Supplemental health insurance can be an added layer of protection used to cover what a traditional health insurance plan does not. It can also help pay for nonmedical expenses that can go with illness or injury, such as lost income or childcare. There are several different types of supplemental insurance plans, many of which target specific health issues.1 However, not all supplemental insurance is considered health insurance. No matter your needs, supplemental insurance can be a helpful addition to you and your family’s health coverage.
What Is Supplemental Insurance?
Supplemental insurance is additional coverage that can help you pay out-of-pocket expenses that can come from injuries or illnesses such as cancer or a heart attack. Many supplemental insurance plans pay out a lump sum directly to you that can be used to pay for lost wages, transportation, medication, or anything else resulting from an injury or illness.
Types of Supplemental Health Insurance
There are many different types of supplemental insurance products. Although offerings like dental insurance and vision coverage can also be considered supplemental plans, they work differently from products that provide direct cash payment benefits. Below are some of the most common lump-sum supplemental insurance plans.
Critical Illness & Cancer Insurance
Sometimes called “critical care insurance,” this type of supplemental insurance provides coverage for illnesses such as cancer, a major organ transplant, stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. Some types of critical illness insurance plans are specific to one particular type of illness or disease.2
Accident insurance pays lump-sum cash benefits if you are injured in an accident. This type of supplemental health insurance can help you pay expenses while you are healing. Covered injuries and services, which vary by policy, may include burns, fractures, lacerations, ambulance costs, emergency treatment, and physical therapy.2
Also called a “hospital confinement plan,”this kind of supplemental insurance will pay you cash when you’re in the hospital to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, prescriptions, and other costs not covered by your health insurance. There are no networks, no deductibles, and you can spend your benefit however you like.3
Fixed Indemnity Insurance
Fixed-indemnity plans offer a predetermined payment to you or your provider when you experience illnesses or injuries covered by your policy. Plan benefits and payouts vary to fit a variety of needs and budgets. Benefits can help you pay your health insurance’s deductible, lab and diagnostic costs, and prescription copays.5
Disability insurance helps retain some of your income if you become too sick or injured to continue working. This payment can be received even if you also collect Workers’ Compensation benefits.6
Long-Term Care Insurance
Protecting your independence and finances becomes more important as you age. And with the average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home averaging $6,844 per month,7 long-term care plans can help protect your assets—and give you more choice and control—if you or your spouse should need long-term care.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare is beneficial to many Americans over 65 and those with disabilities, but like other health insurance offerings, not everything is covered. Because of this, you can extend your Original Medicare (Parts A and B) benefits with one of several Medicare Supplement options.
A Medicare Supplement plan, also known as Medigap, can help cover some expenses that Original Medicare does not. Medicare Supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies and can help with copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Some plans even help cover medical care when you travel abroad.8
With a variety of options to choose from, you can find a plan to meet your budget and requirements. Looking for a Medicare Supplement plan? HealthMarkets can help you find one that fits your needs.
Additional Supplemental Insurance for Seniors
There are standalone senior supplemental plans that have been created to meet the unique needs of older Americans. These plans are not part of Medicare but can be used in addition to your coverage. Other senior-specific plans available include dental, vision, and final expense insurance.
Are Supplemental Insurance Plans Worth It?
Supplemental insurance can be helpful if you think you may not have the finances to cover unexpected medical bills.. Examine the deductible, copays, and coinsurance on your health insurance plan, and gauge your chances of needing supplemental coverage. Looking at your family health history can also provide an indicator of potential risks. Of course, you’ll want to measure how much you can afford to pay for insurance each month and how much you can afford if an accident or serious illness occurs.
How to Get Supplemental Insurance
HealthMarkets can help you find supplemental insurance plans that fit your needs and budget today. Visit HealthMarkets online to review plans, choose options, and even apply now. It’s fast, easy, and convenient.
1. AHIP. 2021. Retrieved from https://www.ahip.org/issues/supplemental-health-insurance/. | 2. UnitedHealthcare. 2021. Retrieved from https://www.uhc.com/individual-and-family/insurance-plans/critical-illness. | 3. UnitedHealthcare. 2021. Retrieved from https://www.uhone.com/health-insurance/supplemental/hospital-indemnity-insurance. | 4. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2021. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/health-costs/state-indicator/expenses-per-inpatient-day/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D. | 5. UnitedHealthcare. 2021. Retrieved from https://www.uhc.com/individual-and-family/insurance-plans/hospital-and-doctor-insurance. | 6. SureBridge. 2020. Retrieved from https://www.surebridgeinsurance.com/individual-family/products/disability/. | 7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. October 15, 2020. Retrieved from https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/how-much-care-will-you-need.html. | 8. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap. Accessed February 11, 2021.