Accidents happen. And when they do, they’re often followed by a series of bills. Major medical insurance can only pay for so much. The injured could be stuck with hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in out-of-pocket fees and expenses. Purchasing a supplemental accident insurance policy can help defray some of these costs.
What is Accident Insurance?
Supplemental accident insurance is protection designed to help you handle the out-of-pocket costs that add up after an accidental injury. Benefit payments are made as lump-sum cash deposits directly to the beneficiary. So, you can use your benefits however you want. This could include emergency treatment, hospital stays, medical exams, and other related expenses like transportation costs or lodging needs. It can even be used to help pay for some of your living expenses. It is important to note that supplemental accident insurance is purchased in addition to, not in place of, major medical coverage. This video helps to explain what accident insurance is and how it can be a benefit.
How Does It Work?
As with other insurance plans, in order to maintain benefits for personal accident coverage, you must pay a premium (usually monthly). The premium amount generally remains the same during the length of the policy. Should you have an accident while insured, you will receive a cash benefit. The cash benefit amount varies based on the level of coverage you have chosen.
What Are Some of the Features?
- Coverage begins immediately.
- You have 24/7 protection that covers you wherever you go.
- Benefits are paid directly to you, not your healthcare provider.
- You receive a monthly cash benefit.
- Money can be used to pay for multiple obligations including everyday living expenses.
- There is no penalty for claims. A reduction in benefits does not occur because of the number of claims issued.
- You own the policy. It will follow you even if you change employers.
- There is no coordination with major medical insurance. Policies pay benefits related to accidents regardless of other health coverage.
- There are no network restrictions. You may access any hospital or physician.
- Premiums do not increase with age.
What Types of Accidents Are Covered?
Everyday chores can take a turn for the worse. Falling off a ladder while cleaning the gutters, or having a bicycle accident while exercising in your neighborhood, are just some of the examples that may warrant supplemental accident coverage. Supplemental accident insurance can help with a variety of mishaps. Many plans will list the injuries they cover, and guidelines and exclusions will differ from policy to policy. So, it’s important to review each plan carefully. Generally, something as serious as a car accident (or as routine as a trip or fall) can involve injuries that are covered by your accident coverage.
Does Accidental Health Insurance Cover Sports Injuries?
It’s important to ask questions concerning each plan’s specific details. If you participate in sports or recreational activities (such as football, basketball, or soccer), be sure to ask if they are covered by your policy. Certain sports like skiing or snowboarding, for example, may not be covered. Other high-risk activities (like skydiving or bungee jumping) may also be excluded.
What Are Some Things that May Not Be Covered?
There are some instances where you will not be covered by your supplemental accident coverage. Each policy will differ in the details, but here are some common examples that might exclude you from receiving cash benefits:
- Injury that results from sickness or disease
- Reckless exposure to danger
- Injury sustained while under the influence of certain drugs or alcohol
- Suicide or self-inflicted injury
- Injury sustained while committing a crime
- Injuries that occurred before the purchase of the policy
What Else Should I Be Aware of?
Like most insurance, it’s important not to let your policy lapse. If you cancel your plan or stop paying your premiums, you will not be able to file a claim should an accidental injury occur. You would also not be eligible to get back any of the payments you’ve made.
What Might an Accident Cost Me?
A small accident can create large medical bills. Even a simple trip or fall can leave you with thousands of dollars in treatment costs. Check out the video below for an understanding of what an accident could cost you.
What Does an Accidental Health Insurance Policy Cost?
While price and coverage differs from plan to plan, supplemental insurance policies are generally very affordable. They typically cost between $5 and $50 per month, depending on things like the type of plan, your age, and the amount of coverage you choose.
Who Should Consider Additional Protection?
Consider supplemental accident insurance if you:
- Are looking to fill a gap in health insurance
- Have a major medical plan with significant deductibles or copayments
- Are looking to experience fewer out-of-pocket medical expenses in case of an accident
Is Supplemental Accident Insurance Right for Me?
An easy way to answer this question is simply to do the math. Think about an accident scenario. Let’s take Pam and Gloria, who experienced a biking accident. As you can see, the annual cost for accident medical coverage is low in comparison to the costs you could face should you have an accident without it. Purchasing a supplemental accidental health insurance policy could make excellent financial sense for you and your family.
Who Will Benefit Greatest from Supplemental Accident Insurance?
If your major medical plan has a high-deductible, like a bronze plan, which can expose you to out-of-pocket costs of up to $6,350, accidental medical insurance is something to consider. Additional coverage is especially important to consider if you have no liquid savings. Even if your rainy day fund is in place, an unexpected accident can be costly enough to wipe those savings out.
Some people are simply more accident prone than others. If you find your history includes some close calls, you might be a prime candidate for accidental injury medical insurance. Perhaps you know someone who has been injured participating in a sport, driving, or simply in everyday life. This may give you a reason to consider some extra protection for yourself.
The Truth About Being Prepared
The reality for many Americans is that they are not prepared to pay for expenses not covered by their major medical insurance. In fact, over 50% of people who have health insurance have trouble paying medical bills. Accidents happen to all of us. Whether it’s a serious fall, a broken arm, or a concussion, managing the costs for treatment and recovery after an accidental injury can be a financial challenge. Think about Pam and Gloria’s accident expenses. Now, add your non-medical costs, including any lost wages. These totals can really add up. An affordable accident health insurance policy can help you prepare for these expenses.
Where Can I Buy It?
While you can’t prevent accidents from happening, you can put a safety net in place for when they do.
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency can help you shop for supplemental accident insurance. We offer choice, convenience, and counsel to help you find the best possible protection at an affordable price. Call us today at (800) 360-1402 or visit us online to check out all of our coverage options.
"Paying out-of-pocket health care costs." BankRate. 2009.
"Is Supplemental Health Insurance Worth Having?" My Personal Finance Journey. 2014.