The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released its final rule increasing the maximum duration of short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) from 90 days to one year. NAIFA has advocated for this change in conversations with HHS officials and a comment letter submitted during the rule-making process.
STLDI plans provide consumers with temporary, basic, affordable health insurance coverage, often at times they are in dire need of insurance and facing setbacks in their careers or finances. These policies also benefit people who are undergoing less stressful life transitions. STLDI plans provide necessary stop-gap coverage health insurance while consumers shop for more comprehensive plans or until they are able to join group plans. Sometimes STLDI fills coverage gaps, which can last for many months, for consumers who must wait for open enrollment periods. Further, as some health insurers have exited certain markets and state and federal health insurance exchanges, many consumers now reside in areas where there the few available choices for health insurance coverage are often cost prohibitive. In such circumstances, an STLDI policy may be the only affordable option.
“A consumer’s need for short-term health insurance often exceeds three months, especially among those who are undergoing life transitions, waiting for open enrollment periods, or exploring long-term solutions,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “Short-term, limited duration plans are useful tools for advisors to help their clients obtain critical health insurance coverage. NAIFA applauds HHS for providing consumers with greater flexibility to meet their specific health coverage needs.”