Short-term health insurance covers you until you can enroll in a regular plan. They can be purchased by those who are waiting for open enrollment, like people who are between jobs. While they last less than a year, they can be extended or purchased for a few weeks to a few months.
Since they don't comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements, insurers aren't required to offer you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. They also don’t provide essential health benefits and cannot take the place of marketplace plans. Researching subsidies could help you find a marketplace plan with superior coverage at a comparable cost.
The top short-term health insurance companies in South Carolina are National General Accident & Health and Everest Reinsurance Company, with MoneyGeek scores of 95 and 85, respectively. Ultimately, the best health insurance will provide a good balance of price and coverage for your unique circumstances.
Best Companies for Short-Term Health Insurance in South Carolina
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 South Carolina
National General Accident & Health is the overall best company for short-term health insurance in South Carolina. It received a MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100.
The second and third best companies are:
- Everest Reinsurance Company: 85 out of 100
- Independence American Insurance Company: 70 out of 100
To determine the rankings, we considered the average maximum out-of-pocket costs and cost-sharing options.
The maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs for each of these companies are $7,500, $7,958 and $12,833, respectively.
National General Accident & Health
With a MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100, National General Accident & Health offers low premiums and excellent customer service. Its average maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) cost is $7,500, and you can choose from multiple plan options.
Their short-term health insurance plans can provide coverage for 30 days up to one year. Additionally, they offer discounts, urgent care, prescription services and virtual medical aid in your short-term plan.
A variety of additional insurance options are also available for individuals, families and seniors. They also have insurance for dental and vision care, accident and critical sickness, Medicare and more.
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An unplanned medical emergency can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s better to be prepared for anything. Short-term health insurance protects you financially in case of an unexpected medical emergency. It ensures that you’re covered if you don’t have regular coverage yet.
Best Cheap Short-Term Health Insurance
The cheapest short-term health insurance in South Carolina is National General Accident & Health, with an average MOOP of $7,500. The cost of short-term health insurance is cheaper than a regular plan, but it may not include certain essential benefits. Additionally, opting for cheaper premiums may result in higher MOOPs.
National General Accident & Health
In addition to being the best overall short-term insurer in South Carolina, National General Accident & Health is also the most affordable option. It has the cheapest average MOOP among other insurance companies in South Carolina. National General Accident & Health provides customers with many cost-sharing alternatives that allow for flexible pricing. As a result, you can have more control over the cost of your health insurance.
Short-term insurance is different from marketplace or long-term plans. They can’t replace regular plans because they lack several essential benefits required by the ACA. They also don’t cover pre-existing conditions. You might not get your policy renewed if an illness occurs during your short-term plan. Ultimately, the purpose of short-term insurance is to cover the expenses of accidents.
Best Short-Term Health Insurance Between Jobs
When you are in between jobs, cheap premiums may seem great. Unfortunately, they come with high MOOPs. This might be ok if you only have occasional medical needs.
MoneyGeek looked for cheaper-than-average companies with multiple plan options. On average, these companies provide the best short-term health insurance in South Carolina for those who are between jobs:
- Independence American Insurance Company: $154 per month
- UnitedHealthcare: $159 per month
- Everest Reinsurance Company: $163 per month
While costs are similar across these companies, Independence American Insurance Company took the top spot due to its plan options.
Independence American Insurance Company
Independence American Insurance Company offers short-term health insurance that works great for people who are in between jobs. It has a couple of plan options, and one of them offers coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Short-term plans don’t always cover pre-existing conditions. Sometimes, companies even refuse to grant these plans to people with these conditions. Independence American Insurance Company, on the other hand, has a $25,000 benefit for qualified expenses relating to pre-existing conditions.
Additionally, they have several benefit levels that you can choose from. Because of this, you can get a plan that fits both your budget and your health care needs.
Keeping your short-term health insurance depends on your situation. Those who are waiting for their jobs to start may need to extend their coverage if their starting date has been postponed. Additionally, if open enrollment is coming soon, extending is also an option.
Consistently extending your short-term plan may not be a good idea since it provides less coverage. Affordable choices for health insurance include Catastrophic plans, high-deductible health plans and Bronze packages.
How Does Short-Term Health Insurance Work in South Carolina?
You can purchase short-term health insurance to bridge the gap between long-term coverage. It serves as an emergency plan rather than a preventative plan, unlike marketplace plans or long-term coverages.
Generally, the law requires a period of up to 364 days from the start of the plan. The total plan duration, after renewals, should only be up to 36 months. However, states are allowed to impose their own laws, which can be much shorter.
Short-term health insurance in South Carolina lasts up to 11 months. However, state laws allow renewals of these plans for up to 33 months.
How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance in South Carolina
MoneyGeek outlines how to choose the right health insurance. Finding the right plan means knowing your health care needs, how long you need insurance and doing your research.
Determine How Long You Need Coverage
South Carolina allows people to have short-term insurance for up to 33 months, but the initial plan can be up to 11 months. It’s best to know the duration of short-term insurance you need so that you can choose the right terms for your plan and evaluate if it fits within the limits set by law.
Assess Your Health Care Needs
The necessary health care coverage offered by standard plans is not included in short-term plans. Choosing the right plan means knowing your medical needs to ensure that they are covered by your health insurance. For instance, if you have to buy medication on a regular basis, you will need prescription coverage with your plan.
Research Providers and Available Plans
There are many health insurance providers and plans to choose from, but picking the best one for your needs requires a bit more research. Before getting a plan, consider learning more about short-term health insurance and checking out the benefits of different plans from different companies.
State laws determine the length of short-term health insurance compared to ACA or marketplace plans, which last all year long. Additionally, all 10 essential health benefits required by the ACA are included in marketplace plans. During the open enrollment period, you can purchase marketplace plans from Healthcare.gov or the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Usually, short-term health insurance only includes ambulatory care, emergency care, hospitalization and laboratory tests. In addition, these plans generally do not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. Short-term coverage is bought from private insurance providers. You can also buy them outside of the open enrollment period.
FAQs About Short-Term Health Insurance in South Carolina
To give you a better understanding of short-term plans, MoneyGeek answered questions concerning short-term health insurance in South Carolina. These can help you determine if this coverage is right for you.
About Brenna Kelly, Licensed Health Insurance Agent
- HealthInsurance.org. "Availability of short-term health insurance in South Carolina." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- Independence American Insurance Company. "About Us." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- Independence American Insurance Company. "Connect: Short-Term Medical." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- National General Accident & Health. "Contact Us." Accessed August 16, 2022.
- National General Accident & Health. "Individual Health Coverage." Accessed August 16, 2022.
- UnitedHealthcare. "About Us." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- UnitedHealthcare. "Short Term Health Insurance for LA, MO, NV, SC, WY." Accessed August 17, 2022.