Short-term health plans in Connecticut
- Connecticut places strict regulations on short-term health plans.
- Short-term plan duration is limited to six months in Connecticut.
- Short-term plans in Connecticut cannot be renewed.
- Starting in 2019, the state will require short-term plans to cover essential health benefits.
- At least two insurers offer short-term plans in Connecticut.
Connecticut imposes strict regulations on short-term plans
As of October 2, 2018, the Trump Administration relaxed the rules in terms of the allowable duration of short-term health insurance plans. But states can continue to impose more strict restrictions, and Connecticut does. Before the new federal rules took effect, Connecticut’s Insurance Commissioner, Katharine Wade, noted that “Connecticut already has the necessary statutory consumer protections in place to prohibit ‘junk plans.’ ”
After the Trump Administration’s new regulations for short-term plans were finalized, the Connecticut Insurance Department issued a statement (Bulletin HC-121) to clarify the state’s rules for short-term plans, which remain in effect even now that the federal rules have been relaxed.
How long can short-term plans last in Connecticut?
Connecticut’s general statute 38a-476 requires health insurance plans to cover pre-existing conditions, unless the plan is “a short-term health insurance policy issued on a nonrenewable basis for six months or less.”
Short-term plans virtually always exclude coverage of pre-existing conditions, so short-term plans are effectively limited to six months in duration. And it’s noteworthy that Connecticut’s law only allows them to exclude pre-existing conditions for which the patient received medical treatment/advice during the 24 months prior to the policy effective date.
How else does Connecticut regulate short-term plans?
As of January 1, 2019, Connecticut will require short-term plans to cover essential health benefits (EHBs). In most states, short-term plans do not include coverage for all of the essential health benefits — maternity, prescription drug, and mental health coverage are most likely to be lacking. But Connecticut will require all short-term plans to cover all of the EHBs.
Which insurers offer short-term coverage in Connecticut?
- National General (Integon National Insurance Company)
- United States Fire Insurance Company
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.