Short-term health insurance typically lasts for a year. However, coverage can be as little as a few weeks or extend beyond the one-year mark. It fills temporary coverage gaps that may occur if someone misses open enrollment or is between jobs.
Short-term health insurance is not ACA-compliant, so it doesn’t always cover essential health benefits. Additionally, providers can reject applicants based on pre-existing conditions or medical histories.
The two companies with the best short-term health insurance in Montana are National General Accident & Health and UnitedHealthcare, with scores of 95 and 70, respectively. However, the best short-term health insurance combines affordability with coverage that is unique to you.
Keep in mind that market-based plans that include necessary medical benefits are superior to short-term health insurance. By looking into subsidies, you might be able to find a market plan with coverage that is better than a short-term plan at a comparable price.
Best Companies for Short-Term Health Insurance in Montana
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 Montana
With a MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100, the best short-term health insurer in Montana is National General Accident & Health.
The second and third-place companies include:
- UnitedHealthcare: 70 out of 100
- Independence American Insurance Company: 70 out of 100
These companies were selected based on the range of cost-sharing options and average maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs. The winner’s average MOOP is $7,500, while the runner-ups are approximately $11,833 and $12,833, respectively.
National General Accident & Health
With a MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100, National General Accident & Health is the best company overall for short-term health insurance in Montana. A few of its products include short-term health, fixed-benefit medical and dental insurance. It offers many term length options – ranging from three months to three years.
National General Accident & Health offers protection against unexpected medical bills and other health care costs. Using the company's web portal, you can get health insurance, track your deductible and more.
It’s important to note that some plans from National General Accident & Health may have high deductibles.
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It might be tempting to forgo health insurance for a few months instead of getting short-term coverage. However, due to the substantial financial burden of having an accident, this is not a good idea.
Without coverage, the cost of an unexpected surgery could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Best Cheap Short-Term Health Insurance
With an average MOOP of $7,500, National General Accident & Health offers the cheapest short-term health insurance in Montana.
Lower premiums can be good, but they typically come with higher out-of-pocket expenses. When selecting a plan based on cost, make sure the coverage is sufficient for your needs.
National General Accident & Health
MoneyGeek found that National General Accident & Health is the cheapest short-term health insurance company in Montana in terms of affordability. To help you choose the best option, the company offers several levels of benefits throughout its plans.
This insurer has low out-of-pocket limits for some plans as well as low co-insurance. However, some of its more affordable plans may not provide the coverage you need.
It's important to understand short-term health insurance in Montana before buying a plan. This coverage is not a replacement for a market or long-term plan. Instead, it protects you from catastrophic costs if you experience an unexpected medical need.
Many of these policies do not cover pre-existing diseases and, consequently, lack important health coverage. Your policy might not be renewed if a problem arises while you are still utilizing short-term coverage.
Best Short-Term Health Insurance Between Jobs
When you are between jobs, cheap premiums may seem preferable. However, they generally come with high MOOPs, which is not ideal if you will need a doctor regularly.
After evaluating premiums and cost-sharing options, MoneyGeek found that the best short-term health insurance between jobs in Montana includes:
- Independence American Insurance Company: $130 per month
- UnitedHealthcare: $143 per month
- National General Accident & Health: $148 per month
These companies all offer average monthly premiums between $130 and $150. That said, Independence American Insurance Company has the edge since it offers 12 plan options.
Independence American Insurance Company
Independence American Insurance Company sells many different insurance products, but its short-term health insurance emerged as the best short-term health insurance for one month in Montana.
The company’s short-term coverage features many term length options, with lengths of up to three years. The cheapest plans can cover you for up to $1 million, and there is no application fee or waiting period for coverage.
However, plan pricing can vary substantially, and some plans might not provide out-of-network coverage.
Extending your short-term coverage can make sense if the start date of your new job has been delayed or if open enrollment is just around the corner. That said, it's not a good idea to consistently opt for short-term insurance over plans from the marketplace in order to save money. Marketplace plans offer Catastrophic, high-deductible health plans and Bronze alternatives that are inexpensive and provide the benefits you need.
How Does Short-Term Health Insurance Work in Montana?
The purpose of short-term health insurance, which typically lasts no longer than a few months, is to serve as a substitute until you can get long-term coverage. Rather than being a preventive strategy, it is more of an emergency plan.
In Montana, you can be covered in a plan for 364 days and then renew it. This keeps you covered for more than a year. You can repeat this process up to three times and purchase an additional policy.
In addition, despite the fact that lengthier durations are permitted, all of Montana's plans are now only offered with six-month terms.
How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance in Montana
The process of finding the best short-term health insurance in Montana can be daunting since there are many factors to consider. To make the process easier, MoneyGeek explained the steps you can take to get short-term medical coverage below.
Determine How Long You Need Coverage
Most short-term health insurance plans range in duration from three months to three years, but some can last as little as a few weeks. You can choose the appropriate plan duration if you know how long your coverage gap will last.
Assess Your Health Care Needs
Evaluating your specific needs can help you determine what you need in a short-term health insurance plan. For example, consider if you need prescriptions, require immediate care or don’t want to pay an application fee. You can also consider your ideal deductible
Research Providers and Available Plans
Low-cost, short-term health insurance can seem more affordable, but it could end up costing you more money if it doesn't cover your needs. To help you narrow down your options, MoneyGeek suggests reviewing a wide range of companies and getting details about their coverage options.
Short-term health insurance isn't the same as a marketplace plan. Essential health benefits and coverage for those with pre-existing illnesses are not necessarily included in short-term plans. Short-term plans are more so for emergency coverage.
For Montana residents who have more critical medical needs, short-term insurance is not the best option. Marketplace plans are required to provide more extensive benefits, such as maternity care or coverage for prior diseases, that short-term health insurance policies don’t have to cover.
Overall, marketplace plans can be more comprehensive, while short-term health insurance is just a tool to bridge a coverage gap.
FAQs About Short-Term Health Insurance in Montana
It can be challenging to navigate the nuances of Montana's short-term health insurance options. To make this process easier, MoneyGeek answered the following frequently asked questions.
About Brenna Kelly, Licensed Health Insurance Agent
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- Troy Downing CSI. "New Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Can Be in Place Next Week." Accessed August 9, 2022.