Short Term Health Insurance In North Dakota

In North Dakota, a short-term health insurance plan can’t last for more than 185 days, but right now, you can’t even obtain that long of a policy. Federal rules prevent any short term health plan from being more than 90 days long. The Obama administration put that limit into place.

Before the current rule went into place, federal regulations allowed Americans to have temporary health plans for up to 364 days. The Trump administration would like to return short term policies to that length and has issued a proposed rule that will likely be finalized sometime this year.

If the proposed rule becomes final rule, North Dakota’s 185-day regulation will still limit residents’ access to plans. Since the state law will be more restrictive than the federal one, residents must continue to abide by local rules.

The Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute estimates that this policy change could draw about 10,000 North Dakota residents away from the individual health insurance market. About 40,000 people in the state currently subscribe to nongroup insurance plans that adhere to Affordable Care Act regulations. The drop in subscribers would represent a loss of about 24.1 percent of the state’s individual insurance market.

State insurance officials recommend that consumers reserve limited-duration plans for times when traditional major medical coverage isn’t available to them, and they should use them only for short periods of time. Temporary health plans do not meet the criteria for minimum essential coverage. As long as the individual mandate penalty is in place, you may have to pay it if you choose short term insurance instead of an Obamacare plan.

The coverage provided by short term medical plans is not as comprehensive as the coverage you can get from an ACA-compliant plan. These plans impose a cap on coverage and don’t typically cover pre-existing conditions. In fact, having a pre-existing condition may keep you from getting one of these policies altogether. Short-term insurers use medical underwriting to limit their risk pools to healthier enrollees. It’s how they keep costs down.

Even if you’ve taken out a limited-duration medical plan before, developing a new illness or injury can keep you from being accepted for an additional term. That’s because short term plans are non-renewable; the only way to continue coverage is to start over with the full application process.

Furthermore, temporary health plans do not cover all of the types of care that you can get with an ACA major medical plan. Yours might exclude preventive care or mental health treatment. The Kaiser Family Foundation performed a review of the temporary plans that Fargo, North Dakota, residents could choose in 2018. Of the six plans available, none of them included coverage for maternity services or prescription drugs. Half of the plans offered some help with substance abuse treatment. An impressive 83 percent of the plans included mental health services, significantly higher than the national average of 57 percent.

Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in North Dakota

LifeShield National Insurance Company
Companion Life Insurance Company (Pivot Health)
Everest Prime
Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
National General Accident and Health
The IHC Group (Independence Holding Company)