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Short Term Questions

Buyer beware, know the risk before buying short-term health insurance

Short-term health insurance plans often seem cheaper than traditional health insurance, but buyers must take warning. They may offer a lower monthly premium, but these plans provide coverage only for limited medical expenses.

Before purchasing a short-term health plan, be sure to understand the risk of buying one by carefully reading the policy and asking some important questions.

How can I find financial help and enroll in full-coverage health insurance?

You might be surprised at how much financial assistance you are eligible for when buying a full-coverage plan through HealthCare.gov

Last year, more than 70 percent of Oregonians who enrolled in plans through HealthCare.gov qualified to receive help paying for coverage. For 2019, individuals making $48,560 or less, and families of four making $100,400 or less, may qualify. Financial help can be significant. For 2018 coverage, Oregonians who qualified for financial help got plans with an average premium of $138.

Open enrollment is the health insurance sign-up period for people who buy health insurance for themselves and their families. It runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15. For people who do not get coverage through their job or another program, it is likely the only time to sign up for 2019 health insurance and get help paying for coverage at HealthCare.gov.


Under Oregon law, short-term health plans can only be issued for three months at a time, and cannot be renewed for at least 60 days.

Before buying a short-term plan, review the exclusions, ask questions, and make sure you understand how limited it can be. It is necessary to understand all the risks before buying a short-term health insurance plan.

If you have questions, concerns, or problems with your short-term health plan, insurance company, or agent call one of the Division of Financial Regulation’s consumer advocates at 888-877-4894 (toll-free).

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