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Short-term health insurance in Missouri

State regulations limit short-term plans to six months; legislation to extend that failed in in 2018

Buying a short-term plan in Missouri

Missouri limits short-term plan duration to six months

Until October 2018, federal rules limited short-term plans to no more than three months, and prohibited renewals. But the Trump Administration is allowing much longer short-term plans, unless states have their own restrictions. Missouri regulations limit short-term plans to no more than six months in duration. But the state does not limit the renewability of short-term plans.

The Trump Administration’s new rules for short-term plans are clear in noting that states may continue to impose tighter regulations than the new federal rules. So short-term plans in Missouri are limited to maximum terms of six months, despite the fact that the federal government would allow the plans to have initial terms of up to 364 days.

State will default to federal rules for total duration

However, the Missouri Department of Insurance confirmed that the state does not limit renewals, and defaults to the federal rules for the total duration (including renewal periods) of a short-term plan. So an insurer would be within the bounds of the law to offer a plan that could be renewed for up to 36 months (the limit in the federal rules), as long as each term isn’t more than six months.

State attempted to redefine short-term duration limit

Lawmakers in Missouri considered HB1685 in 2018, which would have defined short-term coverage as a policy with a duration of less than one year. The House passed the measure, but it didn’t reach a full vote on the Senate floor before the session adjourned in mid-May.

Missouri insurance statutes generally exclude short-term plans from laws mandating specific benefits.

Which insurers offer short-term plans in Missouri?

  • Blue KC (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City)
  • Companion Life
  • Everest Prime
  • Independence American Life
  • LifeShield
  • National General
  • 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.

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