If you’re uninsured in Mississippi, short-term health insurance is among the options available to you. Short-term health plans provide temporary coverage when you’re between Affordable Care Act (ACA) or employer plans. Policies can last as few as 30 days and up to 364 days, depending on the state where you live.
Mississippi Short-Term Health Insurance Laws
Mississippi short-term health insurance policies can last up to 364 days and be renewed for up to a total of 36 months.1 This is the maximum allowed by federal law.2 Some other states set lower limits.
Is a Short-Term Health Plan Right for Me?
Short-term health insurance can be an economical solution when you need coverage as soon as possible. Plans typically include benefits for physician visits, urgent care, hospitalization and surgery, to name a few — for injuries and unexpected illnesses.
Some reasons short-term health insurance might be a good fit include:
Availability – You can buy it year-round. The application process takes only a few minutes. Coverage begins as soon as the next day, if your application is approved.
Cost – Premiums for short-term health insurance tend to be lower than unsubsidized ACA plan premiums. If you don’t qualify for subsidies and can’t afford to pay full price for an ACA plan, then short-term health insurance could be a way to secure benefits until your situation changes.
Health — Short-term plans tend to be a better fit if you are relatively healthy and rely on insurance mainly for the unforeseen. This is because they don’t include all of the ACA essential health benefits.
Circumstances – Temporary coverage helps in many life situations, especially when you are in between jobs or waiting for new coverage to begin.
Why Wouldn’t Short-Term Health Insurance Be Right for Me?
Short-term health insurance is not subject to the ACA, which means it differs from individual and group major medical plans. Because of those differences, short-term plans don’t meet everyone’s needs.
You may decide a short-term plan isn’t right for you for reasons related to:
Benefits — Short-term plan benefits are usually limited to medical care you don’t expect. If you need coverage that includes the ACA’s essential health benefits (e.g., pregnancy, chronic disease management, and preventive care)3, then short-term health insurance may not be right for you.
Eligibility — Unlike ACA plans, short-term plans are not guaranteed to be issued. You will be asked a few basic health questions when you apply, and your application can be denied based upon your health history.
Preexisting conditions — If you have preexisting health conditions such as diabetes, asthma or cancer, you may not qualify for a short-term policy or your policy may exclude care related to those conditions. ACA plans must cover preexisting conditions.
Subsidies — Short-term plans are not eligible for ACA subsidies. If you qualify for a premium tax credit,4 then you should consider buying an individual major medical plan from your state’s health insurance exchange.
How Much Do Short-Term Health Plans Cost in Mississippi?
What you will pay for short-term health insurance depends on factors such as your ZIP code, age and tobacco use. You can generally expect to pay a lower premium for a plan with a higher deductible and vice versa.
As an example, let’s look at some plan options and rates for a 28-year-old woman in Rankin County (39208). She doesn’t use tobacco, has no dependents, and needs a policy that lasts 364 days. All plans quoted below include a $10,000 max out-of-pocket amount and $100,0000 total policy coverage limit.
|Plan B||$90.11||$5,000||$30 | $60**||20%|
|Plan C||$128.71||$2,000||$30 | $60**||30%|
Source: Pivot Health Cost Calculator
* Cost subject to deductible and coinsurance.
** Office visit to primary care doctor | urgent care center visit
You’ll want to gather some online quotes to see what Mississippi short-term plans are available to you and how much they cost.
How to Buy Mississippi Short-Term Plans
You can buy short-term health insurance just like other medical insurance: it can be purchased on a private marketplace website such as Pivot Health, through a licensed health insurance agent, or directly from an insurance company.
Some insurers that sell short-term health plans in Mississippi include:
- Companion Life provided by Pivot Health
- Independence American Insurance Company
- National General
- UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule Insurance Co.)
One place you can’t buy short-term health insurance is on Mississippi’s federal health insurance exchange – that is where you shop for an ACA plan.
What if You Need Extra Coverage?
You may be concerned about how to pay for out-of-pocket expenses, such as your plan deductible, in the event you need healthcare. Supplemental health insurance can help.
Supplemental plans pay lump-sum (one-time) benefits when you are diagnosed with a covered critical illness or have an accident resulting in covered medical expenses. You can use these benefits to pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as:
- Your short-term or major medical plan’s deductible and coinsurance.
- Medical bills not covered by your short-term or major medical plan.
- Living expenses such as rent or mortgage, childcare and car payments.
Like short-term plans, supplemental plans may include extra non-insurance benefits such as telemedicine consultations, prescription drug discounts, and vision care discounts.
The cost of supplemental health insurance varies based on factors such as where you live and the level of benefits you select. Below are two sample quotes based on the earlier example of a 28-year-old woman living in Rankin County (39208):
|Premium||Critical Illness Benefit||Accident Medical Expense Benefit||Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit|
Source: Pivot Health Cost Calculator
You can buy supplemental insurance through a private marketplace website, a licensed health insurance agent or broker, or an insurance company.
As you shop for health insurance and compare your options, look beyond premiums and deductibles. Read plan details carefully, and note what is included as well as excluded to be sure the coverage fits your needs. If you have questions about a plan, contact the insurer’s customer service department and ask before you enroll.
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy. “Short-Term Health Insurance Provides Affordable Alternative.” mspolicy.org (accessed July 2020).
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Fact Sheet Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance Final Rule.” News release, August 1, 2018, accessed July 2020).
- Healthcare.gov. “What marketplace health insurance plans cover.” healthcare.gov (accessed July 2020).
- IRS. “The Premium Tax Credit – The Basics.” irs.gov (accessed July 2020).