Short Term Health Insurance Duration Limits By State

Short term medical plans have been forced into the spotlight over the last year as President Trump and his administration seek to expand these plans as alternatives to major medical insurance. Also called “limited-duration” coverage, short term health insurance is designed to act as a temporary solution to periods when you need catastrophic coverage. But more people may consider these plans as a viable alternative to having comprehensive benefits, especially if a Trump administration rule becomes finalized that would extend the limit of these plans to 364 days.

The Obama administration capped the duration of short term health plans to just three months, citing concerns over an increasingly unstable individual insurance market. Before this rule change took effect in 2017, short term health plans could last up to nearly a year at the federal level. Individual states set their own rules up to the federal limit. Six months is the most common cap on these plans, though some states set stricter boundaries and others follow federal guidelines.

In response to the Trump administration’s proposal to restore duration limits of short term policies to 364 days, several states have proposed legislation to cap short term policies further – or eliminate them altogether as an option for their residents. To date, residents of five states won’t find any short term health insurance options available, either because their state doesn’t allow them or because the rules on temporary health plans are so stringent that insurers won’t sell them there. These states are Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Once the new rule becomes finalized, which will likely happen this summer, states will be free to lift restrictions on short term health plans. They could also further restrict these plans, as some have already done or intend to do. It can be hard to keep up with state regulations on short term medical plans. As of the time of this writing and with the information available, we’ve created this chart to help you see how your state limits the duration of short term insurance. Note that policies may change, so check with your state’s insurance department for the most accurate information.

Location
Duration Limits1
State Legislation (If Any) in 2018
Alabama No state limit
Alaska No state limit
Arkansas No state limit
Arizona 185 days
California 185 days A bill is being considered (SB910) that would prohibit the sale of short term plans starting January 2019.
Colorado 6 months
Connecticut 6 months
Delaware No state limit
D.C. No limit
Florida No state limit
Georgia No state limit A bill (SB474) is being considered that would define short term policies as health plans issued for “less than one year.”
Hawaii 90 days Governor Ige signed HB1520 into law in July. It prohibits people from buying short term policies if they qualified for major medical plans during open or special enrollment the previous year. It effectively eliminates short term health insurance in the state for most people.
Idaho 12 months
Illinois 181 days House Bill 2624 caps short term plans to less than 181 days and makes them nonrenewable within a period of 365 days. The bill has been sent to the governor as of June 29.
Indiana 6 months
Iowa No state limit
Kansas 6 or 12 months
Kentucky No state limit
Louisiana No state limit
Maine Less than 12 months
Maryland 3 months A bill (HB1782) was signed into law in April limited short term plans to three months and prohibiting renewal of these policies
Massachusetts Underwritten short term plans are prohibited in this state.
Michigan 185 days
Minnesota 185 days The state House passed a bill (HF3138) to eliminate certain caps on short term coverage, including extending the duration from 185 days to “less than a year,” but the bill didn’t make it to a vote in the state Senate.
Mississippi No state limit
Missouri 6 months The state considered a bill (HB1685) to extend the duration of short term plans to “less than one year,” but it didn’t pass the state Senate in May.
Montana No state limit
Nebraska No state limit
Nevada 185 days
New Hampshire 6 months
New Jersey Underwritten short term plans are prohibited in this state.
New Mexico No state limit
New York Underwritten short term plans are prohibited in this state.
North Carolina No state limit
North Dakota 185 days
Ohio No state limit
Oklahoma No state limit
Oregon 90 days
Pennsylvania No state limit
Rhode Island No state limit Short term plans are not sold in this state due to current state regulations regarding health plans.
South Carolina No state limit
South Dakota 6 months
Tennessee No state limit
Texas No state limit
Utah No state limit
Vermont 3 months

 

Vermont limits plans to three months; however, the state imposes regulations that effectively bar insurers from selling short term health insurance here, and no plans are currently offered.
Virginia 3 months Governor Northam signed H892 into law in May, which caps short term health insurance in this state to three months.
Washington No state limit In March, Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced that he would start the process for imposing strict limits on short term plans in this state.
West Virginia No state limit
Wisconsin No state limit
Wyoming No state limit

(1) In states with “no limit”, state regulations do not specify a duration limit for short term health plans. These states default to the federal standard.

 
 

Other sources used to compile this chart include:
  • The National Academy for State Health Policy (source here)
  • The Commonwealth Fund (sources here and here)