Short-term plan in Oklahoma
- As of November 2019, Oklahoma allows short-term plans to follow federal duration rules. Insurers are allowed to sell plans with terms of up to 364 days, with renewal available for a total duration of up to 36 months.
- Prior to November 2019, state law limited short-term health insurance in Oklahoma to six months and prohibited renewal. But a new state law changed that in November 2019.
- At least eight insurers offer short-term health insurance in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s short-term health insurance regulations
Oklahoma revised state short-term health insurance rules to adopt the new federal rules, instead of the previous six-month plan duration limit. This is referenced in 36 O.S. § 6060.4(C)(2)(f), and a 2011 bulletin from the Oklahoma Insurance Department (LH 2011-01) noted that “short-term health insurance issued on a nonrenewable basis” was exempt from the state’s rate filing and review process. The Oklahoma Insurance Department confirmed this in a bulletin (LH 2018-03) issued in September 2018, and it continued to be in effect through October 2019.
Oklahoma’s new rule — allowing short-term plans to comply with federal duration limits instead of the six-month limit the state had previously imposed — is a result of SB993, which was enacted in Oklahoma in June 2019 and took effect November 1, 2019.
Short-term plans duration in Oklahoma
As of November 1, 2019, short-term health insurance in Oklahoma was sanctioned by the state to follow federal maximum duration rules. That means plans are allowed to have initial terms of up to 364 days, and total short-term plan duration, including renewals, of up to 36 months. This is clarified in Oklahoma Title 36, Section 4419.
Prior to November 2019, however, Oklahoma law limited short-term health insurance plans to six months and prohibited renewal.
Who can get short-term health insurance in Oklahoma
Short-term health insurance in Oklahoma can be purchased by residents who can meet the underwriting guidelines of insurers. In general, this means being under 65 years old (some insurers put the age limit at 64 years) and in fairly good health.
Short-term health medical insurance plans typically include blanket exclusions for pre-existing conditions, so these types of plans are not adequate for someone in the Sooner State who needs medical care for ongoing or pre-existing conditions. It is advisable to seek a medical insurance policy that will cover those needs.
If you’re in need of health insurance coverage in Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma. These plans are purchased on a month-to-month basis, so you can enroll in a plan even if you only need coverage for a few months before another policy takes effect (with a premium subsidy if you’re eligible).
When should I consider short-term health insurance in Oklahoma?
There are times when a short-term health insurance plan might be the only realistic option, such as:
If you missed open enrollment for ACA-compliant coverage and do not have a qualifying event that would trigger a special enrollment period.
If 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:
Those who earn more than 400% of the poverty level (for 2021 coverage, that amounts to $51,040 for a single person; if your ACA-specific modified adjusted gross income is just a little above the subsidy-eligible threshold, there are steps you can take to reduce it).
People who are caught by the ACA’s family glitch
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Oklahoma?
At least nine insurers offer short-term health insurance in Oklahoma as of mid-2019:
- American Financial Security Life Insurance (AdvantHealth)
- Aspen Insurance
- Companion Life
- Everest Reinsurance
- Independence American Insurance Company
- 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.