Temporary Health Insurance (2022)

Finding temporary health insurance that fits your needs, as well as your budget, can be frustrating. The best short term plans will not only have low cost monthly payments, but a wide range of coverage options for you to be able to choose from. A few companies that offer short term include Pivot Health, UnitedHealthcare, and The IHC Group.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2022

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The Highlights

  • When compared against other insurance companies, UnitedHealthcare had no penalty for canceling coverage
  • The IHC Group had some plans that covered pre-existing conditions
  • Pivot Health has great options for out-of-network doctors

Temporary health insurance, or short-term health insurance, is a health insurance policy that is typically one year or less of coverage. This type of insurance is often used when a family or individual is in between policies and needs to carry over health insurance until another policy starts.

Short term health insurance is a bit different from standard health insurance not just in duration, but also in terms of what is covered and the benefits each provides consumers. 

Keep reading to find out more information about temporary health insurance. Ready to start saving? Simply enter your ZIP code into our free tool to start comparing health insurance quotes in your area. 

What is temporary health insurance?

Like the name suggests, temporary health insurance is a health insurance policy that provides temporary coverage that usually lasts several months and up to a year. With more than 31.2 million people in the U.S. uninsured currently, it’s important to keep yourself safe in case of any emergency.

Since temporary health insurance isn’t regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), plans aren’t obligated to provide minimum essential health benefits generally mandated by the ACA.

These benefits typically include inpatient and outpatient hospital care, mental health services, and prescription drug coverage. Temporary plans also don’t typically have to cover pre-existing conditions.

Generally, these plans are designed for healthy people and generally have caps on how much they will pay for certain services. Temporary health insurance plans can have initial terms of up to 364 days and can be renewed for up to three years, though some states have stricter rules about duration times.

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What companies offer the best temporary health insurance?

Finding the best temporary health insurance plan that meets your needs can be challenging as well as stressful, especially if you’re looking for temporary health insurance between jobs. When it comes to your health, you want a policy that you will be able to depend on if anything goes wrong and one that is friendly to your budget.

Here are some of the best insurance companies we’ve found.

Pivot Health

A.M. Best: A+

Pivot health offers temporary health insurance in 35 states. With 4 levels of coverage to choose from, you have plenty of options with benefits that include child-only plans.

There are no network requirements for any of their plans, so access to doctors in your area won’t be restricted to stay in-network. The deductibles range from $1,000 to $10,000 and copays that start at $30.

Some benefits include:

  • Telehealth: low-cost or free telehealth non-insurance benefit, with 24/7 access to a doctor
  • Pick your deductible: choose between coinsurance or copays for your doctors visits
  • Flexibility: enroll for as little as 30 days or up to 3 years depending on your state
  • Fast coverage: qualify in as little as 5 minutes or less and have coverage the very next day
  • Preventative care: includes childhood immunization and preventative cancer screenings
  • $500 deductible on prescriptions: on Deluxe plans, and waived for Standard plans
  • Generic prescription drugs: inpatient drugs are covered once the $500 deductible is met, and are subject to 20% coinsurance; for outpatient drugs, after drug deductible is met, a covered person pays a $10 copay for a 34-day supply
  • Preferred-brand prescription drugs: inpatient drugs are covered once the $500 deductible is met, and are subject to 20% coinsurance; for outpatient drugs, after the drug deductible is met, a covered person pays a $50 copay for a 34-day supply of medication
  • Non-preferred brand name prescription drugs: inpatient drugs are covered once the $500 deductible is met, and are subject to 20% coinsurance; for outpatient drugs, after the drug deductible is met, a covered person pays $75 copay for a 34-day supply

Plans for Pivot Health range from $68 per month to $77 per month. There is a five-day waiting period for coverage to start as well as the potential to wait for up to 30 days for pre-existing conditions.

Although this plan allows you to see any doctor in or out of network, it should be noted that you must meet the up to $10,000 deductible before coverage starts to kick in. After this has been met, the coinsurance will cost you 20%.

UnitedHealthcare

A.M. Best: A

UnitedHealthcare offers multiple short-term plans and out-of-network care.

With their solid experience in the healthcare industry as well as a good provider network, UHC has gained strong financial strength ratings. Their underwriter, Golden Rule, also has strong financial strength, making their ability to pay out claims much higher.

Here are some of their coverage options:

  • Up to three-year policy available in some states
  • $3,000 prescription coverage available
  • Preventative care wellness checks covered
  • Some pre-existing conditions may be covered after 12 months
  • Option to cancel coverage with no penalty
  • Dental add-on coverage available depending on your state
  • Multiple plan options with varied cost-sharing and coverage levels

UHC’s policies are available in 24 states with costs ranging from $52 to $139 per month. In some states, you might need to join a consumer organization like the Federation of American Consumers and Travelers for an additional $4 per month charge.

Some UHC plans will cover 100% of medical costs once you meet the deductible (with 0% coinsurance) and others have options where you pay 20% to 40% coinsurance until you reach your deductible. This will all depend on your policy and state you reside in.

The maximum benefits range for UHC is $500,000 to $2 million which can be subject to exclusions like maternity care, emergency services, preventative care, hospitalization, and pre-existing conditions. Coverage begins after you meet the agreed deductible which can range from $2,500 to $15,000.

Depending on the plan you choose, waiting periods will vary. With a six-month waiting period for preventive care benefits and a 12 month period for acceptable pre-existing conditions.

The IHC Group

A.M. Best: A-

IHC offers plenty of plans to choose from that are not only budget friendly, but cover a wide array of services.

Plans range from six months (starting at around $104 per month) up to 36 months (starting at around $298 per month).

For all plans, dental and vision are covered with a low monthly add-on cost.

Here are some other benefits included:

  • Highly customizable plans
  • Telemedicine (check-ups are included in some plans)
  • X-rays and some other diagnostic exams
  • Doctor can be in or out of network
  • Lifetime maximums of up to $2,000,000
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered on some plans up to $25,000

A six month policy’s deductible will cost around $10,000, with no prescription coverage and a $1 million cap on all services, while a 36 month policy’s deductible is only averaged to about $6,000 with a $5 million cap on services. There is also a $40 copay for primary doctors and a $60 copay for any specialists.

Some state do require you to join Communicating for America in order to qualify for benefits.

Are there other temporary health insurance carriers?

There are plenty of temporary health insurance carriers to choose from.

Most health insurance companies do carry some form of temporary, or short term health insurance, like Blue Cross Anthem short term health insurance, who has their own brand of temporary health insurance called Limited Duration Insurance, which can be applied for year-round, not just during open enrollment.

Some other honorable mentions:

  • Everest Reinsurance Company
  • Companion Life Insurance Company (an underwriter for Pivot Health)
  • Independence American Insurance Company
  • National Health Insurance Company (National General)
  • COBRA

While these are all insurance companies that provide temporary health insurance, most of their rates are higher than the ones we’ve chosen, and have shorter-term periods in which you are able to select coverage.

But as long as you find the kind of coverage you need that can fit into your budget, any of these insurers are great options.

Temporary Health Insurance: Key Takeaways

If you’re experiencing a lapse in insurance and need temporary coverage, temporary health insurance is a great option. Since it’s intended to bridge the gap between your regular health insurance, it can help ease any worrying you might experience in between coverage periods.

If you’re looking for the best coverage, as well as the best costs, Pivot Health should be heavily considered. They have budget-friendly plans as well as an array of coverage options that don’t need to stay in-network if you find a doctor that works best for you.

Now that you’ve learned about temporary health insurance, take the time to enter your ZIP code into our free tool and start comparing health insurance rates today.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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