How Much Does Short-Term Health Insurance Cost? Average Premium for Short-Term Coverage Declines, eHealth Report Finds
Survey of short-term health insurance buyers finds that half (50%) bought short-term because it was more affordable than other alternatives
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The report includes results from a survey of short-term health insurance policy holders exploring their feelings about and reasons for purchasing short-term coverage.
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The full report, Costs and Trends in the Short-Term Health Insurance Market, 2013-2016 is available in the company’s media center. Highlights of the report include the following:
- 121,000+ short-term application were submitted at eHealth in 2016: This is almost twice the number of short-term applications submitted in 2013, the year before major provisions of the Obamacare law took effect
Monthly short-term premiums decreased in 2016: The average
monthly premium for short-term plans decreased 5% for individuals
$116 to $110) and 2% for families (from $283 to $276) between 2015 and 2016
- 57% of short-term customers were young adults: More than half (57%) of short-term applicants were between the ages of 18 and 34
- Affordability makes short-term coverage appealing: Seven-in-ten survey respondents (70%) said they liked the affordable monthly premium costs of their short-term plan
- 65% reviewed their eligibility for premium tax credits: A majority of survey respondents said they had looked into whether they would qualify for government subsidies to purchase major medical coverage before choosing short-term coverage instead
Short-term health insurance plans offer temporary, limited coverage compared to major medical health insurance plans. In addition to providing coverage only for limited periods of time, short-term products do not meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (the law known as Obamacare) and may leave enrollees open to federal tax penalties. Short-term plans typically do not provide coverage for preventive care or pre-existing medical conditions. Also unlike major medical plans, it is possible to be declined for a short-term plan based on an applicant’s personal medical history.
Despite these considerations, many health insurance shoppers turn to short-term health insurance plans to reduce their risk when not covered by a major medical plan, or because short-term plans typically have lower monthly premiums than major medical plans.
The findings presented in eHealth’s Costs and Trends in the Short-Term Health Insurance Market report are based solely on short-term health insurance plans selected by eHealth customers during the 2013-2016 calendar years, and on a voluntary survey of consumers who purchased short-term coverage through eHealth. For more information, refer to the Methodology section at the end of the report.
For more health insurance news and information, visit eHealth's Consumer Resource Center.