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What Exactly Is A Short-Term Health Insurance Plan And What Are Your Options?

If there is a lapse in your health insurance policy, you can get temporary coverage through short-term health insurance. The purpose of availing of a short-term health insurance policy is to bridge the gap between other plans. However, seeking short-term health insurance might be an uphill task for many. The editorial team of Forbes Health has evaluated the insurance companies in the United States that offer health plans across the country. They have considered how large their provider networks are, their physician and specialist copay rates, the benefits of each plan, and how the Better Business Bureau rates them. Below is a list of some of the best short-term health insurance providers of 2021 and other details you must know before choosing one. Check it out.


The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA is a federal law and not a health insurance provider. COBRA is among the best options you have when you want to choose short-term health insurance. Through COBRA, you have the benefit of staying on an employer-sponsored health insurance plan even if your job status changes. Depending on the circumstances you are in, you can continue with health coverage for a period of 18 to 36 months. This is because you are shelling out the full premium of your plan.

COBRA can be a bit heavy on your pockets. But COBRA’s coverage and availability options allow you to maintain the same copays, same prescription coverage, and same doctors that your employer-sponsored health plan offered. Aside from that, your insurance begins from the date there was a lapse in your original health insurance coverage. Moreover, you can cancel COBRA anytime you want. COBRA is available in all 50 states as well as Washington D.C.


UnitedHealthcare is one of the most popular providers in the United States. The health insurance company offers several short-term health plans underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company with different coinsurance and deductibles. In addition to that, after you sign up for UnitedHealthcare, you access its network that comprises 6500 hospitals, 1.4 million physicians, along with other facilities.

You can continue receiving health insurance coverage for a period ranging from one month to one year. However, that depends on the state you are a resident of. If you want to cancel UnitedHealthcare, there is no penalty attached. UnitedHealthcare plans can include dental coverage too. UnitedHealthcare is active in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Pivot Health

If you want short-term health insurance at a price that’s easy on your pockets, you can opt for Pivot Health. Compared to COBRA, the premiums and copays are lower for Pivot Health. There is a 20% to 30% coinsurance on all Pivot Health plans, while deductibles are normally between $1000 and $10,000. Additionally, a $500 deductible on prescription drugs is applicable for some plans, a primary physician copay of $30, and a specialist and urgent care copay of $60 applicable on certain plans.

Some plans do not depend on the Pivot Health network. You can sign up for Pivot Health coverage from anywhere for a while, from one month to three years, depending on which state you are a resident of. Pivot Health also offers various perks such as a 70% discount on prescription drugs and 30% discounts on eye examinations, glasses, and contact lenses.

Are You Eligible For Short-Term Insurance?

If you are under 65 years of age and are doing well health-wise, you can apply for short-term health insurance. The insurance provider will verify your health status and decide whether you are eligible for health insurance coverage. Besides that, the company will decide how much you will have to pay for the coverage and the exclusions.

Short-term health insurance plans are not available in 11 states. As of 2021, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Maine don’t allow short-term health insurance plans. This is either because they have banned them or have put strict rules for the insurance providers.

As compared to long-term health insurance plans, short-term health insurance plans are cheaper. Compared to individual market coverage, short-term insurance plans cost some 50% to 80% less. However, you need to research and assess your requirements to zero in on the perfect health insurance plan for you and your family. Always check what kind of insurance plans and options are available in your state before making a plan.

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