Understand the difference between Short-Term and Long-Term health insurance plans 

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As a US citizen or national, you get two options to buy US health insurance either from a private insurance company or from healthcare.gov. Some individuals can also get coverage through their companies or institutions, depending on their nature of work and stay in the US. When buying a health insurance plan, you need to understand when to use a short-term plan and how it differs from a long-term insurance plan in the US. To know the difference, read on. 

What is a short-term health insurance plan? 

A short-term health insurance policy is designed for a shorter duration and covers medical benefits for US citizens and residents in the US. You can choose your deductible, policy maximum, level of coverage, and more. However, since you can have coverage for three months to one year, these plans will not cover long-term conditions like maternity, mental health, and pre-existing conditions. 

These plans cover new illnesses or injuries when a long-term plan does not protect you. These can cover you for doctor visits, urgent care, surgeries, prescription drug coverage, hospital stays, etc. As these plans are medically underwritten, you must meet the plan’s medical requirements. Also, you can cover spouses and dependents on short-term coverage, but they also must meet medical requirements to buy a plan.  Check the plan’s certificate or brochure to know the details. 

Who can buy short-term insurance plans? 

Typically, short-term plans are ideal for: 

  • Individuals who have missed the Open Enrollment for Obamacare and who do not qualify for Special Enrollment. 
  • Individuals waiting for their ACA (Affordable Care Act) coverage to start. 
  • Individuals looking for coverage before the start of Medicare. 
  • Individuals waiting to get a job for employment coverage benefits. 
  • 26-year-old individuals who are no longer covered by their parent’s insurance. 
  • Individuals who are healthy and under 65 years of age. 

What are the benefits of buying short-term insurance plans? 

Short-term plans offer flexible and faster coverage. The benefits include: 

  • You can get covered right after the day applying for a plan. 
  • You can pick the length of coverage as per your requirements. It can be for a month or 12 months. 
  • You get several plans, allowing you to pick a deductible amount. 
  • You can drop the plan whenever you find a suitable long-term coverage plan. You can buy another short-term coverage when the first one expires. 
  • You can access an extensive network of physicians, healthcare professionals, and other facilities. 
  • You can get plans with low premiums. 

What can be the cost? 

Short terms plans are not renewable and are offered at a daily rate. Therefore, you can buy coverage for the exact period needed and help keep your overall costs down. If you fall in any of the above-mentioned categories, you can select a plan based on your requirements.  The premiums are low, and these plans help meet short-term emergencies. To get complete details about a plan, contact NRIOL.net. 

What is a long-term health insurance plan? 

A long-term insurance plan is designed for US citizens and residents who want to stay on the same plan for extended periods. It is annually renewable, but coverage is usually less flexible. The plan offers comprehensive options, higher policy maximum, and additional benefits, like preventive care, pre-existing condition, maternity, and mental health coverage. Long-term insurance policies work for individuals and families needing coverage for more than one year.  

Who can buy long-term insurance plans? 

Anyone can buy long-term plans. Typically, these plans are ideal for: 

  • Individuals looking for comprehensive coverage that lasts longer than a year 
  • Individuals who want long-term coverage for themselves and family. 
  • Individuals who do not have coverage from their employer. 
  • Individuals who are qualifying for a premium tax credit. 

What are the benefits of buying long-term insurance plans? 

Some of the benefits include: 

  • It covers long-term effects like pre-existing conditions, maternity, preventive care, and more. 
  • It protects you and your family for more than a year. 
  • The plans offer robust, comprehensive benefits, keeping you and your family safe for an exceptionally long duration. 
  • The plans are renewable annually, making it easier for insureds to continue with the same plan for longer years. 

What can be the cost? 

A long-term health insurance plan costs significantly more than short-term plans. However, the exact cost cannot be determined because there are several options, so you must contact NRIOL.net to find out the price. 


Long-term and short-term plans both have distinct functions. Short-term plans are needed when you do not have a long-term plan for yourself and your family. There are circumstances when you do not have access to a long-term plan, i.e. if you miss the Open Enrollment period or switch companies. These are the times when you have no health coverage at all. You can consider short-term medical insurance plans for such events to help with unfortunate medical events. It gives you temporary coverage till you get access to ACA plans or till you get the next job and enroll in the employer’s insurance coverage. 

Though short-term medical plans do not provide coverage for long-term conditions, these plans can save your finances for new injuries and illnesses that can occur anytime, especially when you do not have coverage during a transitional period. However, you cannot rely on short-term plans forever; you must switch to long-term plans to protect yourself from long-term conditions. 

Are you not sure which plan to choose? Reach out, and we can help you decide.