Short-Term Health Insurance in Iowa

MoneyGeek’s pick for the best short-term health insurance in Iowa is National General Accident & Health, which scored 90 out of 100 on our rating scale. It offers the best combination of cost and plan options regarding term lengths, prescription needs and waiting periods.

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Last Updated: 11/18/2022
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Short-term health insurance is designed to bridge temporary gaps in medical coverage, lasting no more than a few months to a year, though it can be extended. It’s ideal for individuals who are between jobs, outside of open enrollment or waiting for Medicare to start.

However, short-term health insurance plans are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning they don’t include essential health benefits or cover pre-existing conditions.

The two companies offering the best short-term health insurance in Iowa are National General Accident & Health and UnitedHealthcare, scoring 90 and 70 out of 100, respectively. But the best short-term health insurance for you will combine affordability with coverage that’s specific to your needs.

It’s important to remember that short-term health insurance is not a good replacement for a marketplace plan. If you’re looking to save on a policy, researching ACA subsidies can help you find better coverage at a similar cost.

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Best Companies for Short-Term Health Insurance in Iowa

METHODOLOGY

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 the policyholder’s profile and location.

Best Overall Short-Term Health Insurance in Iowa

With a score of 90 out of 100, National General Accident & Health is MoneyGeek’s pick for the best short-term health insurance company in Iowa.

Meanwhile, the companies in second and third place are:

  • UnitedHealthcare: 70 out of 100
  • Companion Life Insurance Company: 63 out of 100

We selected these companies based on their average maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs and various cost-sharing options. National General Accident & Health’s average MOOP is the lowest at $6,700, while UnitedHealthcare and Companion Life Insurance Company have average MOOPs of $9,810 and $12,438, respectively.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
National General Accident & Health

National General Accident & Health received a score of 90 out of 100, making it the best short-term health insurance provider in Iowa. It offers other insurance products, including accident and critical illness, fixed-benefit medical and dental insurance.

This insurer offers short-term health insurance plans with varying term lengths, coverage limits, deductibles and plan options. They also have low co-insurance and application fees. In addition, most of their policies provide prescription drug coverage and out-of-network coverage. That said, some of its plans have waiting periods and higher out-of-pocket costs.

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CAN I GO WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE?

Going without health insurance for a few months may be tempting, but this is not a good idea due to the exorbitant financial burden of an accident. Without coverage, you could spend tens of thousands of dollars on an unplanned surgery.

Best Cheap Short-Term Health Insurance

If you’re on a budget, National General Accident & Health offers the cheapest short-term health insurance in Iowa. The company’s average MOOP is $6,700.

While plans with low premiums are great, keep in mind that they usually come with higher out-of-pocket costs. Thus, it’s critical to ensure the coverage you’ll get is sufficient for your health needs when shopping around for a plan based on affordability.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
National General Accident & Health

MoneyGeek’s study identified National General Accident & Health as the most affordable company for short-term health insurance in Iowa. In addition to low out-of-pocket limits, this insurer has low co-insurance and application fees. However, some of its plans have very high deductibles and may not offer the best value for your money.

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SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE LIMITATIONS

It’s vital to understand short-term health insurance coverage before purchasing a plan. Though it may be more affordable, it only offers protection against catastrophic costs in the event of a medical emergency. It doesn’t comply with ACA requirements, so essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions are not covered. Plus, if you develop a condition during your short-term coverage, your policy may not be renewed.

Best Short-Term Health Insurance Between Jobs

Those who are between jobs may find short-term health insurance to be a good fit for their situation. MoneyGeek’s analysis found that the best companies for temporary health insurance in Iowa while unemployed are:

  • Independence American Insurance Company: $137 per month
  • Companion Life Insurance Company: $143 per month
  • UnitedHealthcare: $153 per month

For this category, we focused on average monthly premiums and cost-sharing options. Our top picks offer average monthly premiums ranging from $137 to $153. While Companion Life Insurance has the most plan options, Independence American Insurance Company stood out for providing the lowest average premium.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
Independence American Insurance Company

Independence American Insurance Company provides the best short-term health insurance in Iowa for those between jobs. It also offers other insurance products, like hospital indemnity, dental and pet insurance.

Short-term health insurance plans from Independence American Insurance Company vary in term lengths, ranging from six months to three years. They also have no application fees or waiting periods, making them more accessible than others. Plus, its most affordable plans can cover you for up to $1 million. However, Independence American Insurance Company has somewhat limited plan options, and its maximum price point is relatively high.

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SHOULD I EXTEND SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE?

It almost never makes sense to extend your short-term health insurance plan except in certain circumstances, like your new job being delayed or open enrollment being a few months away. Other than that, it’s generally not wise to continuously choose short-term health insurance over marketplace plans. Even if you value affordability, there are options in the marketplace that cover essential health benefits at a low cost.

How Does Short-Term Health Insurance Work in Iowa?

Short-term health insurance can help bridge temporary gaps in medical coverage, typically for a few months to a year. In general, it’s designed to be emergency protection, not a preventive plan.

Under Iowa law, short-term health insurance coverage can last for up to 364 days. Short-term plans can also be renewed for a period of up to three years. In 2019, the Iowa Insurance Division imposed new requirements on short-term health insurance, particularly its minimum coverage, out-of-pocket limits and renewability.

How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance in Iowa

If you find buying short-term health insurance in Iowa overwhelming, MoneyGeek can help simplify the process for you. Below, we listed some important steps you can take when purchasing a policy.

1

Determine How Long You Need Coverage

Typically, short-term health insurance lasts for three months to three years. Before looking for a policy, make sure you know how long you’ll need coverage. Note that choosing the wrong short-term plan can leave you unprotected against exorbitant medical costs in the event of an accident.

2

Assess Your Health Care Needs

By assessing your health needs, you can find the best short-term health insurance for you. Take note if the plan you’re considering covers office visits, prescription drugs, urgent care and more.

3

Research Providers and Available Plans

You can narrow down your options for short-term health insurance by researching providers and comparing available plans. Doing so can help you gather details about coverage options and select the one that works best for you.

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SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE VS. MARKETPLACE PLANS

In terms of health insurance, it’s important to know the difference between short-term and marketplace plans. Short-term health insurance lasts for no more than a few months to a year, making it ideal as emergency coverage. You can enroll in a short-term plan at any time of the year, but coverage may exclude essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions since it’s not ACA-compliant.

Meanwhile, marketplace plans provide long-term medical coverage. Because they comply with ACA guidelines, they are required to cover essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions. However, you can only enroll in a marketplace plan during open enrollment. If you miss this window, you can try qualifying for special enrollment.

FAQs About Short-Term Health Insurance in Iowa

MoneyGeek answered some frequently asked questions to help you learn more about short-term health insurance in Iowa.

About the Author


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Brenna Kelly is a content manager at MoneyGeek specializing in health insurance. She has extensive experience in the content production field and is a licensed health insurance agent. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts.


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