There are many things that might cause you to lose your health insurance.
No matter the reason, you shouldn't go without coverage. Health insurance can help you avoid a major financial setback if you face a serious illness or accident.
So what are your options?
Short-term health insurance is a temporary solution for people who need coverage but can't get it through a more traditional plan.
A short-term plan can help bridge the gap for people in all kinds of situations. For example:
If you recently graduated college ...
Or recently retired and are not yet eligible for Medicare.
Maybe you just got a new job and are waiting for health benefits to begin ...
Or you're a part-time or temporary employee without benefits ...
Or are between jobs and need an affordable alternative to COBRA.
Short-term plans may be an option if you're between Open Enrollment periods and can't get coverage ...Or are looking for an alternative to standard individual health plans.
Compared with other plans, short-term health plans usually have lower premiums.
Often, you can get covered fast--as early as the day after you apply.
You also can choose your length of coverage, from one month up to 364 days.
Some plans allow you to apply for a new short-term plan once initial coverage ends, but ultimately the total amount of time you can be covered under a short-term plan is limited.
As with most health insurance coverage, plans vary by company and some exclusions apply. Be sure to ask questions and understand the plan details and policy terms before you enroll.
This plan is designed for Wisconsin residents who are:
The WPS Short-Term Health Insurance Plan lets you choose the coverage period, from 30 to 364 days. You can apply for a new plan when the initial one ends, but the combined coverage period may not be more than 18 months.
Wellness, vision, and hearing programs are not part of the insurance policy and are offered at no additional charge for membership. Enrollment in these programs is subject to contract renewal.
Short-term health insurance plans have a limited duration, typically several months up to 364 days. These plans were initially geared toward people who needed temporary medical insurance to bridge the gap between plan years for standard-term plans. For instance, people who are switching employers, starting graduate school, or young adults who have become ineligible for coverage under their parents' plans and are searching for their own insurance might use a short-term insurance plan until obtaining a more permanent solution. Other examples are:
A WPS Short-Term Health Plan can be taken from one month to 364 days. Short-term plans are not renewable, but you can sign up for a new one and use them back to back; however, the total length of the policies cannot exceed 18 months in Wisconsin due to state statute.
Short-term health insurance coverage varies greatly depending on the plan and the insurance company. These types of plans are not required to comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines and can be lower cost. ACA plans are required to provide certain levels of coverage—called Minimum Essential Coverage. Short-term health plans are not required to meet the same standards. Short-term medical insurance typically provides some level of coverage for: preventive care, doctor visits, urgent care, and emergency care. There may also be coverage for prescriptions. Some plans also offer cost savings for seeing in-network providers. Note: Make sure to read the “exclusions and limitations” information before buying any plan. This will highlight what is covered and not covered by a certain plan but may not be all inclusive. For full plan details, read the policy’s certificate. These plans will not cover claims for conditions that exist prior to the effective date.
Short-term health plans are available to customers who can pass medical underwriting. Effective dates can be as soon as the day after application and plans can last from a month to 364 days. WPS short-term policies have a six-day waiting period for any illness. WPS policies will pay claims related to injuries/accidents that do occur in the first six days provided they are not related to an accident/illness or injury that existed or happened prior to the effective date of the policy.
Customers are eligible for Affordable Care Act individual policies outside of the Open Enrollment Period if they have a Qualifying Life Event (e.g., marriage, divorce, birth, permanent move, etc.). If they do not have a qualifying event, they can apply for a short-term health insurance policy. If they pass the underwriting questions, they can be issued a policy. Note: Preexisting conditions may not be covered under a short-term health plan.
If you are considering temporary health insurance, typical upfront costs include:
Individuals who are 18–64 years old are eligible.
Rates are based on age, policy duration, gender, and the Wisconsin county in which you live.
Yes. The WPS application contains questions pertaining to your medical history. If you select yes to any of these medical underwriting questions, you will not be eligible for a WPS short-term policy.
If the primary applicant is declined, a spouse over the age of 18 can become the primary applicant. If there is no spouse, all applicants would be declined. WPS does not offer child-only plans.
No, the short-term plan does not cover preexisting conditions. The insurer will reduce the length of time during which a preexisting condition exclusion may be imposed by the aggregate of your consecutive periods under the new health plan. Coverage periods are consecutive if there are no more than 63 days between coverage periods.
Expenses for injuries are eligible for coverage as of your plan's effective date. Coverage for illnesses have a six-day waiting period, so expenses related to illnesses are eligible for coverage beginning on the seventh day following the effective date.
Coverage begins the day after the online application is submitted or the postmark date of the paper application. You can also choose to set the effective date up to 60 days from today’s date. Coverage will not be in effect unless a full month’s premium has been collected.
There is a $1 million policy maximum.
Yes, exclusions and limitations do apply. Full details are in the WPS policy packet provided for enrollment.
No. Find out more about the Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty.
WPS Short-Term Health Insurance Plan uses the WPS Statewide Network. Our WPS Statewide Network includes more than 15,000 health care providers, a wide range of clinics and specialty care centers, and 138 hospitals throughout Wisconsin, as well as parts of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota (nationwide network coverage is not included with these plans). Out-of-network claims are processed subject to maximum allowable charges.
Yes, the WPS Short-Term Health Insurance Plan offers coverage outside of Wisconsin, but may be subject to out-of-network benefits. The WPS Short-Term Health Insurance Plan is a PPO; therefore, there is coverage for out-of-network providers. If claims are for emergency services out of network, these would be subject to the customer’s in-network benefits.
If you move outside of Wisconsin after the WPS Short-Term Health Insurance Plan policy is in effect, you can retain the policy for the duration of the policy term. Because the plan is only available to Wisconsin residents, once the policy term expires, you will not be eligible for another term if you move out of state.
On Aug. 3, 2018, the federal government released final rules regulating extending short-term policies from less than three months to less than 12 months and allowing consecutive policies a maximum duration of 36 months. However, these final regulations allow states to make laws governing short-term plans. Wisconsin state law only allows consecutive policies to last for a maximum term duration of 18 months.
If you have reached your 18-month maximum policy period with WPS, you must observe a 63-day break before being eligible to apply again for a short-term policy. You must have 63 days of no short-term coverage with WPS to regain eligibility.
Terms for WPS plans can be written in increments from one month up to 12 months, including partial months. However, you can purchase additional terms up to 18 months of coverage.
No, short-term policies are not renewable. You may apply for additional policy terms provided they do not exceed 18 months of consecutive coverage.
Yes. Your effective date can be any date during the month with a 30-day coverage period. Partial months of coverage will be prorated based on the monthly premium.
Your short-term plan will coordinate with other health insurance policies. Please refer to your policy for additional details.
Yes. WPS reserves the right to rescind a policy in the event there is a failure to disclose or misrepresentation of required information during the application process.
Yes. However, since WPS offers one-month terms, this should be a rare occurrence.
Policies are billed monthly. The premium due date is the first day of each month.
Yes, WPS requires payment of a full month’s premium at the time of application submission.
You can pay by credit card, automated payment (ACH), or check. More information is available on our premium payments page.
There is a 10-day grace period following the premium due date.
If your premium is not received prior to the 10-day grace period, your policy will be terminated.
If paying by check, please send payments to:
WPS Health Insurance
P.O. Box 9
Madison, WI 53701-0009
Customers should call the Customer Service number on their WPS ID card. If you’re not yet a customer, please contact one of our sales associates at 800-332-6421.