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Why would I need supplemental health insurance?

retired woman seeks information on supplemental health insuranceMost health insurance plans only pay a portion of the total cost of health care services you receive leaving you with a bill for the balance. This can sometimes be a substantial amount, and supplemental health insurance can fill in the gap that your savings may not cover.

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What is supplemental health insurance?

The purpose of supplemental insurance plans is to pay for medical expenses that your primary insurance didn’t pay. Deductibles, co-payments, and amounts not covered by your coinsurance can add up to significant costs. A supplemental plan can be purchased that will take care of these expenses.

There are other plans you can purchase that will pay a cash benefit to you to cover things including:

  • Earnings lost due to time away from your job
  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Any other unexpected bills from your illness

Remember that a supplemental policy is not meant to replace or be used in place of a regular health insurance policy. It is additional coverage beyond what your regular policy covers; it is used to fill in the gaps.

What types of supplemental policies are there?

Medigap policies are very popular; they are designed to pay what Medicare doesn’t pay for. Medicare parts A and B cover many medical and hospital bills, but not all. Many companies sell such policies. Such policies must follow federal and state laws and regulations to protect consumers and be clearly labeled as Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Another type is a hospital indemnity insurance policy that will pay you cash for your expenses. These plans often have a waiting period before benefits are paid and have options for periodic or lump sum payments. Some of these plans do not require a medical exam before it is issued to you; some do, so it is wise to check around and find one that is best for you.

A third type is an accident health insurance policy that will pay for expenses resulting from injuries due to accidents that your regular health insurance doesn’t cover. These can be auto or job related accidents, as well as around the house injuries. These plans may also have waiting periods and different payout options. No medical exam is required for these policies in most cases.

An accidental death and dismemberment policy generally pays out lump sums for specific losses. In addition to accidental death not covered by your health insurance, they can pay for such losses as loss of eyesight or limbs.

This policy will have a detailed list of covered injuries and the payout for each. Keep in mind that suicide or a natural death are not covered, although some policies may pay for suicide if a certain time since purchase of the policy has expired.

Another type of policy, a critical illness insurance policy, can be purchased to supplement expenses due to a specific illness or disease such as cancer. As with the others, you will have payment options and requirements to meet before any benefits are paid.

What are the liabilities and will it affect my primary health insurance?

The main liability would be spending money on a policy you may never use. This would be a concern if your financial situation were strained. For most people however, a supplement makes sense.

How much do these policies cost?

Since these supplemental policies tend to be very specific and narrow in scope, the cost is not very high. Keep in mind that you may or may not need one; you should check your primary policy to see what gaps exist before you purchase one. Buy what you need and not a policy you can’t use.

Are supplemental health insurance plans rated by reputable agencies?

Yes, and you can view plan ratings done by various state governments linked at Consumer Health Rating’s website.

Does supplemental health insurance fit the bill? Is it right for you? To find health insurance quotes online quickly and easily, simply type your zip code into the free box on this page to compare rates now!

 

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