Short Term Health Insurance Overview

If you’re between jobs, or you’ve missed the open enrollment period for Obamacare, or you simply find that you cannot afford a major medical / ACA plan because you do not qualify for a subsidy, a short term insurance plan may help you cover your medical expenses. Golden Rule Insurance Company, which became part of UnitedHealthcare in 2003, underwrites several different short term plans, with benefit levels for almost any need or budget.

HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings of Short Term Plans Offered by Golden Rule:

31State OfferingsNumber of States

BMarketing ScoreA – F Grade

GoodPlan ValuePoor, Good, Excellent

9.3Trust ScoreOut of 10

State Offerings

Golden Rule offers short term plans in 31 states across the country.

There are five states in the country that prohibit any carrier from offering a health insurance product that has an underwriting process and a limited term (less than annual term) to its residents, which means no carrier can offer a short term health insurance plan in these states. Those states are: Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Marketing Score

Golden Rule received a B on HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings’ Marketing Score Category.  Generally consumers should find Golden Rule’s marketing practices passive and not aggressive or imposing and you will not likely feel disappointment or frustration when you are interacting with a Golden Rule licensed agent or applying for a short term plan on Golden Rule’s website UHOne.com.

Customers should note that Golden Rule has a $4.00 recurring, monthly fee that it adds to the premium price, which they only disclose before the consumer completes the application. It also has a one-time, application fee of $20.00 that it charges customers, which is first discloses on the plan details page.

Plan Value

Golden Rule’s short term health insurance plans are considered a Good Value on the Plan Value Category, which means that customers should feel like they are getting a good health insurance plan with a good value for the cost.

Golden Rule offers short term plans that have a lifetime payout up to $2 Million, which means that if you have a catastrophic medical event that incurs hundreds of thousands or even a million dollars in medical bills, you don’t have to worry about hitting your lifetime payout limits under select Golden Rule short term plans and having to pay for the bills entirely out-of-pocket.

If a consumer is concerned about how an unexpected medical bill will affect their budget, Golden Rule also offers short term plans with three different deductible tiers under $10,000 per term and they offer plans with a maximum out-of-pocket requirement of as little as $5,000 a term.

One negative of the Golden Rule online research and plan review process on UHOne.com is that there is no easy and apparent way to review the in-network doctor directory for each plan.

Trust Score

Golden Rule scored a 9.3 out of 10, under HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings’ Trust Score Category, which means that customers should find the Golden Rule brand and their product offerings one of the most trustworthy and reliable.

UnitedHealth Group is ranked fifth on the 2018 Fortune 500 list company and is considered the largest healthcare company in the world. It is also a publicly traded entity with over 200,000 employees worldwide.

About UnitedHealthcare, Golden Rule Insurance Company

UnitedHealthcare is part of a family of companies that makes up UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 50 company. That means it is one of the 50 largest companies and the largest health insurer in the United States. The UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual division of UnitedHealthcare provides access to medical services for approximately 27 million people. It also offers access to more than 1.2 million physicians and health care professionals and approximately 6,500 hospitals and facilities. According to the UnitedHealthcare website, A.M. Best has given the company an A (or Excellent) rating.

Does it matter how large a company is, and does that make them more trustworthy? Typically you would think that larger entities would tend to be more conservative simply because they’re being watched more closely than a much smaller company. In the past we might have agreed that this was a relatively safe assumption, that larger companies are more risk averse. That said, you only need to look at VW and WellsFargo as just two recent examples of where that assumption simply isn’t true. Both are massive corporations with a lot to lose, yet both did things that were not in the best interest of consumers, and instead their bottom line. While we think that this kind of thing happens more often than the general public knows about, what we can say about UnitedHealthcare is that they are an extremely conservative company that is highly risk averse. As such, they are extremely protective of their brand and reputation with consumers. While we do not think that any insurance carrier exists that will consistently please every single one of their customers, mostly because of the nature of the product / service provided,UnitedHealthcare is a company that has a pretty stellar reputation.

In addition to operating the largest insurance carrier in the United States, UnitedHealthcare also owns a number of other entities within the healthcare eco-system that is not only a forward thinking approach, but of benefit to consumers. Two important examples, are their Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) business Optum, which is responsible for negotiating rates for prescription drugs, and MedExpress, their national urgent care business. Both of these were previously independent companies who were then acquired byUnitedHealthcare. By owning and operating its own PBM as well as Urgent Care facilities, this allows UnitedHealthcare to decrease costs for both prescription drugs, as well as for urgent care services.

UnitedHealthcare and Short Term Health Insurance

Golden Rule Insurance Company, which underwrites the short term health insurance plans, became part of UnitedHealthcare in 2003. It has been offering short term insurance for more than 30 years. Because of Golden Rule’s long history in short term health insurance, you can be sure that they are not exploiting a new trend or trying to create a new insurance market. The company is committed to the short term health products it offers, and those products provide access to UnitedHealthcare’s large provider network.

Short Health Insurance Term Plan Availability

Golden Rule underwrites several different short term plans. Each of the plans offers different deductibles, copayments and maximums. All plans include doctors visits and urgent care visits with a coinsurance payment after the deductible has been met. Emergency room visits require a copay plus deductibles and coinsurance. Covered services also may include outpatient surgery, labs, X-rays and hospital care. You can choose coverage that lasts from 30 days to less than three months. In some states, plans may only be available for one to two months. Plan availability will vary based on where you live and other factors, including health history.

2018 Short Term Health Plan Groupings for Golden Rule Insurance Company:
1

In the first set of plans, deductibles start at $1,000 and go up to $12,500. There's a lifetime maximum of $250,000 per covered person. Coinsurance and deductibles vary by plan.

$1K - $12.5K

Deductible Options

$250,000

Lifetime Maximum

Value

40%

Your Coinsurance

  • $10K Out-of-Pocket Max
  • Prescription Coverage
  • Per-Cause Deductible
  • Per-Term Deductible

The coinsurance rate for Value is 40 percent, and there's a $10,000 max on out-of-pocket expenses. You can use a discount card for prescription drugs, but prescription coverage is not included in the plan. Value plans allow you to choose a per-cause or per-term deductible.

Copay Value

40%

Your Coinsurance

  • $10K Out-of-Pocket Max
  • Doctor Visits
  • Prescription Discounts
  • Per-Term Deductible

As with the Value plan, the Copay Value includes a 40 percent coinsurance rate and a $10,000 max on out-of-pocket expenses. You can also use a prescription discount card with this plan. Unlike Value and Plus plans, the Copay Value only allows a per-cause deductible.

Plus

20%

Your Coinsurance

  • $10K Out-of-Pocket Max
  • Preferred Price Card
  • Per-Cause Deductible
  • Per-Term Deductible

With the Plus plan, the coinsurance rate drops to 20 percent. This plan also includes a Preferred Price Card for prescriptions, which requires you to pay for prescriptions at the lowest price available at the time of sale and submit a claim to Golden Rule Insurance Company. After the deductible has been reached, only a copayment is required.

2

The next category of plans offered by Golden Rule Insurance Company is called Select. With these plans, the lifetime maximum is $600,000 per covered person. Deductibles range from $1,000 to $12,500 and last for the duration of the term (not per cause).

$1K - $12.5K

Deductible Options

$600,000

Lifetime Maximum

Value Select

40%

30%/40% Your Coinsurance

  • 30% or 40% Coinsurance Rate
  • $5K or $10K Out-of-Pocket Max
  • Preferred Price Card
  • Per-Term Deductible

With Value Select, you'll choose a copay of 30 or 40 percent. There's a discount card available for prescriptions since prescription coverage is not available with this plan. You'll also choose an out-of-pocket max of $5,000 or $10,000.

Plus Select

40%

20%/40% Your Coinsurance

  • 20% or 40% Coinsurance Rate
  • $2K, $5K or $10K Out-of-Pocket Max
  • Preferred Price Card
  • Per-Term Deductible

The Plus Select plan lets you choose a coinsurance rate of 20 or 40 percent. Prescription coverage is available with this plan in the form of the Preferred Price Card outlined above. You’ll choose an out-of-pocket max of $2,000, $5,000 or $10,000.

Copay Select

20%

Your Coinsurance

  • 20% Coinsurance Rate
  • $5K Out-of-Pocket Max
  • $50 First Doctor Visit
  • Preferred Price Card

The Copay Select plan requires 20 percent coinsurance and an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000. With this plan you'll pay a copayment for your first doctor's visit, and you can use a Preferred Price Card for prescription coverage.

Plus Elite

0%

Your Coinsurance

  • 0% Coinsurance Rate
  • $0 Out-of-Pocket Expenses
  • Choice of $1,000 Deductible
  • Prescription Price Card

With Plus Elite, there is no coinsurance rate and there's $0 out-of-pocket on covered expenses. The Plus Elite plan doesn't allow you to choose the $1,000 deductible option. You can use the Preferred Price Card for drug coverage.

3

The third tiered category for short term plans from Golden Rule Insurance Company is Select A. You can choose deductibles ranging from $1,000 to $12,500 per term (not per cause), and there's a $2 million lifetime maximum with these plans. Other than these differences, the Select A plans offer the same benefits, in terms of cost-sharing and prescription drug coverage, as the Select plans. Select A plans would likely cost more since there's a higher lifetime maximum. Several short term insurance plans from Golden Rule Insurance Company also come with the option to add supplemental benefits, like accident insurance at an additional cost, to bolster your coverage.

$1K - $12.5K

Deductible Options

$2,000,000

Lifetime Maximum

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