Short Term Health Insurance In Utah
Short term health insurance can protect you during times of transition. Recent college graduates, those traveling for charity work, young adults without access to a family plan and others at different stages in life may benefit from temporary coverage. Unlike the policies that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as major medical plans, short-term plans don’t have to cover 10 essential benefits, don’t need to cover pre-existing conditions and can set limits on benefit payouts. In Utah, residents will find some protection for these plans in the regulations that oversee the sale of short-term policies.
Among other things, Utah regulations include stipulations that insurers must: identify the coverage being sold in clear language; outline anything used to determine approval, like age; pay for any physical exams that are required by the insurer to gain coverage; and return any excess premiums to the insured even if it’s not requested.
Utah law follows federal law when it comes to the duration of short term health insurance. The Obama administration imposed a rule that took effect in 2017 limiting short term health insurance plans to three months. Before then, some states allowed insurers to sell temporary policies of up to 364 days. The Trump administration wants to return to those prior regulations and has issued a proposed rule that would do just that. States would be able to set limits at their discretion up to the federal limit of 364 days. That change will likely take effect later this year.
In the meantime, Utah residents can buy short-term coverage for up to 90 days. As we said, these plans don’t have to cover the essential benefits that major medical policies must, but some do. Coverage will depend on company and location. Even within the same state, insurers offer varying policies. A Kaiser Family Foundation report analyzed short-term policies in major cities nationwide. Of the three policies available in Salt Lake City, none covered mental health services, substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs or maternity care. It’s not unusual for temporary plans to exclude these services and instead focus on catastrophic (emergency) coverage.
Short-term coverage makes sense in certain situations, but it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for major medical protection if you can afford it. Lower premiums, customizable plan options and quick approval make these plans a good option for those who just need to bridge a gap in traditional coverage.
Carriers Offering Short-Term Policies in Utah
Golden Rule Insurance Company (UnitedHealthcare)
Independence Holding Company (IHC Group)