When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed in 2010, the government implemented an individual mandate penalty for those who did not purchase health care plans with Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC). However, not all health insurance plans are MEC, so if you had a policy that wasn’t, you were subject to the individual mandate. Since then, the law has changed. As of 2019, no tax penalty must be paid by an individual who doesn’t have MEC. You can now purchase any health insurance plan, including short-term health insurance, without having an impact on your federal taxes.

Do I Need Health Insurance if The Penalty No Longer Exists?

You may not be required to purchase a health care plan anymore, but health insurance is a wise investment for many reasons. Health care is expensive, and unexpected medical emergencies can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. According to healthcare.gov, a three-day hospital stay costs around $30,000, and the total costs of treating a broken leg can reach $7,500 without health insurance. Even if you consider yourself to be healthier than the average person, don’t go to the doctor much, or don’t need any specialty physicians, health insurance can give you financial peace of mind when medical emergencies arise.

If you didn’t purchase health insurance in the past because you didn’t need, want, or couldn’t afford all of the coverage included in ACA major medical plans, you should know that you have options. Short-term health insurance is one of those options, and it can protect your wallet from unexpected medical costs. Short-term medical coverage also includes benefits for some preventive care, doctor visits, urgent care, emergency room care, hospitalization, and more.

Benefits of Short-Term Health Insurance

If you don’t receive health insurance from your employer, you can now get a short-term health plan without being penalized through your taxes. There are many benefits of short-term health insurance, like:

  • Lower monthly premiums: Vera Health offers plans with more affordable monthly premiums than many ACA major medical options. However, we keep premiums low by limiting the conditions we cover, including pre-existing conditions, and narrowing maximum benefit amounts.
  • Flexible term durations: Short-term health insurance plans offered through Vera are available for up to one year with the option to renew coverage up to two times, depending on the state in which your purchase your plan.
  • Next-day coverage: Your short-term health benefits can start as soon as the day after you are approved for your plan. Waiting periods may apply for sickness benefits.
  • Opportunity to enroll at any time of year: You can apply for short-term coverage through Vera any day, at any time.

The federal penalty for not having health insurance no longer applies, but that doesn’t mean it’s a smart idea to go without coverage. Life is unpredictable, and no one is invincible from life’s unexpected emergencies. Find out how you could get an affordable short-term health insurance plan from Vera to pay for the coverage you want, not the coverage you don’t. To find out if short-term health insurance is for you, call 844-260-7226 to chat with a Vera Health expert or visit us online today!



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.