For many people, their health insurance coverage is linked to where they live and their employment. Sometimes life throws curveballs, and you may suddenly end up without the coverage you had the month before. Even when you see big changes coming, they can still be challenging. Thankfully, some insurance providers offer short-term health insurance plans that provide coverage while you’re waiting to get a long term plan.

Get help finding a temporary health insurance plan while you look for a long-term plan.

When to Get Short-Term Health Insurance

Usually, people sign up for short-term health insurance (also called temporary insurance) when they’re between jobs, between insurance plans, or waiting to enroll in Medicare.

Almost like coverage gap insurance, or donut hole coverage, short-term plans work to bridge the gap in your care.

What Do Short Term Plans Cover?

Because the Affordable Care Act regulations do not apply to short-term plans, you can find more specific coverage options for your needs. This means you can avoid paying for coverage that you don’t need and save money as a result!

While temporary plans don’t meet the minimum care requirements set by ACA regulations, they typically cover:

  • Outpatient services
  • Hospitalizations
  • Lab Services
  • Health Screenings
  • Emergency Care
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Check-Ups

Depending on your budget, you might be able to find a plan with more coverage. However, sorting through all of your options can be challenging and confusing. At Buffalo Health Advisors, we know the challenges of finding the right insurance coverage. Give us a call and we’ll help you find the best short-term insurance plan for you.

Call Buffalo Health Advisor to get help finding a short-term health insurance plan

How Long Can I Have a Short-Term Plan?

Before 2017, most short term plans were limited to 364 days of coverage. However, the Affordable Care Act restricted these plans to a coverage period of 90 days until 2018 when those restrictions were rolled back.

Once again, short-term medical insurance plans can provide coverage for up 364 days. On top of this, subscribers can renew their coverage for another two years. However, the plan’s coverage can’t exceed 36 months.

What Are The Disadvantages of Short-Term Coverage?

Because temporary plans are cheaper, they often cover fewer benefits. They also have a tricky relationship with federal and state regulations. Not every state allows for short-term plans, and some states regulate the length of coverage more strictly than the federal government.

Above all, because these plans aren’t required to guarantee the same coverage as ACA plans, there’s a chance you may be denied benefits. Another major disadvantage of short-term plans is they don’t cover pre-existing conditions.

Finally, depending on your state, you may still have to pay ACA-related tax penalties. However, as of January 31, 2019, the federal tax penalty no longer applies to non-minimal essential coverage plans.

Short-Term Versus Long-Term Health Insurance

The first difference between these types of plans is how long coverage lasts. As we mentioned, with the right conditions, short-term medical plans can only last up to 36 months. Long term medical plans last for the duration of your plan’s terms.

Besides the difference in duration, there are many other differences.


Short term plans have a few immediate disqualifying factors. If you’re pregnant, overweight, have HIV or AIDS, are currently insured, or are not a U.S. citizen you will not qualify for short term health insurance. Depending on your state, there may be other pre-existing health conditions that prevent eligibility.

Additionally, if you qualify for Medicaid, you will not be eligible for a short term plan.

On the other hand, long term plans have fewer restrictions. But it will depend on the plan you’re shopping for and which state you live in. If you have questions about whether or not you qualify for a temporary health insurance plan, call a Buffalo Health Advisor.


Short-Term Plan Coverage Includes: Long-Term Plan Coverage Includes:
Doctor’s Appointments Doctor’s Appointments
Emergency Room Visits Emergency Room Visits
Emergency Care Emergency Care
X-Rays X-Rays
Some Prescription Drugs Certain Prescription Drugs
X Maternity Care
X Optical Care
X Chiropractic Care
X Preventative Care

As you can see, long-term insurance plans provide more options in terms of coverage. However, you have to wait for an open enrollment period in order to apply.


Typically, short-term plans have much lower premiums, as well as options for coinsurance. In contrast, long-term plans usually have much higher premiums. However, if you feel that a long-term health insurance plan is what you need, getting the help of a health insurance agent will help you simplify the application process and help you get the best deals.

Get Help Finding Health Insurance at Buffalo Health Advisors

Finding the right health insurance plan can be a stressful process. But it doesn’t need to be. Buffalo Health Advisors is an independent health insurance brokerage, meaning we never work on commission and we’ll never sell you a plan you don’t want.

When you call our expert health insurance agents, they’ll help you identify your needs and find a plan to match. Our only goal is to help you get the coverage you need. Give us a call or visit one of our enrollment centers to get the coverage you need today.

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