Short Term Health Insurance In Iowa

A temporary or short term health plan in Iowa can provide coverage if you have a gap in your health insurance due to a job change, are waiting to get benefits from an employer, have recently graduated and are searching for insurance, or you have a temporary or seasonal job. Temporary plans typically cover hospital visits, hospital stays, ER visits and other fees associated with an unexpected illness or injury.

There are restrictions for temporary policies in Iowa, however. Physical examinations are normally not covered nor are pre-existing conditions. Policies are limited to 90 days although that restriction may be rolled back soon. A proposed rule from the Trump administration would set the cap on short term policies to 364 days at the federal level. States would then have the option to impose their own rules on temporary plan limits.

Shortterm plans may exclude coverage that traditional plans deem essential, such as substance abuse or mental health treatment. They may also cap the amount of benefits you can receive and charge much higher deductibles. At the end of the policy period, the insurance company can refuse to renew your plan. There are also no government subsidies available to offset the cost of short term plans, although the premiums are usually much lower than traditional policies.

Compared to the rest of the country, Iowa had the smallest percentage of residents with incomes above 400 percent of the poverty level as of 2013, which is the cap for getting subsidies on Obamacare marketplaces. But it also had the lowest percentage of residents with incomes below the federal poverty level at 11 percent.

A bill was passed and signed by Governor Kim Reynolds that would allow small businesses to provide healthcare plans that did not meet the requirements of the ACA. The legislation allowed the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to work with Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield to sell plans that did not comply with the ACA. These plans, known as “association plans,” are designed to offer lower-cost healthcare to a wider range of consumers. Although they are not considered short term plans, they have similar pros and cons. Premiums are lower, but there may be less coverage, and insurance companies can exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Some reports indicate that the number of short term policies sold nationwide have grown since the implementation of the ACA. One survey found that 51 percent of those who purchased short term policies cited lower premiums as the reason while 39 percent claimed the need for temporary coverage led them to purchase the policies.

Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in Iowa

UHC (Golden Rule Insurance Company)

National General

Standard Life

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield