If you’re uninsured in Nebraska, short-term medical insurance is one option available to you. Short-term plans provide economical coverage for as little as one month. You can enroll in them year-round, whenever you need health insurance.
What Is Short-Term Health Insurance?
Short-term health insurance is temporary coverage that helps protect your finances from unforeseen medical bills. Plan benefits typically include doctor office visits, urgent care, emergency services, hospitalization and surgery.
Unlike individual major medical insurance, short-term medical insurance is not subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result, these coverages meet different needs. Understanding how they vary will help you determine which is right for you.
What You Need to Know
Short-term health insurance helps pay for healthcare related to injury and unexpected illnesses when you’re between major medical plans.
You can buy a short-term plan any time of year and begin coverage as soon as the day after you apply.
Nebraska allows short-term policies to last 30 to 364 days, with renewals up to 36 months.
Is a Short-Term Health Plan Right for Me?
You may decide short-term health insurance is a good fit based on the following:
Short-term plans typically cost less than unsubsidized ACA plans. They can be a budget-friendly solution if you don’t qualify for subsidies and can’t otherwise afford an ACA plan.
You can enroll in a short-term plan any time — there are no open or special enrollment periods. If your application is approved, you may begin coverage as soon as the next day.
Short-term health insurance works best for those who are in good health and rely on insurance to help pay for unexpected medical care. It doesn’t include all of the ACA’s essential health benefits (e.g., preventive care, maternity).
This temporary coverage is designed for transitional periods such as when you:
- Are in between job-based health insurance plans.
- Start a new job with a waiting period before benefits begin.
- Turn 26 and age off a parent’s health plan.
- Move to a new ZIP code and lose your current coverage.
- Lose coverage due to divorce.
Sounds like a match? Explore your plan options.
Why Wouldn’t Short-Term Health Insurance Be Right for Me?
Short-term health insurance doesn’t make sense for everyone. An ACA plan might better meet your needs for reasons related to:
If you qualify for income-based subsidies, then an ACA plan will provide the broadest benefits at the lowest cost. You can enroll through Nebraska’s Health Insurance Marketplace.
Only ACA plans include all of the essential health benefits. If you want access to all of these benefits, have ongoing health concerns, or expect to become pregnant, a short-term plan won’t provide enough coverage.
ACA plans are guaranteed issue, which means you qualify regardless of age, health status and other factors. Short-term policies are not.
While ACA plans must cover preexisting conditions (e.g., diabetes), short-term plans do not. If your application is approved, healthcare related to your preexisting condition may be excluded.
A Word of Advice
If you have ongoing health issues that require routine care, ACA plans are probably a better fit for you than short-term health insurance. But if you are generally healthy, short-term plans can be a good option.
How Much Do Short-Term Plans Typically Cost in Nebraska?
Factors that determine your short-term health insurance premium include the plan you select as well as your age, sex, ZIP code and tobacco use.
In addition to the premium, consider the out-of-pocket costs associated with a plan. Some key details to consider include:
- 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.
In general, plans with a lower premium will have a higher deductible and vice versa. Also be sure to consider the total policy coverage amount — what’s the dollar limit on what will be covered throughout the policy’s duration?
Learn more about short-term health insurance terms to know as you shop.
The example below shows rates and cost-sharing for a 28-year-old female living in Omaha (68102). She needs coverage for 364 days, is single, has no dependents, and does not use tobacco. All policies quoted include $100,000 total policy coverage.
|Plan C||$105.18||$2,000||$30 | $60**||30%|
** Office visit to primary care doctor | urgent care center visit. Coinsurance applies. Additional test or other services subject to deductible and coinsurance.
Source: Pivot Health Cost Calculator
What’s your rate? Get a personal quote.
How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance in Nebraska
You can buy short-term coverage from a private exchange such as Pivot Health, through a licensed health insurance agent, or directly from an insurance company.
You won’t find short-term health plans on Nebraska’s Health Insurance Marketplace. That’s where you can buy an ACA plan and apply for subsidies.
What If I Need Extra Coverage?
You may have concerns about paying for healthcare, even after you find coverage you can afford. In that case, supplemental health insurance can help.
When you have a covered accident or critical illness, your supplemental policy pays lump-sum benefits that you can use for:
- 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.
The sample rates below are for a 28-year-old female living in Omaha (68102):
|Premium||Critical Illness Benefit||Accident Medical Expense Benefit||Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit||Hospital Benefit (Per day up to 10 days)|
You can buy supplemental plans through an agent, insurer or private exchange.
How much is supplemental insurance in Nebraska? Get an instant quote.
A Word of Advice
If you have big out-of-pocket expenses with your short-term insurance, supplemental health insurance may be a good idea to consider.
What’s the Best Short-Term Health Insurance for Me?
Which health insurance plan is right for you depends on your present situation. You’ll want to gather a few quotes and compare coverage details.
In addition to premium and cost-sharing amounts, consider the following as you narrow your options:
- Benefits. Does one plan offer something another doesn’t (e.g., coverage for select preventive services)?
- Network restrictions, if any. Can you visit your preferred healthcare providers?
- Non-insurance benefits. Do plans include extras like telemedicine or vision discounts?
Need help? Ask questions along the way. If you’re not working with an agent, contact the private exchange you’re shopping or the insurer whose plan you’re considering.
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