Short-Term and Other Policies Sold Outside of the Marketplace

An agent offered to sell me a policy that pays $100 per day when you’re in the hospital. Does that count as Minimum Essential Coverage?

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No. Some types of coverage do not qualify as minimum essential coverage. These include hospital indemnity policies (that pay a fixed dollar amount per day when you are hospitalized), discount plans, short-term nonrenewable policies, or plans that provide coverage only for a specific disease (i.e., cancer-only policies). Companies that sell these products, also called “excepted benefits,” are required to notify you if they don’t qualify as minimum essential coverage. If you receive such a notice, at a minimum, ask more questions about how the policy might cover pre-existing conditions or protect you from unaffordable medical bills.  Be aware that excepted benefit policies are not an equivalent substitute for Marketplace policies that meet Affordable Care Act standards.

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.