In Alabama, federal regulations regarding short-term health insurance apply, which means consumers can buy short-term health insurance plans – and can get policies with initial terms up to 364 days with the option to renew for a total duration up to 36 months.
As of 2022, there were 13 insurers approved to sell short-term health insurance plans in Alabama.
Yes. As of 2022, there were 13 insurers approved to offer short-term health insurance in Alabama.
Prior to October 2, 2018, federal rules limited short-term health plans to three months in duration, and prohibited renewal. But the Trump Administration relaxed those rules.
Insurers are now allowed 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. A bulletin published by the Alabama Department of Insurance in October 2018 confirms that the new federal rules are applicable to short-term health insurance in Alabama. But insurers also have the option to offer shorter maximum terms and to prohibit renewal. Some are choosing to offer plans with terms of up to six months, while others are offering 364-day policies with renewals that allow the coverage to last for up to three years.
Although short-term health insurance in Alabama is allowed to follow the new federal regulations, the state’s bulletin reminds consumers that short-term plans are not considered minimum essential coverage, and that the termination of a short-term plan will not grant a person a special enrollment period for ACA-compliant coverage. The bulletin also notifies insurers that they must submit rates and forms via SERFF for the new short-term plans, and reminds agents and brokers that short-term plans are not intended to be a replacement for regular health insurance, but are instead designed to fill in short gaps in coverage.
The Alabama Department of Insurance also has a general information page about short-term health plans, with a side-by-side comparison of the coverage requirements for ACA-compliant plans versus short-term medical plans.
According to the Alabama Department of Insurance, the following insurance companies offer short-term health insurance plans in the state as of 2022 (note that The North River Insurance Company is a new addition):
The available plans have different deductibles, benefit maximums, term limits, provider networks, and exclusions. It’s important to carefully consider the details of each plan before selecting one.
Short-term health insurance in Alabama can be purchased by residents who can meet the underwriting guidelines of insurers. This normally means being under 65 years old (some insurers use 64 years) and in fairly good health.
Short-term health insurance typically include exclusions for pre-existing conditions, so for residents of the Cotton State who need medical care for ongoing or pre-existing conditions we advise you seek a medical insurance policy that will cover those needs.
If you need health insurance in Alabama outside of the annual open enrollment period for ACA-compliant coverage (November 1 through January 15), your first step should be to check if you’re eligible for a special enrollment period that would allow you to purchase an ACA-compliant major medical plan. There are a variety of qualifying life events that trigger a special enrollment period. The marketplace plans are purchased on a month-to-month basis, so you can enroll even if you only need coverage for a few months before another policy takes effect (with a premium subsidy if you’re eligible).
From Mobile to Birmingham, there are times when short-term health insurance could be the only realistic option for you, such as:
People ineligible for premium subsidies include:
Find out how the American Rescue Plan has cut marketplace health insurance costs for millions of Americans, and how the Inflation Reduction Act extends those subsidy enhancements through 2025. Learn about $0-premium health plans. Enroll now during open enrollment (through January 15 in Alabama).
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