If you live in Indiana and become uninsured, short-term health insurance is a way to get quick, economical coverage. While it differs from traditional major medical insurance, it can be a good choice for temporary situations.
What You Need to Know
- Indiana short-term health insurance provides temporary coverage for 30 to 364 days, with renewals up to 36 months.
- By law, short-term plans sold in Indiana must include an annual coverage limit of at least $2 million.
- You can buy short-term health insurance year-round and begin coverage as soon as the day after you apply.
What is Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance is temporary coverage that lasts as few as 30 days and up to one year. It is designed to help protect your finances from unexpected medical expenses. Plans typically include benefits for urgent care, hospitalization, surgery, and visits to a primary care doctor. Some plans also include non-insurance benefits such as telemedicine and prescription drug discounts.
Unlike individual major medical insurance, short-term health insurance is not subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While there are some federal guidelines related to short-term health insurance, it is largely regulated at the state level.
Indiana Short-Term Health Insurance Laws
The state of Indiana allows short-term health insurance policies with an initial term of up to 364 days.1 You can renew up to 36 months or the maximum period permitted by federal law. Currently, that period is the same: federal law limits allow short-term policies up to 364 days with renewals up to 36 months.2
Indiana law also requires all short-term policies to include the following:3
- An annual coverage limit of at least $2 million.
- Coverage for outpatient, hospitalization, emergency and laboratory services.
All health insurance products sold in Indiana, including short-term plans, are subject to rate review.4 Insurers must file rates with the Indiana Department of Insurance Company Compliance Division for approval.
Is Short-Term Health Insurance Right for Me?
Temporary health insurance may be a good fit for you based on the following:
Because short-term plans have limited benefits, their premiums tend to be lower than those of unsubsidized ACA plans.
You can enroll in a short-term plan any time, and the application process takes only a few minutes. A short health questionnaire will determine your eligibility. If you qualify, you can begin coverage as soon as the next day.
If you are relatively healthy and only need insurance only for unforeseen illness and injury, then this coverage may work well for you.
Short-term plans can be useful in situations such as:
- Aging off a parent’s health plan.
- Moving to a new ZIP code.
- Getting a divorce.
- Losing your job and workplace benefits.
- Starting a new job with a waiting period before workplace benefits begin.
Why Wouldn’t a Short-Term Plan Be Right for Me?
It’s also possible short-term health insurance won’t meet your needs. Reasons you may consider an ACA plan instead include:
Short-term policies are not guaranteed issue, meaning you can be denied coverage based on your health history. In contrast, ACA plans are guaranteed issue.
If you have a preexisting condition such as diabetes, you may not qualify for short-term health insurance, or your condition may not be covered. All ACA plans must cover preexisting conditions.
If you need all of the essential health benefits (e.g., pregnancy, preventive care), then an ACA plan will be a better fit.
You may be eligible for income-based premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions that lower the cost of an ACA plan. If you qualify for subsidies,5 an ACA plan will likely provide the most benefits at the lowest cost.
How Much Does Short-Term Insurance Cost in Indiana?
Factors that determine your Indiana short-term health insurance premium include your date of birth, sex, ZIP code, and tobacco use.
You may be tempted to choose the plan with the most affordable premium, but it’s also important to look at cost-sharing requirements. Pay attention to the following:
- Plan deductible: What you pay out of pocket before your benefits take effect.
- Copayment: A fixed amount you pay for covered services, often at the point of service (e.g., doctor’s office, urgent care).
- Coinsurance: The percentage you pay for covered medical expenses once you meet your deductible.
The example below includes rates for a 35-year-old woman living in Indianapolis (46220). She is single, has no dependents, and doesn’t use tobacco.
|$30 | $60**
* Cost subject to deductible and coinsurance.
** Office visit to primary care doctor | urgent care center visit
Source: Pivot Health Cost Calculator
How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance
You can buy short-term health insurance on a private marketplace such as Pivot Health, through a licensed health insurance agent, or directly from an insurer. You cannot buy it on the federal Health Insurance Exchange.
What If I Need Extra Coverage?
Once you find temporary health insurance within your budget, you may be concerned about meeting your deductible. Adding supplemental insurance can help.
Supplemental plans pay lump-sum benefits for covered medical expenses related to an accident or critical illness diagnosis. Benefits are paid directly to you and may be used for expenses such as:
- Your health insurance deductible and coinsurance.
- Medical bills not covered by your health insurance.
- Living expenses such as rent or mortgage, childcare, and transportation.
You can purchase supplemental insurance from a private marketplace, licensed health insurance agent, or insurance company. Premiums can average out to as little as a dollar or two a day; however, you will need to gather quotes to find your cost.
Which Health Insurance Should I Choose?
The best health insurance plan is one that meets your current healthcare needs and budget. Take the time to gather a few quotes and compare plan details. If you have questions along the way, contact the insurer whose plan you’re considering.
Ready to explore more? Check out short-term health insurance plans.