Buying a short-term plan in Arizona
- A new law in Arizona now allows short-term plans to follow federal durational limits, with initial terms of up to 364 days and total duration of up to 36 months (this took effect in late August 2019).
- Prior to the new law, short-term plans in Arizona couldn’t have durations longer than 185 days, and if the plan was renewable, the renewal term couldn’t be more than 180 days.
- Insurers can cap their plans at shorter durations in Arizona.
- At least 11 insurers offer short-term plans in Arizona.
New Arizona law allows for longer short-term plans (364-day terms, total duration up to 36 months)
Until the summer of 2019, short-term plan terms in Arizona were limited to no more than 185-day terms, and if renewal was available, the renewal term couldn’t be more than 180 days.
But Arizona enacted legislation (SB1109) in 2019 that aligns Arizona’s durational limits for short-term plans with the Trump administration’s new rules that took effect in 2018. Under the new law, short-term plans in Arizona can have initial terms of up to 364 days, and can be renewable for a total duration of up to 36 months.
SB1109 did not include a specific effective date, and the consumer guide that the Arizona Department of Insurance published only noted that the new rules would take effect in “the summer of 2019.” But the Arizona Department of Insurance confirmed by email that the new rules would take effect August 27, 2019.
By September 2019, there were some 364-day plans available for sale in the state, although most of the short-term insurers in Arizona were still selling plans with terms of up to six months.
SB1109 clarified that the state would update Arizona Revised Statutes Title 20, Chapter 6, Article 4, with a new section, 20-1384, which was added in late August.
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Arizona?
Arizona’s short-term health insurance market is robust, with numerous insurers offering plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (in partnership with IHC)
- Everest Prime
- Golden Rule (UnitedHealthcare)
- Independence American Insurance Company
- Madison National
- National General
- Philadelphia American Life Insurance
- Standard Life
- Companion Life
- United Security Health and Casualty
Contact information for several of these insurers is listed in the Arizona Insurance Department’s guide to short-term plans.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.