If you’re uninsured in Louisiana, short-term medical insurance is one coverage option you might consider. Short-term plans tend to be an economical solution for brief coverage gaps, such as when you’re between jobs or waiting for new benefits to begin.
What is Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance is temporary health insurance. Coverage can last as little as one month, and plans are designed to help protect your finances from unexpected medical bills. Benefits typically include doctor office visits, urgent care, emergency services, hospitalization, and surgery.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) doesn’t apply to short-term health insurance. As such, short-term plans differ from ACA plans in some important ways. Understanding these differences will help you determine which coverage makes sense for you.
What to Know About Short-Term Health Insurance in Louisiana
States can set their own limits and requirements for short-term policies. Louisiana defaults to federal guidelines, which cap policies at 364 days and allow renewals up to 36 months.1
Louisiana health insurance law does include restrictions on how insurers take preexisting conditions into consideration.
If you apply for a short-term policy longer than six months, an insurer can only look at your medical history up to 12 months before the effective date. They may look back further into your medical history for policies that last six months or less.2
What You Need to Know
You can enroll in Louisiana short-term coverage for 30 to 364 days, with renewals allowed up to 36 months.
In Louisiana, insurers can only consider preexisting conditions within 12 months of your effective date for policies longer than six months.
Short-term health insurance is available any time. If your application is approved, you can begin coverage as soon as the next day.
Is Short-Term Health Insurance Right for Me?
A short-term health plan could make sense for you based on the following:
Short-term plans tend to cost less than unsubsidized ACA plans. They can be an affordable option if you’re not eligible for an ACA subsidy and can’t otherwise afford coverage.
Unlike ACA plans, there is no Open Enrollment Period for short-term health insurance; you can apply for a policy no matter what time of the year it is. Once approved, your coverage can often start the next day
Because short-term plans aren’t required to include all of the essential health benefits, they work best if you’re in good health and only rely on insurance to help pay for unexpected medical care.
This coverage is designed for transitional periods such as when you:
- Are between job-based health insurance plans.
- Start a new job with a benefits waiting period.
- Turn 26 and age off your parent’s health plan.
- Move to a new ZIP code and lose coverage.
- Lose coverage due to divorce.
Ready for next steps? Explore Louisiana short-term plans.
When Short-Term Makes Sense
Short-term health insurance generally works best for people who are in good overall health, meaning they are not seeing a doctor regularly for care of a chronic health condition.
Why Wouldn’t Short-Term Health Insurance Be Right for Me?
You may decide to enroll instead in an ACA plan for reasons related to:
If you qualify for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, then an ACA plan will provide you with the broadest coverage at the lowest cost.
You’ll need to enroll in an ACA plan if you want access to all of the essential health benefits, have ongoing health concerns, or expect to become pregnant. In these circumstances, a short-term plan may not provide enough coverage.
Unlike ACA plans, short-term plans are not guaranteed issue regardless of age and health status. That means your application can be denied based on your health history.
Unlike ACA plans, short-term plans won’t typically cover preexisting conditions such as autoimmune diseases or diabetes. If you have a preexisting condition, it may be excluded from your short-term policy.
How Much Do Short-Term Plans Typically Cost in Louisiana?
What you pay for temporary coverage in Louisiana depends on your age, sex, ZIP code and tobacco use. However, your premium isn’t the only cost to consider.
While you may be tempted to choose the plan with the lowest rate, be sure to consider cost-sharing requirements such as:
- 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.
You’ll find a lower monthly premium means higher cost-sharing and vice versa. Also pay attention to policy and out-of-pocket maximums — the respective caps on what your policy pays and what you must pay for covered healthcare.
The sample rates below show premium and cost-sharing amounts for a single, 28-year-old female who lives in New Orleans (70118). She has no dependents and doesn’t use tobacco, and she’s applying for two consecutive 364-day policies.
|Plan A||$121.24||$20,000||$0 | $250*||0%|
|Plan B||$178.02||$10,000||$0 | $250*||0%|
|Plan C||$217.54||$5,000||$0 | $250*||0%|
Source: Pivot Health Cost Calculator
As you can see, although Plan A has the lowest premium, its deductible is also four times higher than that of Plan C.
What will you pay for short-term coverage? Get an instant quote.
How Can I Buy Louisiana Short-Term Health Insurance?
You can purchase short-term plans online at Pivot Health or through licensed health insurance agents and brokers. Some insurers that sell temporary coverage in Louisiana include:
Short-term health insurance isn’t available on Louisiana’s Health Insurance Marketplace; that’s where you’ll find ACA plans.
There are dozens of Louisiana short-term policies available. Check out your options.
What If I Need Extra Coverage?
Once you find affordable health insurance, you may still be concerned about meeting your deductible. Supplemental health insurance can help.
Supplemental policies pay lump-sum benefits when you have an accident or are diagnosed with a covered critical illness. You can choose to use these benefits for costs such as:
- Your health insurance deductible and coinsurance.
- Medical bills not covered by your primary health insurance.
- Living expenses such as rent or mortgage, childcare and transportation.
Premiums usually average a dollar or two per day. You can buy supplemental plans online or through licensed health insurance agents and brokers.
If your deductible is a concern, supplemental health insurance can put your mind at ease. Depending on the level of coverage, it can cover your full deductible.
Which Short-Term Health Insurance Should I Choose?
Before you apply for the first short-term plan you can afford, gather a few quotes. To narrow your options, consider premium and cost-sharing amounts, benefits and exclusions, network restrictions (if any), and non-insurance benefits such as telemedicine and vision discounts.
Health insurance can seem confusing, so familiarize yourself with basic terms as you shop and be sure to ask questions if you need help along the way.
Ready to get started? Find temporary coverage with Pivot Health.