As insurers hike premiums and make it harder to qualify for long-term care insurance, an alternative is gaining steam: short-term care insurance. Like long-term care insurance, short-term policies typically cover home care, assisted living and nursing homes when you can't take care of yourself. But instead of paying for years of care, short-term care insurance, also known as recovery care, typically provides benefits for 12 months or less. "We've actually been marketing them for 10 or 15 years," says Brian Millsap, Bankers Life and Casualty Co. vice president of product management for long-term care. "They've been enhanced and updated over time, and recently they've become a larger share of our business than long-term care insurance." Why buy short-term care insurance? Among the biggest selling points of this limited coverage: price. Premiums are lower than long-term care policies because of the shorter benefit periods. A 68-year-old on average would pay $1,110 a year for a 180-day Bankers Life short-term policy providing $140 in daily benefits, Millsap says. (See: " 5 tips for buying long-term care insurance.") Simplicity could be another advantage for some buyers, says Murray Gordon, founder and CEO of MAGA Ltd., a long-term care insurance agency in the Chicago area. Gordon points to MedAmerica Insurance's Co.'s product, Transitions, which was launched in April 2012. The short-term product has no riders, except for a simple-inflation protection rider. (A compound-inflation protection rider is offered in a handful of states.) And the application process is faster and simpler, compared to the process for long-term care insurance, which is getting increasingly complex, he says. Genworth Financial, one of biggest long-term care insurance players, started requiring paramedical exams for long-term care insurance applicants, effective April 15 of this year, Murray says. (See: " Leaner and meaner: 7 long-term care insurance changes you need to know.") MedAmerica requires cognitive screening for applicants 50 and older, and it reviews prescription drugs applicants take. But generally the company doesn't order medical records or face-to-face interviews for relatively healthy people applying for its short-term care product. (See: " Understanding life insurance table ratings.") Insurers offer a choice of benefit periods for up to one year. Bankers Life, for instance, offers short-term policies for 90, 180, 270 and 360 days of coverage. The most popular daily benefit amount is $140, Millsap says.