Buying a short-term plan in Kentucky
- Kentucky defaults to federal rules on short-term plans.
- New federal rules allow initial terms up to 364 days and total duration of up to three years.
- Kentucky is considering additional regulations for short-term plans.
- At least seven insurers offer short-term plans in Kentucky.
Kentucky defaults to federal short-term regulations
Kentucky does not have state-specific regulations for short-term health insurance plans, so the state defaults to the federal regulations.
Longer short-term plans allowed as of October 2018
Until October 2, 2018, federal rules (implemented in 2017) limited short-term plans to three months in duration and prohibited renewals. But the Trump Administration’s new regulations allow insurers to offer short-term plans with initial terms up to 364 days and the option to renew for a total duration of up to 36 months. Insurers may cap their short-term plans at shorter durations, however, and prohibit renewal if they choose to do so.
The Kentucky Department of Insurance has indicated that they’re reviewing the new federal policy, and will “promulgate a regulation or recommend legislation if the Department determines changes to the federal regulatory requirements are necessary to protect Kentucky consumers.”
The Kentucky Equal Justice Center submitted comments to HHS in March 2018, regarding the then-proposed expansion of short-term health plans. The letter recommended a few steps that states could take to protect consumers, including assessments on short-term insurers to fund reinsurance for the ACA-compliant individual market, requiring short-term plans to have minimum medical loss ratios, and requiring consumers to complete a marketplace eligibility determination before being allowed to enroll in a short-term plan, to ensure that they understand all of their available options.
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Kentucky?
- Companion Life
- Everest Prime
- Independence American Life
- National General
- Standard Life
- UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule)
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.