Short Term Health Insurance In Indiana

The Trump administration has proposed allowing Americans to have access to short term health insurance plans with durations of up to 364 days. Even if that proposal goes through, Indiana residents won’t be able to subscribe to plans for that long. State regulations set the limit for these plans at six months.

However, you can’t currently obtain a six-month temporary health plan in the state of Indiana. That’s because a federal regulation takes precedence right now. The Obama administration issued a rule that short term health plans should be limited to periods of 90 days. In other words, the federal regulation currently overrules the state one, so three months is the maximum. If the federal limit is expanded, the state rule will kick into gear, and residents will have a six-month cap on these plans.

If Indiana residents can subscribe to short term plans for six months instead of only three, more people may opt for these plans instead of standard major medical coverage. Currently, approximately 194,000 Indiana residents are enrolled in individual health insurance plans that are compliant with the standards of the Affordable Care Act. The Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute estimates that 39,000 of those people might drop those plans if the Trump administration’s proposal gets finalized. This represents approximately 20 percent of current Obamacare enrollees in the state.

Indiana law also specifies that short term health plans cannot be renewed. That doesn’t mean that you can hold only one of these plans. Instead, it means that renewal is not automatic with short term plans. In order to take out a new policy, you must reapply and go through the process of medical underwriting and approval. Some Indiana residents do take out one short term policy after another.

However, this practice requires that the insurance company be willing to approve you again and again. Short term insurers can turn you down based on your medical history, so if you seek treatment for an illness during one policy term, you may not get approved for an additional one. If you lose your temporary coverage, you may have to wait for the annual open enrollment period to sign up for a standard health insurance plan instead. Loss of short term health insurance doesn’t qualify you for a special enrollment period for Obamacare plans.

The right to accept only healthy people into their plans is only one way that short term insurers differ from standard insurers. ACA-compliant major medical policies must cover both pre-existing conditions and new ones, and it must provide coverage for at least 10 essential health benefits as mandated by federal law. Temporary health plans, on the other hand, can exclude coverage for pre-existing health issues, and they can pick and choose the coverage level.

The Kaiser Family Foundation took a look at the short term plans that were available in Indianapolis in 2018. Of the 19 plans that they found, not one covered maternity care. Coverage for substance abuse treatment was available with 26 percent of the plans, and 37 percent of them had a provision for prescription drugs. Mental health treatment was covered under 53 percent of the plans.

Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in Indiana

National General Accident and Health

The IHC Group (Independence Holding Company)

Companion Life Insurance Company (Pivot Health)

UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule Insurance Company)

LifeShield National Insurance Company

Everest Prime

Standard Life