Health Insurance
National General

Editor's Rating

National General offers several short-term medical plans that you can buy anytime, without waiting for an open enrollment period. But plans are expensive and do not cover some of the essential benefits defined under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And while the company received an A+ (or superior) credit rating from AM Best, it also received a high number of customer complaints compared to other insurers.

Good for
  • Strong provider network through Aetna
  • Flexible short-term health plan deductibles, coinsurance levels, out-of-pocket maximums and coverage period
  • Member benefits including telemedicine and gym membership discounts
Bad for
  • Insurance that covers the essential benefits (pregnancy, prescription drugs and other health care services)
  • Cheap short-term health insurance premiums
  • Customer satisfaction

National General health insurance: Our thoughts

Health insurance through National General can be a great choice if you want cheap, temporary coverage. The company offers a variety of products, including short-term health, supplemental and dental insurance. You can use the company's online portal to purchase health insurance or login to your account to view policy details, monitor your deductible and cancel your coverage.

You might need short-term health insurance if you:

  • Missed Affordable Care Act open enrollment
  • Switched jobs and are waiting for your new benefits to begin
  • Need a temporary low-cost insurance alternative
  • Are a student and are losing your parents' coverage

National General short-term health insurance

National General offers short-term medical plans that cover a limited number of health care services. These are not ACA-qualified plans sold on health insurance marketplaces during open enrollment. Instead, you can purchase a short-term health insurance plan at any time if your state allows these plans, but they do not have the same level of health care coverage.

Short-term policies are best if you are healthy and looking for temporary coverage.

National General short-term insurance only provides coverage for some of the essential benefits, including doctor visits, preventive care, hospital care, ambulance coverage and surgery. It doesn't cover pregnancy, prescriptions or preexisting conditions.

National General offers two short-term health insurance plan types: Standard Issue and Guaranteed Issue plans. Both options have coverage lengths from 30 days to 12 months long and both utilize Aetna's Open Choice PPO Network.

Standard Issue short-term medical plans

Standard Issue plans are National General's most basic health insurance offered. When applying for a Standard Issue policy, you must complete a health questionnaire to receive coverage. Below, we have provided each tier of Standard Issue plan coverage, including each policy's deductible, coinsurance level, out-of-pocket maximum and coverage period maximum.

Out-of-pocket maximum
Coverage period maximum
$2,50050% / 50%$7,500$1 million
80% / 20%$7,500$1 million
100% / 0%$2,500$1 million
$5,00050% / 50%$10,000$1 million
60% / 40%$12,500$250,000
80% / 20%$10,000$1 million
100% / 0%$5,000$1 million
$6,000100% / 0%$6,000$5 million
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Like most health insurance plans, short-term policies have deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket maximums that you must meet before certain benefits are provided by the insurer. Standard Issue short-term medical plans also have a maximum benefit, which limits how much the insurer will pay out over a policy period.

For example, say you have a Standard Issue policy with a coverage period maximum of $250,000 and a length of 12 months. If you incur $260,000 in medical expenses during the 12-month period, then you would be required to pay the remaining $10,000.

National General's short-term health insurance policies are more expensive than competitor plans. In the graph below we compare National General's policy to similar plans offered by other insurance providers.

National General vs Competitor

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Guaranteed Issue plans

If you don't qualify for the Standard Issue policy due to health complications, you could buy one of National General's two Guaranteed Issue plan options. You don't need to complete a health questionnaire for a Guaranteed Issue plan, and you're eligible regardless of health history.

Plan name
Out-of-pocket maximum
Coverage period maximum
Guaranteed Issue PPO 3.5K 80/20$3,50080% / 20%$10,000$100,000
Guaranteed Issue PPO 5K 90/10$5,00090% / 10%$10,000$100,000

National General Foundation Health

National General Foundation Health policies are best for those who want cheap health insurance without having to worry about deductibles, copays or coinsurance. But these policies provide little coverage compared to other National General short-term medical plans, and we don't recommend them as your primary insurance. Foundation Health plans work better when paired with other coverage like a Standard Issue policy through National General, or even a policy through another insurer.

Foundation Health products are limited-benefit plans that pay pre-set cash amounts for specific health services.

You receive the same benefit regardless of where you receive your care or how much the provider charges. For example, on a Level 1 Foundation Health plan, you get $300 toward ground ambulance transport each year. If your ambulance fees total more than $300 in a year, you're responsible for the balance.

Foundation Health plans are separated into three different levels. As you go up in coverage levels, you pay a higher monthly premium but get better benefits.

National General supplemental coverage

National General supplemental plans are add-ons to the company's short-term medical policies. These plans can help pay for services not covered under your normal short-term health insurance including critical illness, accidents, hospitalization and cases of cancer, heart disease or stroke. National General's supplemental coverage does not use the same PPO network as the short-term plans; instead, you have the freedom to choose any provider that works best for you.

National General dental insurance

National General offers multiple dental PPO plans using the Aetna Dental Administrators Network or Careington network, depending on the state. Plans provide network discounts on both basic and major services, and most have no waiting period for preventive dental coverage.

Member resources and benefits

National General members are automatically enrolled in a LIFE Association Membership. This program provides access to various benefits including over-the-counter medicines and vitamins, telemedicine and product and service discounts.

A LIFE Association membership also offers discounts for lifestyle-related items like travel and home protection.

Customer reviews and ratings

If you are looking for an insurer with good member benefits and multiple coverage options, then health insurance through National General could be a good choice. AM Best gave National General a credit rating of A+, which is the top score available.

But National General has a rating of 6.43 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), meaning it has six times more customer complaints than the average insurer of its size. Common complaints about National General include high premiums and poor customer service.

National General was founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Frequently asked questions

What is the rating for National General Health Insurance company?

National General received a top AM Best credit rating of A+, which indicates the company is financially strong. But National General's NAIC score of 6.43 means the company received a very high number of complaints compared to competitors.

How can I save money on health insurance?

Saving money on health insurance involves choosing the right health insurance policy for your needs at the cheapest available price. By selecting a plan that fits your needs, you will find that you can actually save money instead of just choosing the plan with the most affordable premium.

What is the difference between short-term and individual health insurance?

The main difference between the two health insurance plans is coverage and cost. Short-term health insurance is typically cheaper when compared to an individual plan but will not cover all the essential health benefits.

Sources and methodology

Plan information and comparisons are based on the respective insurer websites, including National General. We obtained rating and customer satisfaction information from AM Best and the NAIC.

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.