Short-term health insurance

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In the United States, short-term health insurance or "Short-term, limited-duration insurance" (STLDI)[1] refers to health insurance plans with a limited duration, typically several months to a year.[2] These plans are geared toward people who need temporary medical insurance to bridge the gap between longer term plans. For instance, people who are switching employers, starting graduate school, or young adults who have become ineligible for coverage under their parents' plans and are searching for their own insurance might use a short-term insurance plan until obtaining a more permanent solution.[3]

Short-term health insurance plans are typically less expensive than traditional plans, but do not cover pre-existing conditions. This can cause problems for people who acquire a longer term illness, since the short-term plan is completely terminated at the end of the coverage period.[4] Short-term plans are not considered "adequate coverage" under the Affordable Care Act so customers would also be subject to the tax penalties of being uninsured in 2010-2018.[5] The tax penalty was eliminated under the Congressional Tax Cuts and Jobs Act starting in 2019.[6]

The length of short term plans was extended to up to 365 days in most states, lifting a prior 3-month term limit.[7][8]

In 2018 the Congressional Budget Office broadened its definition of health insurance to include short-term health insurance[9].

Starting in 2019 consumers will be able to purchase short-term plans which are renewable for up to 3 years in some states.[10]

Short-term, limited-duration health care plans are not available for purchase on or state operated health insurance marketplaces. They are not required to cover everything that Marketplace plans require, preventative treatments, or pre-existing conditions. They are not eligible for federal financial aid but the monthly healthcare premiums may be less expensive.[11]


  1. ^ "Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance" (PDF). Federal Registrar. 83 (150): 38212–38243. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  2. ^ Is Temporary Health Insurance Right for You?
  3. ^ Sousa, J.L. (2019-02-20). "Health Insurance Guys: Can't get no satisfaction: getting insurance when you need it". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  4. ^ Don't Get Short-Changed by Short-Term Medical Insurance - US News
  5. ^ Short-Term Health Plans: Obamacare Alternatives, They Are Not - Businessweek
  6. ^ [1] The Tax Bill And The Individual Mandate: What Happened, And What Does It Mean?
  7. ^ Pear, Robert (27 October 2018). "Shopping for Insurance? Don't Expect Much Help Navigating Plans". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  8. ^ Sanger-Katz, Margot (1 August 2018). "What to Know Before You Buy Short-Term Health Insurance". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  9. ^ How CBO Defines and Estimates Health Insurance Coverage for People Under Age 65
  10. ^ ‘Short Term’ Health Insurance? Up to 3 Years Under New Trump Policy
  11. ^ Malhi, Sabrina (5 December 2018). "Health-care marketplace confusion — here are all of the facts". TheHill. Retrieved 7 March 2019.