Short Term Health Insurance In Tennessee

Short term policies offer healthcare coverage when you’re in a transition, whether you’ve just graduated from college and need a temporary health plan, or you can’t afford the premiums of major medical plans and are hoping to get enrolled in an employer plan soon. Whatever the reason, Tennessee residents can sign up for a short term health plan that lasts for up to three months under current federal rules. The Obama administration capped limited-duration policies to 90 days in order to encourage more people to buy major medical insurance.

The Trump administration, by contrast, wants to return the limit of short-term policies to 364 days. States could then choose to set their own limits. Some states already have laws on the books regarding temporary health plans, with most setting a limit of about six months. Tennessee goes by federal law, and since federal law currently caps short-term plans to three months, that’s the limit you’ll find in the Volunteer State right now.

A report by the Urban Institute predicted that about 47,000 Tennesseans would drop their ACA-compliant health insurance once the Trump administration’s proposals get finalized. Young and healthy people are less likely to carry the full benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act because these policies tend to cost much more than short-term policies. The individual mandate, which requires people to have health insurance or face a tax penalty, will be zeroed out starting in 2019, removing another incentive for consumers to choose major medical benefits.

The Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed short-term policies available to people living in populous cities within each state. Residents of Nashville, Tennessee, had access to 17 short-term plans at the time of the study. Of those, 71 percent covered mental health services, 41 percent covered substance abuse, 29 percent covered prescription drugs and none covered maternity. None of the short-term policies that Kaiser analyzed covered maternity care, and few covered mental health, substance abuse or prescription drugs. Temporary plans are designed to act as gap coverage until you can find major medical protection; they aren’t designed to act as full medical insurance.

Obamacare plans, purchased both from ACA exchange marketplaces and directly through insurers or agents, cover a host of essential benefits and keep you from having to pay a fine for not having health insurance. The downside to these plans is that they often cost a lot more than short-term policies, especially for people who don’t qualify for tax subsidies that reduce the cost of premiums. Tennessee was one of the hardest-hit states in terms of premium hikes. In 2018, the lowest-priced silver plan for a 40-year-old Tennessean jumped nearly 38 percent from the year before. The national average was just under 30 percent.


Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in Tennessee

National General

UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule Insurance Company)

Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company

Companion Life Insurance Company

Independence American Insurance Company (IHC Group)

LifeShield National Insurance Company