For most Arizona residents (and where available), we recommend ACA plans. Why?
ACA plans go by several names — Affordable Care Act or Marketplace plans, major medical coverage, and even "Obamacare" — but however you know them, the important takeaway with that, by law, these plans are required to meet a long list of requirements designed to ensure that your major medical needs will be covered and that you won’t experience crippling medical debt in the event that you do need care.
In the state of Arizona, the best alternative to an ACA plan is short-term health insurance. Short-term plans offer attractively low prices, but if you qualify for a subsidy — which we can help you determine — an ACA plan may be equally affordable. (And it’s worth noting that subsidies CANNOT be used to pay for a short-term plan.) Value aside, short-term plans fall short of ACA plans in a variety of other ways including that they typically do not cover many basics like preexisting conditions, ambulance services, and prescription drugs. And they have coverage period Maximums, which means if your medical bills reach a certain amount, your insurance will stop paying.
When should you choose short-term health insurance?
Even though we recommend ACA plans for most Arizona residents, short-term plans are worth considering if you live in Arizona and cannot sign up for an ACA plan. Specifically, if you’ve missed the ACA open enrollment deadline (usually mid-October to mid-December**) and don’t qualify for a special enrollment period, then short-term insurance is almost certainly worth exploring.
Alternatively if you’re generally healthy and only need transitional coverage for a few months, such as when you’re between jobs, then short-term coverage may be a good option. It’ll still be a financial risk, but you may decide the risk is worth it to save money on monthly costs.
Ultimately it’s your choice which plan is right for you.
While ACA plans are often the best option, it depends on your unique situation. If you would like additional help deciding which type of plan is right for you.
** The 2021 Open Enrollment Period runs from Sunday, November 1, 2020 to Tuesday, December 15, 2020. If you don't act by December 15, you can't get 2021 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2021.
** Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15, 2020, and ends on December 7, 2020. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can compare coverage options like Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage and choose health and drug plans for 2021.
Note: Plans in all categories provide free preventive care, and some offer selected free or discounted services before you meet your deductible.
Your premium can be lower, based on your income
No matter which metal category you choose, you can save a lot of money on your monthly premium based on your income.
When you fill out a Marketplace insurance application, you’ll find out if you qualify for these savings. Learn how you can save on your monthly insurance bill with a premium tax credit.