Health Insurance

Aspen Health Insurance Review: Short-Term Coverage with Limited Availability

Aspen Health Insurance Review: Short-Term Coverage with Limited Availability

Editor's Rating

Aspen short-term medical policies are available in limited states through third-party agents and brokers. Once sold, policies are serviced by a separate company.

Good for

  • Lower premiums compared to ACA-compliant plans
  • Temporary coverage
  • Available any time (no open enrollment periods)

Bad for

  • Customer support
  • Limited state availability
Aspen Health Insurance
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Editor's Rating

Aspen short-term medical policies are available in limited states through third-party agents and brokers. Once sold, policies are serviced by a separate company.

Good for

  • Lower premiums compared to ACA-compliant plans
  • Temporary coverage
  • Available any time (no open enrollment periods)

Bad for

  • Customer support
  • Limited state availability
Aspen Health Insurance
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Aspen American Insurance Company is an insurance carrier that underwrites the Aspen short-term medical (STM) plan. Aspen STM insurance includes a standard set of benefits with three levels of coverage to choose from. The plan is sold by third-party insurance agencies and telemarketing companies and on third-party websites in several states. Availability depends on several factors, including how a state regulates short-term insurance and whether an agent or broker is licensed to sell in a particular state.

Once sold, Aspen STM plans are serviced by a third-party company, which has received subpar reviews for billing practices and customer experience. Aspen American health insurance may not be the ideal choice for those seeking a short-term medical plan with a high level of service.

Aspen health insurance: Our thoughts

Aspen offers short-term, or temporary, medical insurance that is not regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This means that it is not sold through ACA exchanges and is instead offered solely through private health insurance companies.

Aspen does not actively sell its own health products or have a website dedicated to its short-term insurance programs. Rather, policies are sold through various third-party websites and telemarketing companies or through insurance brokers and agents partnered with Aspen.

Post-sale, Aspen STM policies are serviced by MyBenefitsKeeper, a company owned by Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings (HPIH). HPIH is a subsidiary of Health Insurance Innovations, or HII.

Availability of policies

Aspen STM plans are available in 10 states, with terms and renewal options matching what is required under state law. Except for Wisconsin, each of these states follows federal guidelines, which limit STM plans to 364-day maximum terms and up to three renewals. For example, Aspen health insurance in Texas or Aspen health insurance in Florida would both provide 364-day terms with up to three renewals.

According to Wisconsin state law, Aspen STM plans can have up to a 364-day term; however, renewals cannot exceed a total coverage period of 18 months.

Below is a complete list of states where Aspen policies can be purchased:

It is important to remember that STM plans are not ACA-regulated, so acceptance is not guaranteed. For example, you could be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition. If accepted, you may be charged a higher rate based on age or health history.

Plan options and out-of-pocket costs

Aspen offers one plan with three coverage levels. Policies are available to applicants and spouses ages 18 to 64 and dependent, unmarried children under age 26. Child-only coverage is also available for children ages 2 to 17.

Along with doctor visits and hospital benefits, Aspen provides some coverage for home health, hospice and extended care facility services. Aspen plans also offer minimal coverage for mental health and substance abuse, a benefit not always included in STM insurance programs.

As with many STM plans, Aspen insurance includes a list of limitations and exclusions. For example, all Aspen STM policies exclude coverage for injury or sickness related to certain activities or occupations the company deems hazardous. Aspen also excludes coverage for preexisting conditions diagnosed or treated within the 24-month period before the policy effective date.

During your initial enrollment in an Aspen STM plan, you can opt for subsequent STM renewals, up to the maximum allowed in your state. With the renewal option, you can then purchase a pre-existing waiver, which takes effect during the following term. The waiver applies only to health conditions that arise during your initial term.

Because medical underwriting is permitted with STM plans, rates may vary based on age, health or other factors. As such, Aspen premium information is available only after answering health-related and other questions during the application process. In general, your premiums for any individual or family STM may be approximately one-third the cost of an ACA-approved major medical plan.

Aspen’s three plan levels and their out-of-pocket costs are described below. Each plan offers a similar coinsurance amount. Deductible, coinsurance and maximum benefit amounts vary from plan to plan.

Aspen STM Plan 1

Feature
Detail
Deductible options$1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or $7,500
Coinsurance options70%, 80% or 100%
Out-of-pocket maximum options$2,000 or $5,000
Maximum benefit options$250,000, $750,000 or $1,000,000

Aspen STM Plan 2

Feature
Detail
Deductible options$1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or $7,500
Coinsurance options70%, 80% or 100%
Out-of-pocket maximum options$2,000 or $5,000
Maximum benefit options$100,000, $250,000, $750,000, $1,000,000 or $1,500,000

Aspen STM Plan 3

Feature
Detail
Deductible options$1,000, $2,500, $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000
Coinsurance options70%, 80% or 100%
Out-of-pocket maximum options$2,000, $5,000 or $10,000
Maximum benefit options$100,000, $250,000, $750,000, $1,000,000 or $1,500,000

Aspen health insurance reviews and customer complaints

When it comes to temporary insurance, the Aspen STM plan provides suitable short-term coverage at lower rates compared to ACA major medical plans, with year-round enrollment available. However, customer reviews for the servicing company, MyBenefitsKeeper, are below average.

In reporting concerns to the Better Business Bureau, policyholders complained of a lack of servicer response or follow-through, along with unprofessional conduct. Customers also expressed concerns with incorrect or unexpected premium billing, which required extensive follow-up or escalation by the customer for resolution. The Better Business Bureau has given MyBenefitsKeeper a "D-" rating.

Aspen American Insurance Company, which underwrites Aspen STM insurance, has received an NAIC Complaint Index of 1.03 for the accident and health portion of the business. This rating means Aspen receives slightly more than the median number of complaints relative to the company’s size. It is notable that complaints were higher for accident and health than for non-health lines of business for the company. Complaints focused on policyholder service, underwriting and claim handling issues.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Aspen Health Insurance
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