Although the coverage period of short-term health insurance ranges from a few weeks to more than a year, the typical length is a few months. It doesn’t cover essential health benefits because it does not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
If you’re waiting for the marketplace open enrollment period or are between jobs, short-term health insurance can protect you until the new insurance kicks in. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, insurance companies can decline short-term coverage.
The top short-term health insurance companies in Tennessee are National General Accident & Health (MoneyGeek score: 90 out of 100) and Everest Reinsurance Company (MoneyGeek score: 85 out of 100). However, the best short-term health insurance for you will combine cost-effectiveness with custom coverage.
Keep in mind that market-based plans with essential medical coverage are better than short-term health insurance plans. By looking into subsidies, you might find a market plan that offers better coverage than a short-term plan for a similar price.
Best Companies for Short-Term Health Insurance in Tennessee
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 Tennessee
Tennessee's top short-term health insurance company is National General Accident & Health, which has a MoneyGeek rating of 90 out of 100. Coming in second and third are:
- Everest Reinsurance Company: 85 out of 100
- UnitedHealthcare: 68 out of 100
We chose these companies based on their cost-sharing options and average maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) expenses. The winner's average MOOP is $6,700, while the runners’-up are roughly $7,958 and $11,324, respectively.
National General Accident & Health
National General Accident & Health is Tennessee’s top short-term health insurance provider, achieving a MoneyGeek rating of 90 out of 100. It offers numerous term length options, from three months to three years. You can purchase health insurance, keep track of your deductible and more on the company's website.
National General Accident & Health’s short-term policies protect against unanticipated medical costs and other healthcare expenses. However, some National General Accident & Health policies may have high deductibles, and cheaper plans may not offer the coverage you need.
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If you’re considering going without health insurance for a few months instead of purchasing temporary insurance, don’t. You can have an accident or need emergency surgery at any moment and incur medical costs in the tens of thousands of dollars if you don’t have insurance.
Best Cheap Short-Term Health Insurance
National General Accident & Health offers the least expensive short-term health insurance in Tennessee, with a MOOP averaging $6,700. Lower premiums frequently come with higher out-of-pocket costs, so ensure the coverage you purchase is sufficient for your health care needs.
National General Accident & Health
According to MoneyGeek's affordability analysis, National General Accident & Health offers the cheapest Tennessee short-term health insurance. This insurer has a sizable selection of term lengths, ranging from three months to three years, and an average number of plan selections. However, it may have the longest general waiting period, and some of its more affordable plans might not offer the coverage you require.
Before purchasing a plan, know the ins and outs of Tennessee short-term health insurance. This type of insurance is not meant to replace a market-based or long-term plan but safeguards you against catastrophic costs in an emergency medical situation.
Many short-term policies lack essential health coverage and don’t cover pre-existing conditions. In addition, if you develop an illness while under temporary coverage, your policy might not be renewed.
Best Short-Term Health Insurance Between Jobs
If you’re between jobs, you may want to choose a short-term plan based on cost. However, low-cost plans typically have high MOOPs. So if you need frequent medical attention, you could pay more in the long run.
MoneyGeek’s research into rates and cost-sharing options indicates the following are the best temporary health insurance providers in Tennessee:
- Independence American Insurance Company: $120 per month
- UnitedHealthcare: $143 per month
- National General Accident & Health: $137 per month
These companies offer monthly premiums ranging from $120 to $137. Independence American Insurance Company comes in first because it offers 12 different plan selections.
Independence American Insurance Company
Independence American Insurance Company offers the best short-term health insurance for those between jobs in Tennessee. Its cheapest plans don't charge an application fee and don't have a waiting period but cover you for up to $1 million.
However, there are significant price variations between plans, and some may not offer out-of-network coverage. In addition, six months is the shortest term available.
If your new job's start date is pushed back or open enrollment is coming up, it may make sense to extend your short-term coverage. Still, choosing short-term insurance over marketplace plans on a regular basis in an attempt to cut costs is not a good idea.
The marketplace offers long-term Catastrophic, high-deductible and Bronze-level health plans that are less expensive than short-term options and provide substantial health benefits.
How Does Short-Term Health Insurance Work in Tennessee?
Short-term health insurance — which normally only lasts a few months — is a temporary solution until you can obtain long-term insurance. It’s a preparedness plan rather than a preventive strategy.
In Tennessee, you can enroll in a short-term plan for 364 days, and you can renew up to three times.
How to Buy Short-Term Health Insurance in Tennessee
Shopping for short-term health insurance in Tennessee can feel overwhelming. MoneyGeek suggests taking the following steps to simplify the process.
Determine How Long You Need Coverage
Most short-term health insurance plans last three months to three years, although some can cover you for as little as a few weeks. If you know how long your coverage gap will last, you can select the proper plan term.
Assess Your Health Care Needs
Assess your unique health requirements to determine what you need from a plan. Consider whether you require medicines, might need emergency care, desire a low deductible or don't want to pay an application fee.
Research Providers and Available Plans
Cheap, temporary health insurance may seem more cost-effective, but if it doesn't meet your needs, you’ll wind up paying more. Research several companies and their coverage options to ensure your selection meets your needs.
If you’re considering short-term health insurance vs. ACA plans, know the difference between the two. Short-term health insurance does not always cover pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits but will protect you in emergencies.
On the other hand, long-term plans cover essential health benefits like maternity and preventive care and pre-existing conditions.
Temporary health insurance fills in a coverage gap, while marketplace plans offer long-term coverage.
FAQs About Short-Term Health Insurance in Tennessee
Navigating the complexities of Tennessee’s short-term health insurance can be difficult. MoneyGeek answers frequently asked questions to help you through the process.
About Brenna Kelly, Licensed Health Insurance Agent
- HealthInsurance.org. "Duration and Renewals of 2022 Short-Term Medical Plans by State." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- HealthInsurance.org. "Find Short-Term Health Insurance in Tennessee." Accessed August 17, 2022.