Understanding short-term health insurance can seem tricky as there is a lot of different health insurance information out there. How can you distinguish fact from fiction? To make your research easier, we’re debunking common myths about short-term health plans to help you feel more confident in your health insurance purchase!

5 Short-Term Health Insurance Myths Debunked

Short-term health insurance has evolved over the years in ways you may not realize. Did you know you can now keep your short-term health coverage for up to a year, renew your plan, and enjoy Telemedicine benefits, depending on your location? Whether you’re thinking about buying short-term health insurance or you’re opposed to the idea, it’s important to understand how it could be a fit for you. Let’s check out five of the most common myths surrounding short-term health plans.

1. You can only use short-term health insurance for a few months.

animated calendar dated january 22 with a teal background

Did you know that renewing short-term health insurance is now an option? In the past, some short-term health insurance plans were only available for three months. Today, you can purchase short-term health coverage for up to 12 months and renew your plan up to two additional times (36 months total) depending on your location. That’s quite a difference.

Short-term health insurance can still be beneficial for those who are temporarily uninsured or need temporary coverage between jobs. However, people are realizing that it could be a better alternative to Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance. Short-term health insurance can be an affordable health insurance option for people who don’t have pre-existing conditions and don’t need all of the coverage from an ACA plan. Some of the best candidates for short-term health insurance include:

  • Self-employed workers
  • 26-year old’s who got removed from their parents’ insurance
  • Freelancers
  • Independent contractors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Solopreneurs
  • People who don’t receive health insurance from an employer
  • People between jobs
  • Individuals who don’t use all the benefits available in ACA-compliant health insurance
  • Early retirees

As you can see, short-term health insurance can be available for much longer than a few months. We’re considering this myth officially debunked.

2. No doctors accept short-term health plans.

animated female doctor standing with a thumbs up

Doctors’ offices and other medical centers accept many different kinds of health insurance. The key to using your benefits is knowing if your providers are in-network or not. Many short-term health insurance plans have a PPO network of medical physicians that you can choose from to receive benefits and discounts.

Also, short-term insurance plans through Vera offer some out-of-network benefits, which is important to know if you want to maintain relationships with out-of-network providers. Keep in mind that the most cost-effective way to use your short-term health insurance benefits through Vera Health is by utilizing the Aetna PPO Open Choice® network, where you can choose from over 690,000 primary care physicians and specialists!

Therefore, many doctors do accept short-term health plans. Another myth debunked.

3. You have to pay a tax penalty if you have short-term medical insurance. 

animated tax penalty with teal pencil and paper

In the recent past, short-term health insurance policyholders paid a tax penalty because their plan did not constitute Minimum Essential Coverage under the ACA. However, the 2017 Tax and Reconciliation Act changed the tax penalty to $0. Therefore, you can now enjoy affordable short-term health insurance and will not pay a tax penalty – another myth out the window!

4. Short-term health insurance only covers medical emergencies.

animated young adult man with a female doctor

While short-term health insurance includes coverage for unexpected medical emergencies, it also provides benefits for more common health care needs, like doctor visits and lab services. Additionally, short-term health plans include deductibles, premiums, coinsurance options, and copays in some states. Short-term medical plans with high deductibles typically have lower monthly premiums at a more affordable cost.

You may be wondering how short-term health insurance companies keep their premiums so low. It’s because they don’t include all of the essential health benefits, like pregnancy care and mental health services, nor do they provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. Short-term health insurance has coverage limitations and exclusions to help keep premiums as cost-effective as possible. Also, not everyone is eligible for a short-term medical plan, which is why applicants are asked a series of health eligibility questions during the application process.

Short-term health insurance isn’t for everyone, but it can help some people save money on their coverage when it is. Myth debunked!

5. Short-term insurance plans don’t offer prescription drug benefits. 

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Some people assume that short-term health plans don’t provide benefits for prescription drugs. However, we’re debunking this myth as well. Depending on the state where you purchase your short-term health plan, you could have prescription drug benefits with a copay. Keep in mind that not all short-term health plans include coverage for prescriptions, so it’s essential to know the ins and outs of any health plan that you might purchase.

Understanding Short-Term Health Insurance

Now that you’re a short-term health insurance expert, hopefully understanding it feels much more accessible. No matter what type of health care plan you’re looking into, it’s best to know how it can benefit you, meet your coverage needs, and keep your wallet happy.

Short-term health insurance could give you the coverage you need at a lower price point. It also has other unique features, like:

  • No open enrollment periods
  • Flexible plan durations
  • Personalized coverage options
  • Next-day coverage*

If you think short-term health insurance could be for you, let’s chat! Get in touch with a friendly Vera Health expert by calling 888-499-1187, or check us out online to learn more about short-term health plans today!



* Keep in mind that covered services may be subject to waiting periods, visit limitations, deductible, coinsurance, or copays, and/or benefit maximums depending on the plan you purchase.

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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Material in these articles is for general information or entertainment purposes only. VERA Health does not endorse and is not affiliated with any of the other companies or apps listed in this article. Vera Health is not responsible or liable for the availability of links to websites or resources, or for any content, advertising, products, services, or other materials on or available through these websites or resources. Any references to third party rates or products are subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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.