Short term health insurance FAQs

How do I know if a short term plan is the right health insurance choice for me?

Short term medical insurance, also called temporary health insurance or term health insurance, can provide a temporary solution to help fill gaps in coverage. Consider short term if you’re:

  • Between jobs
  • Waiting for other coverage to begin
  • Waiting to be eligible for Medicare coverage
  • Without health insurance, outside of Open Enrollment

Learn About Short Term Health Insurance

For these situations and more where you are stuck in a coverage gap, finding the best Short Term health insurance plan you can may be just the right solution for you.1

How long can I get coverage?

Term lengths vary by state, but in some states you can apply for up to nearly 12 months of coverage. Ready to see some short term plans underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company?

Enter your ZIP code to see available plans in your area.

Can I renew this type of health insurance coverage?

Usually not. If you need coverage for longer, you may be able to apply for another short term insurance plan.2 Some states will also allow you to purchase back-to-back plans for longer coverage. However, for any subsequent plan, whatever you received treatment for under a preceding plan will be considered a preexisting condition in most cases.

Looking for longer coverage?

TriTerm Medical is short term insurance with coverage lasting nearly 3 years.

Learn More

Is short term health insurance available for families?

Yes, spouses and dependents can be covered under a short term insurance plan. However, because short term is medically underwritten, all family members will need to meet medical requirements of the plan.

Does short term health insurance provide coverage for preexisting conditions?

No. In most cases short term insurance plans do not cover preexisting conditions, which depending on your state’s definition would mean something you received diagnosis or treatment for within the last 2 to 5 years. If you are in this situation, you may want to explore other options or see if you can extend your current insurance plan.

How quickly can I get coverage?

Many, but not all, Short Term health insurance plans can take effect is the day after your application is received. You may also choose a later effective date based on your individual needs.

Is preventive care covered under short term health insurance?

Preventive care can sometimes be covered under a Short Term plan. Check plan details for more information.

Will prescriptions be covered if I get temporary health insurance?

Prescriptions may be covered on some plans. Check specific plan details to learn more.

Is my current doctor covered under this plan?

It is possible, but check the network offered by any Short Term health insurance you plan to buy for the inclusion of doctors that are important to you.

Do I need to select a Primary Care Provider (PCP)?

While some plans may require you to select a PCP as your main point of contact for your health care management, temporary health insurance plans often give you the flexibility to see any qualified health care provider included in the network you choose.

Do I need a referral from my PCP to see a specialist?

Referrals are not required to see a specialist with short term medical plans underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company. You can see any specialist you wish.

Other short term health insurance plans may differ, so be sure to check the details before you buy.

Do short term plans meet federal requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

No. This coverage is not “minimum essential coverage” as defined by the ACA. The federal tax penalty for not having minimum essential coverage no longer applies as of January 31, 2019.  However, tax penalties may still exist at the state level. Consult your tax advisor for more information.

Can I get a tax subsidy to help pay for my short term health insurance?

No. short term plans do not qualify for tax subsidies under the ACA. Generally speaking, temporary health insurance costs less than ACA health plans, so the option may still make sense for your situation.

Is short term medical insurance limited to annual enrollment periods?

No. short term insurance plans have no such restrictions and are available year-round. There’s no need to wait for Open Enrollment to apply.

Are there multiple plan choices and price ranges available with temporary health insurance plans?

Most often, the answer is yes. For example, Short Term Medical underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company offers multiple plans and deductible choices to meet a range of budgets and needs. As always, check the plan you are considering carefully.

Do short term health insurance plans have high deductibles?

Short term medical plans offer deductible options to meet your needs. Some plans have options starting at $1,000.

What if I don’t need my temporary insurance coverage for as long as I had planned?

Short term health insurance plans can be cancelled at any time without penalty. 

If you need coverage for longer, you may be able to apply for another short term insurance plan.2 However, for any subsequent plan, whatever you received treatment for under a preceding plan will be considered a preexisting condition.

If I’m looking for the best short term health insurance price, do I have options to help me save money?

Yes. Choosing a plan with fewer benefits, or a higher deductible, or staying in network for your care are all effective ways to potentially save money.

Can I pair other plans with a temporary health insurance plan?

Yes. Short Term is often combined with other supplemental health insurance plans to help round out coverage.

DentalVisionAccident and Critical Illness plans are commonly paired with Short Term medical insurance plans.

Ready to see some short term options?

Short Term Medical plans underwritten by Golden Rule may be the fast and flexible solution you’ve been looking for.

UnitedHealthcare’s nationwide network, one of the largest in the United States, provides access to nearly 1.4 million physicians and health care professionals, and approximately 6,500 hospitals and medical facilities.3 It’s likely that your doctor is already a part of our network. 


  1. Short term health insurance is medically underwritten and does not cover preexisting conditions. This coverage is not required to comply with certain federal market requirements for health insurance, principally those contained in the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to check your policy carefully to make sure you are aware of any exclusions or limitations regarding coverage of preexisting conditions or health benefits (such as hospitalization, emergency services, maternity care, preventive care, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services). Your policy might also have lifetime and/or annual dollar limits on health benefits. If this coverage expires or you lose eligibility for this coverage, you might have to wait until an open enrollment period to get other health insurance coverage. This coverage is not “minimum essential coverage."
  2. Some states excluded.
  3. UnitedHealth Group Annual Form 10-K for year ended 12/31/19.

Product design, availability, term length and additional terms vary by state. This policy has exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits, and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage call (or write) your insurance agent or the company (whichever is applicable).

No individual applying for health coverage through the individual Marketplace will be discouraged from applying for benefits, turned down for coverage, or charged more premium because of health status, medical condition, mental illness claims experience, medical history, genetic information or health disability. In addition, no individual will be denied coverage based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, political affiliation or source of income.

References to UnitedHealthcare pertain to each individual company or other UnitedHealthcare affiliated companies.

Administrative services are provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

Products and services offered are underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, Health Plan of Nevada, Inc., Oxford Health Insurance, Inc., UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of New York, Inc.  

This policy is subject to various exclusions and limitations. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call (or write) your insurance agent or the company (whichever is applicable).

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