Short-term health insurance is not available in Connecticut.
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Availability of short-term health insurance in Connecticut
No insurers offer temporary health insurance plans in Connecticut
Although federal rules regarding short-term health plans were relaxed in 2018, Connecticut actually further enhanced it’s rules regarding short-term health insurance in 2019. As a result, no insurers currently market these temporary health plans in the state.
Frequently asked questions about short-term health insurance in Connecticut
Can consumers buy short-term health insurance in Connecticut?
There are no short-term plans for sale in Connecticut, due to the state’s strict rules.
As of October 2, 2018, the Trump administration relaxed the rules in terms of the allowable duration of short-term health insurance plans. But states can continue to impose more strict restrictions, and Connecticut does. As a result of the state’s regulations — including enhanced rules that took effect in 2019, requiring short-term plans to cover essential health benefits — there were no insurers offering short-term plans as of 2019. That continues to be the case in 2023.
Before the new federal rules took effect, Connecticut’s Insurance Commissioner, Katharine Wade, noted that “Connecticut already has the necessary statutory consumer protections in place to prohibit ‘junk plans.’
After the Trump administration’s new regulations for short-term plans were finalized, the Connecticut Insurance Department issued an information statement (Bulletin HC-121) to clarify the rules for short-term health insurance in Connecticut, which remained in effect after the federal rules were relaxed.
What are Connecticut's rules and regulations regarding short-term health insurance?
Although there are no short-term medical plans for sale in Connecticut, the state does have laws in place to govern these plans in the event that an insurer chose to offer them.
Short-term health insurance in Connecticut cannot have a plan duration in excess of six months, and cannot be renewable.
Connecticut’s general statute 38a-476 requires health insurance plans to cover pre-existing conditions, unless the plan is “a short-term health insurance policy issued on a nonrenewable basis for six months or less.”
Short-term coverage virtually always excludes pre-existing conditions, so short-term plan duration is effectively limited to six months in duration. And it’s noteworthy that Connecticut’s law only allows them to exclude pre-existing conditions for which the patient received medical treatment/advice during the 24 months prior to the policy effective date.
As of January 1, 2019, short-term health insurance in Connecticut was required to cover essential health benefits (EHBs). In most states, short-term plans do not include coverage for all of the essential health benefits — maternity, prescription drug, and mental health coverage are most likely to be lacking.
So it was not surprising that as of 2019, Connecticut joined the list of states where there are no longer any short-term plans for sale. Avoiding coverage for some of the essential health benefits is one of the ways that short-term plans keep their costs down, and a state-level requirement to cover essential health benefits generally makes the market unattractive to short-term insurers.
Connecticut’s determination that short-term plans must cover EHBs was issued in a regulatory bulletin in 2018, but legislators considered a bill in 2019 that would have codified this requirement into state law. SB34 did not advance out of committee, but the state’s existing regulation is still in place.
What coverage options, other than short-term health insurance, are available in Connecticut?
Consumers in Connecticut can buy ACA-compliant health insurance through the state’s marketplace, Access Health CT. Three carriers offer coverage through the exchange in 2023, and all three will continue to offer coverage in 2024.
ACA-compliant plans are purchased on a monthly basis, so you can enroll in coverage even for only a few months until another policy takes effect — and if you’re eligible, you may qualify for financial assistance in the form of a premium subsidy.
Connecticut residents may also be eligible for Medicaid (HUSKY) coverage, which is available year-round. Residents who are eligible for the Covered Connecticut program can also enroll year-round.
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.