Short-term health plans in Oregon
- Oregon law limits short-term plans to three months, including renewals.
- A subsequent short-term plan purchased within 60 days of the termination of a short-term plan is considered a renewal.
- New federal rules that allow for longer plans do not apply to short-term health insurance in Oregon.
- At least seven insurers offer short-term health insurance in Oregon.
The Trump Administration’s new regulations, which allow for longer short-term plans, do not apply in Oregon. The federal rules are clear in noting that a state can impose stricter guidelines, and the Oregon Department of Financial Regulation has published guidance relating to short-term health insurance, clarifying that the state’s rules will remain in force.
Short-term plans duration in Oregon
Short-term health insurance in Oregon is limited to a duration of no more than three months, including renewal periods. [See ORS 743B.005(16)(b)(H).]
The state statute [ORS 743B.005(16)(c)] also clarifies that “renewal” includes a scenario in which a person buys another short-term health plan from the same insurer within 60 days of the termination of a previous short-term health plan.
As long as a short-term plan doesn’t have a total duration of more than three months, and there’s at least a 60-day gap before the insurer issues an additional policy to the same person, the short-term plans are exempt from Oregon’s definition of “health benefit plan” and the associated state regulations.
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Oregon?
- Companion Life
- Everest Prime
- Independence American Insurance Company
- National General
- United Healthcare (Golden Rule)
Who can get short-term health insurance in Oregon
Short-term health insurance in Oregon can be purchased by residents who can meet the underwriting guidelines of insurers. This usually means being under 65 years old 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 Beaver State who needs medical care for ongoing or pre-existing conditions. We advise you seek a medical insurance policy that will cover those needs.
Now, if you’re in need of health insurance coverage in Oregon, first check if you’re eligible for a special enrollment period that would allow you to enroll in an ACA-compliant major medical plan. There are multiple qualifying life events that can trigger a special enrollment period and allow you to buy a plan through the health insurance exchange in Oregon. These plans are purchased on a month-to-month basis, so you can enroll in a plan even if you only need a few months of coverage before another policy takes effect (with a premium subsidy if you’re eligible).
When should I consider short-term health insurance in Oregon?
From Eugene to Pendleton, there are times when a short-term health coverage 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.
- You’re not eligible for Medicaid or a premium subsidy for an ACA-compliant plan in the exchange.
People ineligible for premium subsidies include:
- Oregonians who earn more than 400% of the poverty level. (For 2021 coverage, that is $51,040 for a single person. If your ACA-specific modified adjusted gross income peaks just a little above the subsidy-eligible threshold, there are steps you can take to reduce it).
- People caught 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.