Short-term medical insurance can fill the coverage gap while you wait for open enrollment. These plans generally last for less than a year but can be extended or reduced to a few weeks or months. Essentially, these plans help people remain insured if they change jobs or miss the open enrollment period.
However, they are not Affordable Care Act-compliant and allow providers to reject applicants with health issues or pre-existing diseases. Additionally, they may not always offer basic health services.
National General Accident & Health and Everest Reinsurance Company are the best providers of short-term health insurance in Arizona, with ratings of 95 and 85, respectively. That said, the best option for you depends on your needs.
Short-term health insurance isn't a replacement for marketplace plans. If you check into subsidies, you might be able to find a marketplace plan with comparable pricing and greater coverage than a short-term plan.
Best Companies for Short-Term Health Insurance in Arizona
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 Arizona
With an overall MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100, National General Accident & Health is Arizona's best temporary health insurance provider.
Second and third place went to the following companies:
- Everest Reinsurance Company: 85 out of 100
- UnitedHealthcare: 68 out of 100
These companies were rated the best because of their cost-sharing alternatives and average maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs. The top company’s average MOOP is $7,500, while the runners-up charge $7,958 and $11,733, respectively.
National General Accident & Health
National General Accident & Health achieved a MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100, making it the top short-term health insurance company in Arizona. Coverage lasts anywhere from 30 days to one year, and you can take advantage of benefits like telemedicine and discounts using its LIFE Association membership.
National General Accident & Health is accommodating to customer demands since you may choose from a variety of short-term health insurance plans with different lengths, cost-sharing options and prescription medication coverage.
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It might be appealing to forgo insurance for a few months instead of spending money on temporary coverage. However, this is not advisable because of the potential costs an accident might involve. Without insurance, you could pay tens of thousands of dollars for treatment.
Best Cheap Short-Term Health Insurance
National General Accident & Health offers the cheapest short-term health insurance in Arizona, with an average MOOP of $7,500. Typically, cheaper premiums are associated with higher out-of-pocket expenses. Ensure that the amount of coverage provided by the plan meets your needs before making a selection based on pricing.
National General Accident & Health
According to MoneyGeek’s research, National General Accident & Health is not only the best short-term health insurance provider in Arizona, but it is also the most affordable. The company offers many plans with varying levels of coverage and durations, allowing you to choose the most suitable option. Typically, the company's plans have lower out-of-pocket maximums and offer better flexibility through various cost-sharing options. However, some of its insurance plans, especially the more basic ones, can have larger deductibles.
Before buying coverage, it is important to understand Arizona's short-term health insurance policies. Short-term insurance isn't meant to replace a long-term or marketplace plan. Instead, it keeps you from going bankrupt if you have an unplanned medical emergency.
However, most of the short-term policies exclude coverage for pre-existing diseases, so policyholders don’t receive essential medical coverage. Additionally, your insurance may not be renewed if a condition develops while on short-term coverage.
Best Short-Term Health Insurance Between Jobs
Some people choose cheaper plans while temporarily unemployed. However, cheaper plans are not ideal for those who require ongoing medical care due to high MOOPs.
MoneyGeek evaluated average costs and cost-sharing options for temporary health insurance in Arizona and found the following to be the best:
- Companion Life Insurance Company: $141 per month
- UnitedHealthcare: $157 per month
- Independence American Insurance Company: $159 per month
From these companies, coverage for one month averages between $140 and $160. Despite having fewer plan options, Companion Life Insurance Company offers the lowest average premium, landing it first on our list.
Companion Life Insurance Company
Companion Life Insurance Company has been serving customers since 1971 with various insurance products. This company provides short-term medical, group supplementary expenditure and limited-benefit health insurance.
Short-term health insurance policies from Companion Life are ideal for those who are unemployed or even recently graduated. These policies can serve as an alternative to COBRA insurance. However, this company doesn't provide a lot of choices in terms of plan selections or term duration.
Extending short-term health insurance only makes sense if your new job's start date has been delayed or open enrollment is approaching. However, choosing short-term insurance over market plans is not a wise decision. Marketplace plans include affordable Catastrophic (high-deductible) plans and Bronze plans that deliver the necessary benefits to healthy policyholders who want cheaper coverage.
How Does Short-Term Health Insurance Work in Arizona?
The purpose of short-term health insurance, which normally does not last for more than a few months at a time, is to fill the coverage gap until long-term coverage. It is more of a backup plan than it is a strategy for preventing potential problems from occurring.
You can have continuous coverage under a plan for up to 364 days in Arizona before having to renew it. You will be protected for a period of time longer than one year if you renew. You are allowed to renew up to three times, and you can also buy additional insurance.
How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance in Arizona
There are many factors to consider when looking for the best short-term medical insurance. To help you with the process, MoneyGeek has outlined the steps for obtaining temporary health insurance in Arizona.
Determine How Long You Need Coverage
Although some plans can last as little as a few weeks, the majority of short-term health insurance policies have terms of three months to three years. If you know your coverage gap will continue for a set amount of time, you can select a short-term plan for that duration.
Assess Your Health Care Needs
Consider your specific requirements before purchasing a short-term health insurance plan. Determine whether or not you need access to prescription drugs, emergency care or if you don't want to pay an application fee. Think about your preferred deductible as well.
Research Providers and Available Plans
If short-term health insurance plans don't offer enough coverage, the upfront cost savings might not be worthwhile. To further narrow down your options, MoneyGeek advises evaluating a number of companies and finding out about their policies.
There are differences between short-term health plans and marketplace plans. There is no guarantee that a short-term health insurance plan will provide coverage for pre-existing diseases. Short-term plans are typically meant to address unforeseen expenses.
People who already have major health problems should avoid purchasing a short-term health insurance plan. Alternately, market-based plans are obligated to cover both pre-existing diseases and all essential benefits. These plans can be purchased by most people during the open enrollment period.
Temporary health insurance is meant to bridge the gap until permanent health insurance can be secured and can be purchased anytime.
FAQs About Short-Term Health Insurance in Arizona
Arizona's short-term health insurance contains a few nuances that may be challenging to understand. To help you find coverage, MoneyGeek answered frequently asked questions.
About Brenna Kelly, Licensed Health Insurance Agent
- Companion Life. "About Companion Life." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- Companion Life. "Accident and Health Insurance." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- HealthCare.gov. "What Marketplace health insurance plans cover." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- Healthinsurance.org. "Availability of short-term health insurance in Arizona." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- National General. "National General Health Insurance." Accessed August 17, 2022.