Short Term Health Insurance In Connecticut
If you live in Connecticut, you can subscribe to short term health insurance plans for periods of up to three months at a time. This limitation is imposed by a federal regulation. A ruling issued during the Obama administration determined that short term health plans should not have durations of more than three months.
Connecticut law is not so restrictive. State standards allow residents to have temporary health plans that last up to six months, but the federal regulation currently takes precedence.
This limitation may soon be removed. The Trump administration has announced its intention to expand Americans’ options for short term health plans. The administration hopes to extend the maximum length of temporary health insurance policies to 364 days.
In that case, Connecticut residents would be able to subscribe to six-month plans. Because of state regulations, they wouldn’t have access to the year-long option available to many other Americans, but they would be able to get longer plans than are currently allowed.
If this change does occur, many Connecticut residents might stop carrying individual health plans that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act. The Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute estimates that 31,000 Connecticut residents who currently have individual major medical plans might drop that coverage. Instead, those people, who represent about 21.8 percent of current enrollees in the state, might opt for short term health insurance plans.
Short term insurers can deny you for coverage based on your health history. Most companies issue a long list of past illnesses or injuries that can make applicants ineligible for a policy. The process of using medical history to determine whether a person is qualified for coverage is known as medical underwriting.
Connecticut does impose some restrictions on how insurers can practice medical underwriting. Before these state regulations went into place, insurance companies would sometimes approve people for policies but not perform underwriting until a claim was filed. Then, if the company determined that the policy should not have been issued in the first place, they’d rescind the plan instead of paying on the claim.
Connecticut regulations still do not entirely prohibit this practice, but they do restrict it. If a company wants to rescind a policy based on this sort of post-claims underwriting, it must receive approval from the Connecticut Insurance Commissioner.
As a general rule, short term health insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. Even if the insurer approves you for coverage, the plan might include a rider that excludes illnesses or injuries for which you’ve previously experienced symptoms.
Connecticut says that insurers can only exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions for the first 12 months of the plan. Of course, there’s not currently the option to keep a temporary plan for anywhere near a year, but this rule also requires that insurers count time from a previous consecutive policy toward this period. In Connecticut, you can have a gap of up to 30 days between plans and your policies will still be considered consecutive if they are issued by the same insurance company.
State insurance officials caution consumers that the ability to take out consecutive temporary health insurance plans isn’t guaranteed. If you develop a health problem or file a claim during one period, the insurer may choose not to issue you a subsequent short term insurance policy.
Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in Connecticut
UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule Insurance Company)
National General Accident and Health
Marketplaces located at UHOne.com (UHC)