Buying a short-term plan in Missouri
- Missouri limits short-term plans to terms of no more than six months.
- The state does not limit renewals of short-term plans.
- Missouri is keeping its six-month limit on short-term plans, but renewals are allowed to follow federal guidance.
- Lawmakers considered a bill to extend short-term plans, but it did not pass.
- Missouri law generally excludes short-term plans from state benefit mandates.
- At least nine insurers offer short-term plans 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 changed the rules to allow 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 defaults 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. The state’s filing guidance for short-term plans notes that any plans with terms in excess of six months will be subject to all state mandates.
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Missouri?
- Aspen Insurance
- Blue KC (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City)
- Companion Life
- Cox Health Systems
- Everest Prime
- Independence American Insurance Company
- National General (National Health Insurance Company)
- UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule)
- United Security Health and Casualty
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.