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What Is Short-Term Health Insurance? | Temporary Health Insurance

Short-term health insurance is a kind of temporary health insurance for when you are in between coverage, otherwise known as a coverage gap.1

Short-term health insurance can come in handy when you are between jobs and previously received insurance coverage through your employer. Short-term insurance plans are also common when you cannot afford a traditional insurance plan, have lost group coverage or aren’t qualified for the Affordable Care Act.1

Short-Term Health Insurance vs. Short-Term Disability Insurance

While short-term health insurance and short-term disability insurance sound similar, there is one key difference. Aflac’s short-term disability insurance can be made available to you ahead of time by your employer to help protect you from an injury that could impact your ability to work. In contrast, short-term health insurance is purchased after you lose health insurance and need an intermittent plan.1

Aflac's short-term disability insurance is designed to help provide cash benefits when you are injured and put out of work. Cash benefits are paid to you to help balance out missed paychecks resulting from the injury. This type of temporary insurance plan is only available through your employer, so we recommend talking to your employer if short term disability coverage is not offered.

Short-term health insurance coverage isn’t offered at Aflac, but we do have other products that may better suit your needs, like accident, hospital and short-term disability policies. We recommend exploring all your options before choosing a policy.

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How Much Does Short-Term Health Insurance Cost?

Short-term health insurance costs are generally reasonable, but it depends on the company you choose to work with and there may be less expensive alternatives. The average cost of short-term health insurance is $171 a month.2 Since the plans are temporary, they typically have high deductibles or co-pays and a firm maximum limit.1

A deductible is the amount of money the policyholder must pay out-of-pocket for short-term health insurance before benefits kick in.3 On the other hand, a co-pay is a portion of money that must be paid for by the policyholder for a covered doctor’s visit, treatment or procedure.4 Lastly, the maximum limit is how much money the insurance company is willing to pay for medical services.5

Pros And Cons of Short-Term Health Insurance

There are a handful of pros and cons of short-term health insurance to consider before taking the plunge. After assessing the benefits and drawbacks of these plans, we recommend comparing them to other plans, like short-term disability and accident insurance.

Pros Of Short-Term Health Insurance

  • You have some insurance coverage to help you if an expensive injury occurs and you are in between coverage.
  • Some short-term health insurance plans may cover preexisting conditions, but this depends on the specific company you choose.
  • You may be able to add certain wellness and preventative benefits to your short-term health insurance policy.

Cons Of Short-Term Health Insurance

  • You may have to pay high fees out-of-pocket before any short-term benefits kick in.
  • There may be age restrictions for those who are eligible for temporary health coverage.
  • There may be other strict limitations, like not paying for prescriptions or covering sport-related injuries.1
  • Short-term health insurance plans are only allowed in a certain number of states.1

Is Short-Term Health Insurance Right for Me?

If you find yourself in a coverage gap, short-term health insurance may be the right choice for you. However, if you have experienced a severe injury that has put you out of work, there may be better temporary insurance options available.

Aflac doesn’t offer short-term health insurance, but we do offer other insurance plans designed to help provide support in the ways you need it most. For example, Aflac Accident Insurance exists to help provide relief when a surprise injury occurs. On the other hand, Aflac Hospital Insurance is designed to help cover hospital expenses your primary health insurance didn't cover.

Short-term disability insurance may also be a valuable alternative if it is offered through your employer. Chat with an agent to see which policy makes the most sense for your needs.

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