Approximately 75% of Americans in excellent health hold supplement medical insurance, while 45% of those in poor health own a similar plan.
Two-thirds of Americans who file for bankruptcy point to medical financial straits as the reason. While that might not raise too many eyebrows, what does is that this figure includes those holding a health insurance plan.
When your regular health insurance policy leaves you with extra medical bills, it can put a real squeeze on you. For many Americans, supplemental insurance plans are a necessity in combating unforeseen yet potentially significant medical expenses.
Here is a rundown on what supplemental health plans are and how they can help you.
What Is Supplemental Insurance?
A supplemental health insurance plan is one that you buy to get coverage above and beyond your minimum medical coverage.
Supplement insurance helps you pay your out-of-pocket medical expenses like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You can also receive a cash benefit from supplemental health insurance that is paid out either as a lump sum or over installments.
When You Should Get Supplemental Health Care Plans
The main reason many people would think of supplemental medical insurance is to help cover a significant health charge. But there are few other scenarios where having a supplement plan can come in handy.
1. If Your Deductible Is High
The ratio of your savings to your deductible can help you determine whether you need supplemental health insurance.
If the amount you pay on deductibles to your health care insurance provider outstrips your regular cash-on-hand savings, then you need to consider supplemental plans. That way, should a medical emergency hit, you can navigate it without facing financial ruin.
2. When Your Job Doesn’t Cover Out-Of-Work Medical Leave
As an unfortunate but ever-present reality, you are always exposed to risk while you are working. Should you suffer bodily injury or maybe fall sick one day and can’t go back to work, you would need to secure an alternative source of income.
Unless you have a viable option for getting the funds, you might likely find yourself depending on credit cards or other forms of debt to manage your bills. Some people end up having to liquidate their savings to keep the lights on and also pay for expensive medical care.
Supplemental health insurance can help you settle the bills that accrue at such a time. Thus, once you are back to work, you won’t be adding excess debt as a result of your medical emergency to your liabilities.
3. Ancillary Expenses
When you are facing a medical emergency, some ancillary costs come up due to the crisis of which you’ll need to cover. For example, if you are a single parent who falls sick and can’t work for a period, you won’t be in a position to afford childcare. In such a scenario, supplemental health insurance can help you cover your childcare expenses.
4. Seniors Who Can’t Afford All Their Medical Costs
It’s common knowledge that the government’s Medicare plan does not cover all costs when it comes to eldercare. Supplemental health insurance then becomes a solution to help bridge the gap at an affordable price.
Common Types of Supplemental Insurance Plans
There are several options you need to look through before you buy supplemental health insurance. As there’s no one-size-fits-all plan, you should try to compare your needs to the possibilities at hand to find the most suitable policy for you.
1. Hospital Indemnity Insurance
Hospital indemnity insurance, otherwise known as hospital confinement insurance, gives you a cash benefit in the event of hospital confinement. Severe injury or illness might lead to your confinement, and at such times, you can’t work to earn your daily bread.
A hospital indemnity insurance plan can help you take care of the expenses your regular health plan won’t cover. The cash benefit provided for by this policy can either be in lump sum or periodic installments. You should note that, at times, the cash benefit may only start after a waiting period.
2. Critical Illness Insurance
A critical illness insurance plan is designed to help you carry the financial burden of major illnesses such as cancer. While the specifics of the policy might vary by provider, some of the things covered include:
- Seeing out-of-network specialists
- Household assistance and childcare
- Travel and lodging when you are seeking treatment that’s far from home
- Experimental treatments (which are related to the illness)
- Typical living expenses (such as car payments, groceries, utility bills, among others)
A critical illness policy, also known as disease-specific insurance, will provide cash benefits either as a lump sum or in installments.
3. Accidental Death Policies
There are two types of accidental death policies, and these are typically sold together. They are accidental health insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance (AD&D). The benefits from these supplemental plans can vary by state due to local insurance regulations.
An AD&D policy pays a lump sum benefit if you’re the beneficiary of someone who died in an accident. An accidental health insurance policy covers medical expenses that arise due to an accident that your regular health insurance will not cover.
Furthermore, an AD&D policy can also pay you benefits if the person who named you as a beneficiary didn’t die but either got permanently paralyzed, lost a limb, or their eyesight.
4. Dental and Vision Plans
Health plans across the country usually don’t include dental and vision care. While there is no requirement for adult vision and dental plans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does mandate small group and individual plans to provide coverage for pediatric vision and dental plans.
If you are an adult, you can buy a separate dental and vision coverage plan, especially if your employer does not offer it.
Avoid Medical Financial Ruin
Medical emergencies often lead to dire financial straits, especially when your regular health insurance policy won’t cover all the costs. Supplemental insurance plans exist to help you bridge the financial gap between what you owe and what your ordinary policy won’t cover. Assess and juxtapose your needs to the options available to get the best supplemental plan for you.
Florida Health Agency is a top Florida health insurance expert with a pedigree of licensed and trained professionals. Contact us today for trusted advice on the right Florida Medicare or Health Plan for you.