Analysis: Short-term health plans in Des Moines 70% less than market plans

The monthly cost of short-term health insurance plans in Des Moines is $170.43, 70 percent below the cost of individual market plans, according to a recent analysis by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA).

The study bases its conclusions on premiums a nonsmoking 40-year-old woman would pay in cities around the nation.

The Trump administration earlier this year changed an Obama administration rule that restricted consumers from buying short-term plans for more than three months. Under the new rules, consumers can keep short-term plans for up to 364 days.

The number of individual market plans available in Des Moines was six, compared to 139 short-term plans, the FGA study says. And six insurers offer short-term plans in the city, compared to one insurer that sells individual market plans. 

Nationwide, the short-term plans are 59 percent less costly than the individual market plans, according to the FGA.

Short-term plans, however, do not typically include a variety of preventive services or coverage for pre-existing conditions.


Short-term vs. individual market health plans

CityAverage monthly premium *# of available plans *# of insurers offering plans *

Individual market plansShort-term plansPremium differenceIndividual market plansShort-term plansIndividual market




Birmingham, Ala.$484.93$277.41-43%1326926
Phoenix, Ariz.$483.23$176.34-64%517016
Little Rock, Ark.$404.06$198.80-51%2726946
Denver, Colo.$448.56$118.16-74%3510533
Bridgeport, Conn.$549.76$230.00-58%9911
Wilmington, Del$548.71$199.52-64%728115
Washington, D.C.$379.05$228.15-40%1327515
Miami, Fla.$579.48$331.95-43%5626946
Atlanta, Ga.$436.88$226.67-48%2120725
Honolulu, Hawaii$455.47$224.32-51%22921
Boise, Idaho$388.86$215.87-44%4517934
Chicago, Ill.$445.52$253.24-43%2625436
Indianapolis, Ind.$408.47$171.87-58%338224
Des Moines, Iowa$571.74$170.43-70%613916
Overland Park, Kan.$509.32$146.24-71%112422
Louisville, Ky.$368.52$219.08-41%1417315
Baton Rouge, La.$610.28$239.69-61%2117036
Bangor, Maine$528.24$179.85-66%14921
Baltimore, Md.$463.82$152.61-67%20921
Detroit, Mich.$353.72$187.49-47%555273
St. Paul, Minn.$430.17$158.42-63%499632
Gulfport, Miss.$578.80$257.34-56%526916
St. Louis, Mo.$465.84$135.99-71%1010825
Billings, Mont.$460.61$141.74-69%232432
Omaha, Neb.$591.77$202.22-66%1117013
Las Vegas, Nev.$360.28$221.99-38%1413926
Manchester, N.H.$487.25$150.75-69%153931
Albuquerque, N.M.$357.03$183.85-49%17941
Charlotte, N.C.$596.36$197.00-67%920715
Fargo, N.D.$333.96$153.72-54%1511524
Columbus, Ohio$396.91$166.16-58%2526936
Oklahoma City, Okla.$514.65$209.77-59%720016
Portland, Ore.$382.31$174.10-54%3314155
Harrisburg, Penn.$574.71$287.51-50%1426936
 Columbia, S.C.$528.51$226.48-57%24257.0015
Sioux Falls, S.D.$477.25$123.96-74%2510523
Nashville, Tenn.$538.12$213.81-60%1126726
El Paso, Texas$415.85$241.76-42%2726936
Salt Lake City, Utah$436.55$140.21-68%28921
Virginia Beach, Va.$603.28$220.35-63%726916
Charleston, W. Va.$612.50$222.45-64%2130526
Milwaukee, Wis.$580.86$195.39-66%2214734
Cheyenne, Wyo$689.93$224.25-67%1025416
 * for a 40-year-old nonsmoking woman, by city and market

Data for California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington is unavailable due to state policies limiting or prohibiting the sale of such plans.

Source: Foundation for Government Accountability and Agile Health Insurance

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