If you’re looking for temporary or short-term health insurance in Wyoming, you should know that you have a number of options to choose from. Unlike some other states, the Equality State doesn’t have strict regulations on short-term medical plans. And you have the flexibility to purchase up to 364 days of coverage for a total of up to 36 months.
Here’s what you need to know about short-term health insurance as a resident of Wyoming so you can make an informed decision about the plan that’s right for you, if you do choose temporary coverage.
What You Need to Know:
In Wyoming, you can buy up to 364 days of short-term health insurance, for a total of 36 years.
If you have a preexisting condition or ongoing medical issues, temporary health insurance is not a good fit for you. But if you’re healthy and need to bridge a gap in coverage, getting this type of insurance is easy and fast.
The monthly premium for a short-term plan varies. As an example, a 28-year old woman living in Cheyenne would pay between $53 and $288 per month.
Short-term health insurance covers you when you’re uninsured and need medical coverage for a limited amount of time. In Wyoming, a plan can cover you for as little as 30 days or up to 364 days. You can also renew your plan or sign up for nearly three years of coverage from the start.
However, be aware that if you sign up for three years, your monthly premium will increase in years two and three. As with other types of health insurance, your annual deductible will also restart when you roll from one year of coverage to the next.
Short-term health plans are flexible because you pick your deductible, coinsurance and, if you want, copayments for things like doctor’s office visits. You can also choose between an all-access plan or one with a PPO (preferred provider organization) network.
Is Short-Term Insurance Right for Me?
Compared to plans offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), short-term health insurance plans are typically much less expensive. And if you’re generally healthy and you only need coverage for a short period and don’t plan to use your insurance, these plans can be a cost-effective option. If you do have an unexpected accident or illness, you’ll have financial protection in place.
Some situations for which short-term health insurance can make sense include:
- You lost your or your spouse’s employer-sponsored health insurance.
- You can’t afford COBRA health insurance.
- You don’t qualify for a financial subsidy on the federal or state Health Insurance Marketplace.
- You’re turning 26 and aging off your parent’s health plan.
- You’re in a 90-day waiting period at a new job before you can be covered.
- You recently got divorced.
- You’re outside the Marketplace Open Enrollment Period and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
- You’ve retired but don’t yet qualify for Medicare.
Another benefit is that enrolling in temporary health insurance is a quick and easy process.
Keep in mind that your income may also qualify you for a health insurance subsidy on the federal Marketplace Exchange (meaning you would get help paying your monthly premium) or to get coverage through Medicaid. But if you earn too much to qualify for financial assistance, a short-term plan could be a good, temporary option.
Why Might Short-Term Health Insurance Not Be Right for Me?
Short-term health insurance isn’t for everyone. It’s affordable largely because these plans aren’t required to meet the ACA mandate for coverage, which says that all plans sold on the Health Insurance Marketplace (also called an “exchange”) must cover 10 “essential health benefits.: Long-term or ongoing treatments for chronic conditions, prenatal care and mental health care aren’t covered.
Similarly, if you have a preexisting condition, you won’t qualify for short-term health insurance..
Though ACA plans are more expensive, it may turn out to be better for you to enroll in an exchange plan if you have a preexisting condition and need ongoing medical care or medication. ACA plans cover all preexisting conditions and include preventive services.
How Much Do Short-Term Plans Typically Cost in Wyoming?
As an example, a 28-year old woman living in Cheyenne would pay between $53 and $288 per month in premiums for short-term health insurance.1 Your rate depends on where you live, your age and gender, how long you want coverage for and the benefits you choose. If you choose a lower monthly premium, your annual deductible will be higher; and vice versa.
The deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying out-of- pocket before the insurance company is responsible for contributing to covered medical expenses. In Wyoming, your deductible could range from $1,000 to $10,000 a year.
Once you‘ve met your deductible for the year, you begin sharing a percentage of your medical bills with the insurance company; this is called coinsurance. In Wyoming, you could pay no coinsurance or up to 30%, depending on the plan you choose.
Some short-term medical plans also have copayment (or copay) options for doctor’s office visits and prescription drugs. Copays can range from $30 to $60 to see your doctor and prescription drug copays range from $5 to $75, depending on the medications included in your plan. Copays don’t apply to other services you may receive when seeing your provider, such as lab work or X-rays.
When you’re reviewing the details of a temporary health plan, you’ll also want to check the out-of-pocket maximum (or limit), which is the highest amount you’d be responsible for paying while you’re covered under that policy. Once you reach the out-of-pocket maximum, the insurance company pays 100% of covered expenses. Keep in mind that the total maximum amount could be a combination of your deductible and coinsurance or coinsurance alone.
How Do I Buy Short-Term Health Insurance?
Here are some things to know about buying a short-term medical plan:
- You can purchase short-term medical coverage any time of year; there’s no Open Enrollment Period.
- Coverage can start the next day after you’ve been approved.
- The application process is fast; online enrollment typically takes five minutes or less.
- You can cancel and receive a full refund if you notify the company within 10 days of purchase.
- You can enroll infants on their own policy beginning at the age of six months.
You can enroll online at a private marketplace like Pivot Health, sign up with a licensed agent or buy a policy directly from a health insurance company.
Can I Get Extra Coverage?
If you’re not confident you can afford the deductible for your short-term plan should a sudden accident or illness strike, you can add supplemental insurance coverage.
These policies are guaranteed-issue (meaning no questions will be asked about your health history) and start the same day you apply. They pay a flat cash benefit to you in the event of a qualifying accident or illness and you can use the money to pay your medical bills, your mortgage or childcare or supplement lost income; it’s up to you how you use the money.
As an example, a 28-year-old woman living in Cheyenne would pay $30 to $50 per month for a supplemental insurance premium. Rates depend on the level of benefits. Supplemental insurance also comes with extra non-insurance benefits like low-cost telemedicine (virtual, online) visits with care providers and discounts on vision and hearing care and prescription medications.
Before you enroll, it’s important to compare plans and decide which benefits are most valuable to you. A couple of key questions to consider:
- Are you willing to pay more each month in premiums to have a lower deductible? Or would you rather have a higher deductible to get a lower monthly payment?
- Do you want a plan with copayment for doctor’s office visits or prescription medications?
It’s very important to read the plan brochure and to be sure you understand the exclusions and limitations of any plan before purchasing.
If you think short-term health insurance is right for you, it’s easy to get a quote online and start reviewing the terms of any plan(s) you’re considering:
- Enter your ZIP code, birthdate, gender and how long you want coverage for. Pick your start date and coverage duration period. In Wyoming, you can customize your coverage for as little as 30 days or up to 364 days.
- You will be asked a series of medical questions. Once you’ve answered, you’ll know right away if you qualify.
- Compare plans based on the benefits that are most important to you. Is the cost of the premium the most important, or the deductible — or something else? Do you need a plan with copays? Is a PPO network important to you so you can see the doctors you choose?
- Review all exclusions and limitations, which can be found on the website or in the plan brochure.
- Select your plan. Add supplemental insurance or dental and vision insurance to your insurance bundle for extra protection, if you need it.
- Pay for your insurance with a credit card or sign up for withdrawals from a bank account. Note that your first month’s premium will be deducted right away.