Buying short-term health insurance in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin statutes limit short-term health plan duration to no more than 12 months.
- Plans can be renewed but total duration can’t exceed 18 consecutive months.
- These rules remain in place in Wisconsin despite the Trump Administration’s new regulations on short-term plans.
- At least six insurers offer short-term plans in Wisconsin.
Short-term health plan duration is limited in Wisconsin
Until October 2, 2018, federal regulations limited short-term health insurance plans to no more than three months in duration, and prohibited renewals. But the Trump Administration is allowing for much longer short-term plans as of October 2018, unless a state imposes its own restrictions. Wisconsin rules align with the new federal rules when it comes to the maximum initial term for a short-term plan, but the state has different rules for renewals.
Wisconsin insurance statutes [Section 632.7495(4)] limit short-term health insurance plans to no more than 12 months.The plan can be renewed, if the insurer offers that option, but the total duration of the coverage can’t be more than 18 consecutive months, including the initial term and subsequent renewals. After 18 months, the enrollee must have a break of at least 63 days before being allowed to sign up for another short-term plan from the same insurer.
The Trump Administration’s new regulations allow short-term plans to have initial terms of up to 364 days, and total duration, including renewals, of 36 months. But the regulations are clear in noting that states can impose stricter rules, and existing state rules will continue to apply. So in Wisconsin, the initial term of a short-term plan can be just under a year. But the total duration of a short-term plan, including renewals, is capped at 18 months.
Other short-term health plan regulations in Wisconsin
Wisconsin health insurance regulations also require short-term plans to conform to certain state mandates. But state law requiring uniform applications for major medical policies does not apply to short-term plans, as the state’s statute specifically excludes short-term plans from the definition of major medical coverage.
Which insurers offer short-term plans in Wisconsin?
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.