Comparing short term health insurance with ACA health insurance is like comparing apples to oranges. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Short term health insurance should be considered for temporary situations until qualifying for ACA health insurance.
There are many important differences between the two types of plans:
|Feature||Short Term Health Insurance||ACA Health Insurance|
|Availability||At any time||Only during open enrollment or if you qualify for Special Enrollment|
|Minimum Essential Coverage||No||Yes|
|Tax Subsidy||No||Depends on income and household size|
|Maternity and newborn care||No||Yes|
|Mental health and substance abuse||No||Yes|
|Prescription drugs||Depends on the plan||Yes, cost and drugs covered depends on the plan|
|Preventive care||None or limited coverage||Yes|
|Pediatric dental and vision care||Only if mandated at state level||Yes|
|Pre-existing conditions coverage||No||Yes|
|Network||PPO or Indemnity||PPO or HMO|
|Referrals required||No||Yes in HMO plans|
|Rehabilitative services||Limited coverage in some plans||Yes|
If you qualify for an ACA compliant health insurance plan, you should enroll. If you are considering short term health insurance as an alternative to ACA health insurance, you should examine your specific situation and make sure it is the right choice for you. Don't make a decision based on price alone.
When it comes to health insurance, what you pay for is what you get. You can't pay short term health insurance's lower premiums while expecting the greater benefits of ACA compliant medical insurance.
If you have chronic medical conditions, need maternity and newborn care or need preventive and wellness care, ACA health insurance is the right choice.
Short term health insurance does not provide minimum essential health coverage under ACA. However, it is still considered a major medical insurance and is meant to cover unforeseen illnesses, injuries or accidents that may occur after the policy's effective date. Short term health insurance is not meant to be a long term or permanent solution to your healthcare needs.
Short term health insurance plans can vary greatly in coverage, so you should read the details of your plan carefully.