Term Insurance Plan in Ohio?
Private insurance companies offer short-term healthcare plans. The insurers who have filed to provide short-term coverage in Ohio are:
- American Community Mutual Insurance Company
- Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Life and Casualty Company
- Companion Life
- Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, Tennessee
- Equitable Life and Casualty Insurance Company
- Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company
- MedAmerica 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
- Sterling Investors Life Insurance Company
- The Order of United Commercial Travelers of America
- United HealthCare Insurance Company
Is Short-Term Health Insurance Right for You?
When making a decision about healthcare coverage, you need to do your due diligence. Ask companies about their rates and the specific coverage they offer. But you also need to think about what you need from a policy. Here are a few things you should consider before signing on the dotted line:
- How’s your health? Short-term health insurance in Ohio will best meet your needs if you’re looking for occasional medical visits, emergency and urgent care, preventive care, and basic prescriptions. However, if you have more extensive medical needs such as maternity care, or preexisting conditions like diabetes or obesity, insurers won’t approve you for a short-term policy.
- What’s your budget? Short-term health insurance policies are generally more affordable than longer-term options. But keep in mind that they don’t cover everything. Short-term plans are focused on the basics. Potentially pricey ailments such as kidney or heart disease may require you to pay more out-of-pocket.
- What’s your personal situation? If you’re entering a graduate program or switching jobs, short-term coverage may be a good temporary solution until your new long-term coverage begins.
- When do you want to enroll? Short-term insurance policies aren’t considered minimum essential coverage. After your short-term plan expires, you won’t be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period for an ACA individual policy. If you’re looking to enroll in an ACA policy after your short-term coverage runs out, you’ll need to wait until the standard 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 isn’t designed to meet all medical needs. If you expect to face a serious medical issue in the future, plan to get pregnant, or have a preexisting condition, this relatively low level of insurance will not be the right choice for you. Think about whether you need the essential health benefits offered by the Affordable Care Act — which aren’t required for short-term coverage — before choosing a plan. 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 would leave you paying a lot more out-of-pocket and you should consider looking elsewhere for coverage.
A short-term health insurance policy can offer a quick, low-cost solution to fill a temporary gap in health insurance coverage.If you’re sure the limited level of coverage is right for you and your health needs, call or check the websites of the companies that offer short-term plans. Compare what the different companies offer and their costs to decide what’s right for you.