Short-term health plans in Indiana
- Indiana enacted new legislation in 2019 that allows for longer short-term plans (up to 364-day terms and 36-month total duration).
- The new law also requires any short-term plan to have a benefit cap of at least $2 million. The state lawmaker who sponsored the bill is pushing for a similar national model law that other states could use to strengthen their own laws.
- Indiana conducts rate reviews of short-term plans.
- At least eight insurers offer short-term health insurance in Indiana.
Indiana’s short-term health insurance regulations
Although H.B.1631 eliminated the state’s previous six-month cap on short-term plans, it imposed a new requirement in terms of benefit caps. All short-term plans in Indiana are now required to have maximum benefit limits of at least $2 million. Short-term plans are also required to provide coverage for ambulatory care (ie, outpatient care), hospitalization, emergency, and laboratory services.
H.B.1631 was sponsored by Indiana state Representative Martin Carbaugh, a Republican from Fort Wayne. Carbaugh is now sponsoring a model act that would encourage other states to take similar action to strengthen their requirements for short-term health plans.
The Indiana Department of Insurance conducts rate reviews for short-term plans, which must be filed using the state’s basic actuarial memo outline.
Short-term plans duration in Indiana?
Prior to July 2019, state regulations ensured that short-term health insurance in Indiana couldn’t have terms of more than six months, and couldn’t be renewed. But the state enacted legislation (H.B.1631) in 2019 that changed the rules as of July 1, 2019.
Under the terms of H.B.1631, short-term health insurance in Indiana can follow the new federal guidelines in terms of plan duration: They can have initial terms of up to 364 days, and can have a total short-term plan duration, including renewals, of up to 36 months.
Indiana has clarified that these new rules only apply to plans that are issued on or after July 1, 2019; plans issued before that must comply with the state’s previous rule, which limited short-term plans to six months in duration.
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Indiana
- American Financial Security Life Insurance Company
- Aspen Insurance
- Companion Life
- Independence American Insurance Company
- National General
- UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule)
- United States Fire Insurance Company
- United Security Health and Casualty
Who can get short-term health insurance in Indiana
Short-term health insurance in Indiana can be purchased by residents who meet the underwriting guidelines set by insurers. This generally means being under 65 years old (some insurers put the age limit at 64 years) and in fairly good health.
Short-term health plans typically include blanket exclusions for pre-existing conditions, so they are not adequate for residents of the Hoosier State who need certain medical care and seeking a short-term policy that will cover those needs.
If you need health insurance coverage in Indiana, your first step should be to see whether you’re eligible for a special enrollment period that would allow you to enroll in an ACA-compliant major medical plan. There are a variety of qualifying life events that will trigger a special enrollment period and allow you to buy a plan through the health insurance exchange in Indiana. These plans are purchased on a month-to-month basis, so you can enroll in one (with a premium subsidy if you’re eligible) even if you’re only going to need it for a few months before another policy takes effect.
When should I consider short-term health insurance in Indiana?
Some times a short-term health insurance plan might be the only option, or the most realistic option if:
- You missed open enrollment for ACA-compliant coverage and do not have a qualifying event that would trigger a special enrollment period.
- You’re not eligible for Medicaid or a premium subsidy in the exchange, an ACA-compliant plan might be unaffordable.
People who are ineligible for premium subsidies include:
- Folks who earn greater than 400% of the poverty level. (For 2021 coverage, that’s $51,040 for a single person. If your ACA-specific modified adjusted gross income is slightly above the subsidy-eligible threshold, there are steps you can take to reduce it).
- Americans affected by the ACA’s family glitch.
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.