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Can I renew a short-term insurance policy?

Short-term health insurance policies traditionally offer coverage for one year or less. However, new regulations allow such policies to be renewed for up to three years. This cannot be done with all policies, and short-term insurance is also not guaranteed renewable. This means that even if you pay all of the premiums on your original policy on time, you may still be turned down for a renewal.

If you are looking for short-term insurance and think you may want to renew it in the future, look closely at the details of any policies you are considering to see whether renewals are allowed. If the policy can be renewed, take a look at how this is done. Some policies can be renewed simply by the enrollee opting to do so, while others will require approval from the insurer. The latter may be a problem, as many insurers will deny your request for a renewal if you have filed claims during the policy’s initial duration. Also take a look at how the premiums for a renewal are set. Many states allow short-term policies to set premiums – including post-renewal premiums – based on health status. Thus, even if you are able to renew your policy after getting sick, the cost may increase significantly.

One should also beware of companies offering to sell consecutive short-term policies. While these are often advertised as requiring no medical underwriting after your first application, there can still be issues with getting the coverage you need after the second policy goes into effect. The term “pre-existing condition” can be applied to an illness that you developed while still on your first policy, allowing the second policy to deny coverage for that illness. Thus, in purchasing consecutive policies, you run many of the same risks as you do when trying to renew one.

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