Short Term Plan Changes Coming in September

Have you read about the short term plan changes that are coming this fall?

Photo by Edward Eyer from Pexels

This fall, significant changes will be introduced to short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) plans, impacting how they are offered and utilized across the United States. Effective  September 1, 2024, these adjustments will redefine the scope and function of short-term health plans, aligning them more closely with consumer protection standards. The government’s changes seek to enhance consumer protections, ensuring that the carriers and beneficiaries use these plans appropriately and safely.

Defining New Duration Limits

Carriers design STLDI plans to provide temporary health coverage during transition periods, such as changes in employment or other gaps in long-term insurance coverage. Under the new regulations, the plan duration will be strictly limited to four months, including any extensions or renewals. This adjustment is a considerable reduction from the previous potential duration of up to 36 months. For example, someone transitioning between jobs might use STLDI to cover a one-month gap without the option to extend, reinforcing the intended temporary use of these plans.

Enhanced Consumer Protections

The new regulations will require these plans to include updated, comprehensive disclosure notices clearly outlining how they differ from Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant plans. These notices are designed to prevent confusion and ensure that consumers are fully aware of what STLDI plans entail—primarily their limitations and the lack of certain protections that are standard in more comprehensive health plans.

State-Level Impact

States retain the ability to impose stricter rules on the duration of STLDI plans. For instance, some states have already taken measures to limit or even ban these plans to protect their health insurance markets from potential destabilization. The new federal rules set a baseline, but state regulations can further restrict the sale and terms of STLDI plans, providing additional consumer safeguards.

Transition Provisions for Existing Policies

Consumers must understand that the changes will not affect existing STLDI policies or those issued before the September 1, 2024 implementation date. Policies initiated before this date will continue under the terms consumers purchased them, which allows for a smoother transition for current policyholders into the new regulatory framework.

Looking Ahead

The impending changes to short-term health plans are part of broader efforts to ensure carriers use plans appropriately and don’t mislead consumers about their health insurance choices. As we approach the implementation date, consumers are encouraged to review their health coverage options carefully, especially those considering STLDI as a temporary solution. With these new rules, the landscape of short-term health insurance sets to become more transparent and consumer-friendly, aligning more closely with the goals of the Affordable Care Act.

These changes herald a significant shift in the health insurance industry, aimed at increasing consumer protection and reducing the risks associated with inadequate health coverage. As the landscape evolves, staying informed will be vital to navigating these changes effectively.


Have Health Insurance Questions?

We hope this information on types of short term plan changes is useful to you.

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About Jose Lerma

Jose has been a career agent working with Empower Brokerage since 2021 helping clients from all walks of life find tailored solutions for their healthcare needs. He is passionate about helping people fulfill their dreams and helping clients live a more empowered existence. 

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