Short Term Health Insurance In New Hampshire

By state law in New Hampshire, short term health insurance policies can last for up to six months per term. However, there is currently a three-month limit imposed by a federal regulation that went into effect at the beginning of 2017. Until that rule is changed, New Hampshire residents must limit their temporary health plans to periods of 90 days or fewer.

The Trump administration is working to expand the duration of these plans. A proposed rule issued by the administration would change the maximum length to 364 days. If the proposed rule becomes final rule, New Hampshire residents will be able to purchase six-month plans, but the state law would prevent them from gaining access to anything longer than that.

The Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center estimates that expansion of short term health insurance could disrupt New Hampshire’s insurance market. Approximately 48,000 state residents currently have an individual health plan that conforms to the standards of the Affordable Care Act. If New Hampshire residents gain access to six months of coverage at a time, approximately 16.9 percent of those people might choose not to sign up for another ACA-compliant plan in 2019. Instead, many of those 8,000 people might choose to use short term insurance plans as their healthcare coverage.

New Hampshire law specifies that short term health insurance cannot be renewed. That means that continuing your policy at the end of its term cannot be automatic, whether at the insurer’s discretion or your request. Instead, if you want to maintain temporary health plan coverage, you must reapply for a new policy. Doing so requires filling out a new application and passing all of the medical background questions. If a health concern came up during your last period of coverage, you might not get approved for a new one.

During a two-year period, you aren’t allowed to hold short term medical policies for more than 540 days. Once you reach that limit, an insurance company shouldn’t write you a new plan until your previous 24 months have involved fewer than 540 days of temporary health coverage. This can require a waiting period of over six months.

New Hampshire insurance officials remind residents that short term health plans do not meet the ACA’s definition of minimum essential coverage. During 2018, you may be subject to the individual mandate penalty for choosing temporary insurance over a standard major medical plan.

If you want to switch from a limited-duration health plan to a standard individual health plan, you will probably have to wait for the open enrollment period in the fall to do so. There are circumstances that allow for special enrollment periods for Obamacare plans, but losing your short term coverage is not one of them.

Because temporary health plans are exempt from ACA rules, they don’t have to cover the 10 areas of care that are considered essential health benefits. The Kaiser Family Foundation took a look at the plans that were available in Manchester, New Hampshire, in 2018. Neither of the two plans available included coverage for maternity care or prescription drugs, both of which are mandatory benefits under the ACA. However, the Manchester short term plans did include provisions for mental health services and substance abuse treatment.

Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in New Hampshire

Everest Reinsurance Company