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How to Apply for Short term health coverage

This is probably our favorite part.

The application process is one of the easiest you'll find in health insurance!

There are some differences between short term enrollment and ACA plans such as Covered California so let's hit the highlights!

Apply for Short Term

The process is easy and online.

In fact, there are no longer hard copy apps for temporary coverage.

This is due to the goal of making the coverage as affordable as possible.

You can access the online application for the major Short Term Carriers here:

IHC (powered by Blue Cross Blue Shield) online application
UnitedOne online application

HCC online application

The quote page leads directly to the online app which is nice.

Our goal is to provide you access to all the major short term health carriers on one site.

Once you run your quote, you can click apply and you're off to the online application.

It will automatically keep your entered information for a seamless process.

The health questions in a short term application

Short term health is different from ACA compliant plans in that it is medically underwritten.

This means we have to answer some health questions to qualify for coverage.

It's called a simplified issue plan.

This means that the health history questions are more serious in nature and most people will easily qualify.

Also, there's generally no further underwriting.

If we can honestly answer "no" to the few questions on the online application, we're generally approved.

If we need to answer "yes" to one of the questions, then we're generally declined.

That's simplified issue!

All the short term plans work this way now.

Effective dates and Short term Enrollment

Effective dates are different with Temporary plans.

They're better!

On the short term application, you can select as early as midnight following your online app completion.

This is generally the only option for people who need immediate health insurance.

You can also pick a later date to start as well (say the next 1st of the month) to coincide with when other coverage will end.

Generally, the latest effective date available is 45 days out but each carrier may vary.

Duration of coverage when applying

Short term is by definition....short term.

It will run out after a certain period of time.

The maximum number of months allowed is generally 12 months (although many have 11 months)

When you're applying for coverage, you will specify whether you want:

  1. month to month coverage (up to the max # of months)
  2. a fixed # of days; usually pre-paid

The first option works best when you're not sure of how long you'll the coverage.

The latter works well if you have a defined period of time to cover (say until Open Enrollment or a new plan's waiting period is up)

There can be a discount for the second option since you're pre-paying for the whole period.

Keep in mind that this amount is not refundable.

If you do not need the coverage for the full period, there's no way to cancel it early.

If there's even a remote question on how long you'll need the coverage, the month to month option is the way to go.

Plan section when enrolling

Once you enter your basic info into the system, you'll have the option to choose your plan.

This is actually part of the "quote" process before the actual application.

You have a range of deductibles and max out of pockets to choose from.

Many people tend to go with higher deductibles to keep their rates down and protect against the big bills.

Short term works really well for catastrophic coverage!

You should check our comparison of Short term and ACA plans such as Covered Ca to make sure you understand the differences!

Of course, we're happy to help with any questions at 800-320-6269.

With a family enrollment, each member is on the same plan generally. You can enroll family members separately if you want different plans.

Payment of new short term policy

Again, all online and fast!

When you complete your online application, you submit payment information online through the carrier's secure server.

The payment will be based on your duration and bill type (pre-pay for duration or month to month).

Credit card is usual preference and the first payment will be taken to activate the policy if approved.

All short term plans have an association fee that is also taken.

The association fee allows the carrier to offer non-ACA short term health plans that do not need to meet all the new requirements.

NOTE: Make sure to notify the carrier prior to the date that you want the coverage to cancel.

You will also want to cancel the association fee as well.

The carriers require this request from the insured member.

Policy issued after application

We generally have a confirmation by email in 2-3 business days from when the app is completed.

You will receive a confirmation directly by email as well.

In the is email, you'll receive:

  1. approval
  2. policy ID#
  3. effective date
  4. insured members
  5. membership contact information
  6. Instructions on accessing online account

The latter is important. It allows you to register your online account.

From here, you can print ID cards and get proof of coverage!

This is very important for many people that need to show fast proof of health insurance.

There's no quicker way to do it than short term.

Short term health application Recap

Hopefully, we've shown how fast and easy the application process is.

It generally takes 5 minutes to enroll online for temporary coverage.

You can always look at the online application through the quote without completing it if you have questions.

You will have a 10 day look window to cancel the coverage never effective for any reason even after completing the online app for a full refund.

Of course, we're here to help with any questions on the enrollment process at 800-320-6269.


Call us at 800-320-6269 or request your Short Term Health Quote.

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Thousands of Californians

from ME

"a million thank you for your prompt attention to all the details concerning this process. You've made it that much easier to enroll."

from SD

"Thanks again for your help - I had absolutely no idea how to get this done when I got up this morning. You've made it remarkably easier than I expected. I hope you're not stuck at the office all night..."

from KV

"Anyway, I hope you got some time off this past week! Thank you again for your help and efforts on my behalf! I was very lucky to find you."

from EK

"I thank you very much for the time that you have invested in handling everything

from SR

"I truly appreciate the quick response and will think of you in the future if I need to make any changes to my insurance plans."

from VH

"You are awesome... takes a huge worry off my back, thank you for your kind. thanks for your time and kindness. !!"

from SA

"Wow, I can't thank you guys enough for your help...I couldn't imagine trying to tackle this on my own!"

from LM

"You are my new best friend. A HUGE thank you again.


About CalShortTerm


Short term health insurance can be a valuable tool to help protect people during transitional times.  Understanding the pro's and con's of short term insurance versus ACA compliant plans is Invaluable

We are Licensed California Agents with 20+ years of experience helping 1000's of California individuals and families.

Call us. you will be pleasantly surprised 800-320-6269

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