If you are in-between jobs or missed open enrollment, short-term health insurance can help to cover you temporarily. Temporary health insurance in Alabama can provide coverage for weeks, months or any duration less than a year. Coverage duration can often be extended, but short-term plans are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning they may not cover all the essential health benefits. Providers may also decline you if you have pre-existing conditions.
National General Accident & Health and Everest Reinsurance Company offer the best short-term medical insurance in Alabama, with scores of 95 and 85, respectively. However, the best option will depend on the best combination of affordability and coverage for your unique needs.
Keep in mind that short-term health insurance only offers temporary coverage and is not a replacement for marketplace plans. You can research subsidies to find a marketplace plan with better coverage than a short-term plan at a similar cost.
Best Companies for Short-Term Health Insurance in Alabama
To determine the best short-term health insurance companies, MoneyGeek analyzed the pricing, plan options and cost-sharing choices for thousands of plans. Within each state, plans were aggregated by company to compile an overview of a short-term health insurance provider. In determining the best short-term providers for specific categories, weights were redistributed to take into account the goal of the health insurance plan.
Please be advised that the costs provided are averages. Actual rates will vary based on consumer profile and location.
Best Overall Short-Term Health Insurance in Alabama
Based on MoneyGeek’s analysis, the best short-term health insurance in Alabama is offered by:
- National General Accident & Health: 95 out of 100
- Everest Reinsurance Company: 85 out of 100
- Companion Life Insurance Company: 62.5 out of 100
These companies were chosen based on their average maximum out-of-pocket costs (MOOP) and various cost-sharing options.
National General Accident & Health and Everest Reinsurance Company have low average MOOP costs at $7,500 and $7,958, respectively. Comparatively, Companion Life Insurance has relatively high MOOP costs at $12,438.
National General Accident & Health
National General Accident & Health received the highest MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100 among short-term health insurance companies in Alabama. This provider stands out for having a wide variety of plan options to suit different healthcare needs. Plan lengths can range from three months to three years with various cost-sharing and prescription drug coverage options.
National General Accident & Health offers plans with low out-of-pocket costs and co-insurance, which can be ideal for high-risk individuals. Most plans also cover generic drug prescriptions. However, keep in mind that some plans enforce waiting periods and application fees.
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It may be tempting to risk going without health insurance for a few months rather than get short-term coverage. However, the costs of emergency medical care can be extremely high. For instance, if you suddenly need emergency surgery, the costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars, so it is always advisable to get short-term health insurance to avoid gaps in coverage.
Best Cheap Short-Term Health Insurance
Alabama's cheapest short-term health insurance plan is National General Accident & Health with an average MOOP of $7,500.
While low premiums are great if you are on a budget, keep in mind that the trade-off usually is higher out-of-pocket costs. When choosing a plan based on affordability, it is also vital to ensure it will offer sufficient coverage for your healthcare needs.
National General Accident & Health
For Alabama residents on a budget, MoneyGeek found that National General Accident & Health offers the cheapest short-term health insurance in Alabama. Compared to other providers, this company has the lowest average MOOP and offers a wide range of cost-sharing options to suit different budgets and coverage needs.
Most short-term health plans from National General Accident & Health have relatively low co-insurance and application fees. Plans are also available in flexible term lengths but keep in mind that you may incur high deductibles depending on your chosen plan and long waiting periods.
Temporary health insurance in Alabama can help you avoid lapses in coverage but it is important to understand how it works. Short-term health insurance is not a replacement for a long-term plan. Short-term plans are meant to protect you in case of a medical emergency, but they don’t always cover all essential health benefits and rarely cover pre-existing conditions. If a condition develops during short-term coverage, your provider may not renew your policy.
Best Short-Term Health Insurance Between Jobs
If you are in between jobs, you can opt for temporary health insurance for one month between jobs. In such a case, it’s best to consider monthly premiums, health care coverage, and cost-sharing options. Cheap premiums may be appealing, but they come with high MOOPs, so this would only be ideal if you don’t anticipate needing frequent care.
MoneyGeek focused on monthly premiums and cost-sharing options to rank the best short-term health insurance providers between jobs and found that the best companies in Alabama are:
- Everest Reinsurance Company: $173 per month
- Companion Life Insurance Company: $163 per month
- UnitedHealthcare: $177 per month
Each of these companies has monthly premiums ranging from $160–180, but Everest Reinsurance Company offers the most plan options for splitting coverage costs.
Everest Reinsurance Company is headquartered in New Jersey and has several locations nationwide and globally. This provider offers various insurance products, including short-term medical insurance. If you are in between jobs in Alabama, you can choose from multiple co-insurance, out-of-pocket maximums and coverage options offered by Everest Reinsurance. This provider also has flexible coverage lengths to suit different needs.
You pay monthly or prepay for your coverage when you purchase a short-term plan from Everest. You also get a free look period. However, most plans do not include coverage for prescription drugs, and you may incur high application fees.
In some instances, such as if the start date of a new job has been pushed back, it may make sense to extend your short-term health insurance coverage. However, continuously choosing short-term coverage over marketplace plans is not advisable.
Even if you’re healthy and only need a cheap health insurance plan, the marketplace offers affordable health plans like Catastrophic, high-deductible health plans and Bronze. These plans are affordable and still cover essential health benefits.
How Does Short-Term Health Insurance Work in Alabama?
Short-term health insurance is meant to bridge lapses in your long-term coverage, usually no more than a few months. This means that you should only purchase short-term medical insurance as an emergency plan to cover you while you wait for a marketplace or employer’s plan to take effect but not as a long-term preventive plan.
In Alabama, you can purchase temporary health insurance for 364 days and still renew, meaning you can be on short-term medical insurance in Alabama for more than a year. However, the maximum duration for short-term health insurance in the state, including renewals, is limited to 36 months.
How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance in Alabama
Short-term plans are a good option if you need temporary health insurance in Alabama. To get the best coverage for your needs, MoneyGeek recommends following these steps.
Determine How Long You Need Coverage
Short-term health insurance is available for different durations ranging from three months to three years. Before purchasing a plan, determine how long you need coverage to find a plan that best suits your needs.
Assess Your Health Care Needs
Short-term health insurance comes with different coverage options and terms. Before signing up, ensure you understand your needs so you can find a plan with sufficient coverage. For instance, some plans include prescription drug coverage while others do not. You may also require a plan with short or no waiting periods if you have a chronic illness.
Research Providers and Available Plans
The best way to find the right short-term health insurance plan in Alabama is to research and compare providers and plan options. Apart from costs, coverage options can vary widely depending on the provider, so always take time to compare options and weigh them against your specific needs.
Short-term health insurance plans provide temporary coverage for emergencies when you do not have a marketplace plan. Unlike marketplace plans, short-term plans are not ACA-compliant. While they will cover you for emergency care, they do not provide coverage for all essential health benefits. Consider that if you choose a short-term plan, the provider may decline you if you have a pre-existing condition.
Marketplace plans are ACA-compliant, covering all essential health benefits, including preventative care. However, unlike short-term plans, marketplace plans have specific open enrollment periods during which you can enroll. If you miss the open enrollment period you can purchase a short-term plan in the meantime or check to see if you qualify for special enrollment.
FAQs About Short-Term Health Insurance in Alabama
MoneyGeek answered commonly asked questions to help you learn more about short-term medical insurance in Alabama.
About Brenna Kelly, Licensed Health Insurance Agent
- Companion Life. "About Companion Life." Accessed August 16, 2022.
- Everest. "About Us." Accessed August 16, 2022.
- Everest. "Short-Term Medical — U.S.." Accessed August 16, 2022.
- Health Insurance.org. "Duration and Renewals of 2022 Short-term Medical Plans by State." Accessed August 16, 2022.
- National General. "Individuals." Accessed August 16, 2022.