Learn about other types of health insurance: Short-term, Association Health Plans and Health Care Sharing Ministries
When it comes to health insurance not all plans are created equal. Unless a plan is ACA compliant, it may not cover minimum essential health benefits also known as EHBs. Below are some examples of such plans and what those plans are for.
Let’s start with Short Term Limited Duration Plans (STLD):
On August 2018 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the final new federal rules (“new federal rules”) on short-term, limited-duration insurance plans which allows STLD plans written on or after October 2 to have an initial policy period of 364 days with the option to renew for an additional two years.
However, in Nevada the law DOES NOT allow a company to issue coverage to the same individual for more than 185 days in a 365-day period. Therefore, STLD plans in Nevada may not be issued for more than 185 days. Short-term plans are intended to ’fill in gaps’ by only offering temporary coverage with limited benefits and preexisting conditions are typically excluded from coverage.
While these plans are legal, there has been a big push from marketers trying to lure people into purchasing these plans by disguising them as ACA compliant, but buyer beware, these plans may be cheaper but they cover the bare minimum like emergency services and should not be substituted for long term health coverage plans.
So how do you know if you are buying a short-term plan?
READ THE FINE PRINT!
o These plans are mandated by law to provide disclosures to include all of the previous topics mentioned above
American Financial Security Life Insurance Company
Aspen American Insurance Company
Companion Life Insurance Company
Everest Reinsurance Company
Freedom Life Insurance Company of America
Golden Rule Insurance Company
Independence American Insurance Company
LifeShield National Insurance Co.
National Foundation Life Insurance Company
Southern Guaranty Insurance Company
Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
United States Fire Insurance Company
Let’s move on to Association Health Plans (AHPs):
If you are a business owner this may be an option for you! Small employers can now join together to purchase large employer health insurance through Association Health Plans (AHPs). Some chambers of commerce have already started offering AHPs. These include the Henderson, Boulder City, Latin, Reno/Sparks and the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.
One thing to keep in mind with such plans is that AHP plans, as with all other large group plans, are subject to fewer state and federal requirements. Large employer plans are not required to cover the essential health benefits and they do not undergo the Division’s scrutiny regarding the regulation of rates, provider networks or drug formularies.
To help consumers review these plans, the Division has posted information on AHPs submitted to the Division at http://doi.nv.gov/Health_Insurance_Rates/Small_Employer_Options/ for interested consumers to review. Consumers are encouraged to review these filings because unless an AHP is on that website under “Small Employer Options” it may not be an authorized product reviewed by the Division.
Finally, there are Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSM):
These are organizations whose members share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and have shared medical expenses in accordance with those beliefs. Consumers should be careful with these plans because for starters they are NOT INSURANCE! There is no guarantee that claims will be paid and HCSMs are exempt from the ACA and state requirements. Please be aware that the Division of Insurance does not have regulatory oversight over these organizations, which means there are no solvency standards and if you have a complaint the Division may not be able to assist you if it is a complaint related to Health Care Sharing Ministries.