Short Term Health Insurance In Arizona
Currently, federal regulations limit short term insurance health insurance policies, including those in Arizona, to terms of 90 days or fewer. That regulation stands in Arizona, even though the state-specific law on the books is different. According to state regulations, short term policies have a time limit of 185 days or fewer.
What does that mean for you? Right now, the state regulation doesn’t mean much. Since federal law says that short term plans must be capped at 90 days, that’s as long as an Arizona temporary health plan can last.
However, if the Trump administration follows through with its intent to extend the maximum length to 364 days, the Arizona law will have more meaning. In that case, you would be able to apply for a six-month short term health insurance plan in Arizona. Take note: Even if the federal limit is nearly one year, the 185-day maximum will supersede that regulation for Arizonans.
In addition to a 185-day limit for initial temporary health insurance terms, Arizona also sets limits on renewals. According to the law that’s on the state books, you can’t renew a short term plan for more than 180 days. In other words, the state doesn’t really want you to rely on temporary health plans for more than one year at a time.
Unlike major medical plans that are compliant with Affordable Care Act regulations, short term plans typically set a cap on how much they will pay out for a subscriber over the course of a year or a lifetime. According to a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation survey, the coverage cap for short term plans that were available in Phoenix at the time of the study ranged from $250,000 to $2 million.
To help keep premium costs low, short term insurers limit what services they cover. ACA-compliant plans must offer 10 essential health benefits, but temporary insurance plans are not subject to that regulation. Therefore, the plan you choose may not cover all of the health services that you need, including emergency care or prescription drugs.
The Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that over half of the short term plans available in Phoenix offered some coverage for mental health services. About a third of the products provided some coverage for substance abuse treatment, and approximately the same number of plans included some prescription drug coverage. None of the plans offered coverage for prenatal care or childbirth.
Arizona law is careful to stipulate that insurers that offer only short term products do not qualify as insurers that participate in the individual market. This should serve as a reminder to subscribers that short term health insurance does not work in the same way as other plans. Insurers can analyze your medical history before deciding whether to cover you. They don’t have to provide coverage for your pre-existing conditions or any other ailments that they choose to exclude. Subscribing to a temporary insurance plan won’t exempt you from the fine for not having sufficient health insurance; that fee remains in effect for the remainder of 2018. Finally, losing your short term health plan won’t qualify you for a special enrollment period to sign up for an Obamacare insurance plan outside of the standard open enrollment period in the fall.
Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in Arizona
UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule Insurance Company)
The IHC Group (Independence Holding Company)
Companion Life (Pivot Health)
Lifeshield National Insurance Company
National General Accident and Health
Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
Marketplaces located at UHOne.com (UHC)