Find short-term health insurance in Kansas.
Availability of short-term health insurance in Kansas
Kansas regulations limit initial terms of temporary health insurance plans to 364 days, and only one renewal is allowed
Kansas law limits the initial length of a short-term plan to 12 months with only one renewal. The state legislature passed a bill (SB199) in 2022 that would allow short-term plans to renew for a total duration of up to 36 months (as allowed under federal rules), but it was vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly.
As of 2024, at least six insurers offered short-term health insurance plans in Kansas.
Frequently asked questions about short-term health insurance in Kansas
Is short-term health insurance available for purchase in Kansas?
Yes. As of 2024, at least six insurers were offering short-term health insurance in Kansas.
How much does short-term health insurance cost in Kansas?
The average monthly premium for a short-term health insurance plan sold in Kansas was $270.16 in 2022, according to data from IHC Specialty Benefits.
Which short-term plan durations are permitted under Kansas rules?
Kansas state law limits short-term health insurance to terms of “six months or 12 months, based upon policy design.” (The Kansas Insurance Department has clarified that the distinction between six-month and 12-month plans is up to the insurer; from a regulatory standpoint, the maximum term is 12 months).
Kansas statute also limits short-term coverage to no more than one renewal period, regardless of whether the insurer uses medical underwriting for the renewal.
Both chambers of the Kansas legislature passed a bill (SB199) in 2022 that would have eliminated the “six months or 12 months” language, as well as the one renewal limit. But Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the legislation.
If it had been enacted, the bill would have aligned the Kansas rules for short-term health insurance with the federal rules that the Trump administration implemented in 2018 (ie, initial terms of up to 364 days, and total duration of up to three years).
The federal regulations were clear in noting that states may continue to impose tighter regulations than the new federal rules. Since Kansas statute only allows for a maximum short-term plan duration of 12 months and no more than one renewal, the maximum total duration of a short-term plan in Kansas is currently 24 months.
The Biden administration proposed a rule change in 2023 (not yet finalized as of early 2024) that would sharply limit short-term policies. If finalized, it would cap the total duration of short-term plans at no more than four months.
How does Kansas regulate short-term health insurance?
Short-term health insurance in Kansas is defined in Kansas Statute 40-2, 193.
Kansas has a minimum loss ratio requirement of 60%. But under the terms of Kansas Statute 40-2, 193, this only applies to short-term coverage if any monthly administrative fees are excluded from the medical loss ratio calculation.
Short-term health insurance in Kansas can only be renewed one time, so the maximum allowable duration is 24 months. As noted above, Kansas lawmakers passed legislation in 2022 that would have allowed short-term plans to have total durations, including renewals, of up to three years (to align with federal rules), but the legislation was vetoed by the governor.
Are the Kansas rules regarding short-term health insurance likely to change any time soon?
S.B.199 was introduced in the Kansas Senate in February 2021. The bill called for the language of Kansas Statute 40-2, 193 to be altered so that it aligns with the current federal rules.
The reference to six- to 12-month limits would have been replaced with an initial term limit of under 12 months, and the current limit of no more than one renewal would have been rewritten so that renewals could be allowed up to a total duration of 36 months.
The legislation was revived in 2022 and passed both chambers of the legislature, but was subsequently vetoed by the governor.
Even if it had been enacted, the state’s rules would have been subject to future federal restrictions. The Biden administration has proposed a rule change that would limit short-term policies to no more than four months in total duration.
Which insurance companies offer short-term health coverage in Kansas?
As of 2024, at least six insurers offered short-term health insurance in Kansas:
- Allstate Health Solutions (National General)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City (Johnson and Wyandotte counties only)
- The North River Insurance Company
- Pan-American Life Insurance Company
- UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule)
- United States Fire Insurance Company
Most of these insurers were on a list that the Kansas Insurance Department compiled in 2021, although some of the carriers on that list have since stopped issuing short-term health insurance.
The Kansas Insurance Department clarified that some of these insurers only offer what’s known as a “mandate-lite” plan in the state, which means it doesn’t include at least one of the normal benefits mandated by Kansas statutes.
An agent or broker can help you compare the coverage options and costs for short-term health insurance in Kansas and determine which will best fit your needs. Some things to keep in mind are the allowable plan durations (some insurers cap their plans at shorter durations than the maximum the state allows), whether the insurer offers guaranteed renewability, and the specific benefits the plan covers.
Pay attention to things such as whether the plan covers outpatient prescription drugs (most short-term health insurance plans do not, but some do), and whether it imposes specific dollar limitations on services such as inpatient care, surgery, etc. (in addition to the plan’s overall benefit maximum).
Who can buy short-term health insurance in Kansas?
Short-term health insurance in Kansas can be purchased by residents (individuals or families) who meet the underwriting guidelines of insurers. In general, this 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 Sunflower State who needs medical care for a chronic ongoing or pre-existing condition.
If you’re trying to enroll in health insurance in Kansas outside of the annual open enrollment period (November 1 to January 15), first check your eligibility for a special enrollment period which 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 Kansas.
And at least through the end of 2025, there’s a special enrollment period for people whose income is between 100% and 150% of the federal poverty level.
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).
When should I consider buying short-term health insurance in Kansas?
From Colby to Wichita, there may be situations when a short-term plan might be an attractive option, such as:
- If you missed open enrollment for ACA-compliant individual market coverage (i.e., Obamacare) or your employer’s healthcare plan, and do not have a qualifying event that would trigger a special enrollment period.
- If you’re switching jobs and have a waiting period until you can be covered by your new employer’s health insurance plan; short-term insurance is typically a much more affordable stopgap than COBRA (but the loss of your prior coverage would also trigger a special enrollment period during which you could buy an ACA-compliant plan in the Kansas marketplace; this is true even if you’re offered the option to continue your prior coverage with COBRA).
- You will soon qualify for Medicare and don’t have another coverage option in the meantime.
- If you’re not eligible for Medicaid or a premium subsidy in the exchange, the monthly premiums for an ACA-compliant plan might simply not be affordable. This includes people caught in the coverage gap that Kansas has created by refusing to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid.
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.