Any hospital stay can be scary – and alarmingly expensive. Having health insurance is your best defense against costly medical expenses like hospitalization. If you have to be hospitalized, you deserve a health insurance plan that has your back.

But does short-term health insurance provide benefits for hospital stays?

At Vera Health, we understand how important it is to have health insurance to offset the cost of hospital stays. That’s why the short-term health insurance plans we offer provide benefits for hospitalization. 

How Much Does a Hospital Visit Cost?

Don’t underestimate the cost of hospitalization: the average cost of a three-day hospital stay is $30,000. Plus, there is no standard system that specifies how much hospitals charge for a service or surgical procedure, so the cost of hospitalization can vary widely. Many factors affect hospital pricing, such as:

  • The patient’s health
  • The cost of lab tests
  • X-rays
  • Surgical procedures
  • Operating room costs
  • Post-surgical costs
  • Doctors’ and specialists’ fees
  • Medications
  • Insurance deductibles, copays, and premiums

A patient who recovers from an operation in an intensive care unit could pay thousands of dollars more for hospitalization than a patient who recovers in a recovery room, even though their surgeries were similar. Additionally, the cost of gallbladder surgery for a patient with diabetes will vary compared to a patient who doesn’t have diabetes.

Does Short-Term Health Insurance Provide Benefits for Hospital Stays?

Hospitalization is fairly common. More than 36 million people were admitted to U.S. hospitals in 2018, according to the American Hospital Association. Fortunately, short-term health insurance plans (including those offered through Vera Health) typically include benefits for hospital stays, except in cases of pre-existing conditions. Keep in mind that plan benefits vary from state to state.

So, how might short-term health insurance be able to protect you in the event of a hospital stay?

Say you have a short-term insurance plan through Vera Health with a $1,000 deductible and coinsurance of 80/20. After you reach your $1,000 deductible, your plan would pay for 80% of a covered medical expense (like hospitalization), and you would be responsible for the remaining 20%.

If you’ve already met your $1,000 deductible and your hospital stay costs $10,000, your short-term medical plan would pay $8,000, or 80%, of your hospital bill. You would be responsible for paying the remaining $2,000, or 20%, of your hospital bill.

Can Your Health Insurance Deny Benefits for Hospital Stays?

Health insurance can deny benefits for hospital stays. Your insurer can deny the entire hospital bill if it determines the care you received should have been provided in outpatient status rather than inpatient.

When you’re in the hospital, you’re typically assigned one of two admission statuses: inpatient status or outpatient status. It may not seem like a big deal, but admission status can make a huge difference to your wallet, and you usually don’t know your status unless you ask. Be sure to ask your health care providers about your status or, if possible, check with your insurance ahead of time.

Is Short-Term Health Insurance Right for You?

Short-term health insurance can be a good option if you:

  • Are self-employed
  • Between jobs
  • Don’t receive health insurance from your employer
  • Don’t need coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Are not pregnant or planning a family
  • Do not need mental health services

Short-term medical insurance plans have lower monthly premiums than many Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant major medical plans and include coverage for a range of health care services, including hospitalization.

Here are a few more things you can expect from short-term health insurance:

Keep in mind that covered services may be subject to waiting periods, visit limitations, deductible, coinsurance, copays, and/or benefit maximums depending on the plan you purchased and a pre-existing condition limitation.

Still curious about short-term health insurance coverage for hospital stays? At Vera Health, we want to demystify short-term health insurance. Call us at 844-961-9645 or visit us online to learn whether a short-term health plan could be a good fit for you!


Short Term Medical coverage is not required to comply with federal market requirements for health insurance, principally those contained in the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to check your policy carefully to make sure you are aware of any exclusions or limitations regarding coverage of pre-existing conditions or health benefits (such as hospitalization, emergency service, maternity care, preventive care, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services). If this coverage expires or you lose eligibility for this coverage, you might have to wait until an open enrollment period to get other health insurance coverage.

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Vera Health markets short term medical insurance products underwritten by National Health Insurance Company, Integon Indemnity Corporation, and Integon National Insurance Company.

Vera Health markets short term medical insurance products underwritten by National Health Insurance Company, Integon Indemnity Corporation, and Integon National Insurance Company.