Accidents Happen. Are You Covered?
You may think that accident insurance is only for people who like extreme sports or rugged adventures. Plus, regular health insurance coverage is supposed to care of your basic medical needs and any emergencies that arise. After all, that’s what health insurance is for, right?
Maybe, maybe not. Accidents happen more often than we’d like to believe. Annually, there are more than 97 million visits to the emergency room for unintentional injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.¹ And in some emergency situations, your regular medical insurance won’t be enough to fully cover potentially high out-of-pocket expenses.
That’s where accident insurance comes in. Unlike health insurance, which covers regular medical bills such as routine health screenings, vaccinations, and visits to your doctor’s office, accident plans help you pay for expenses that arise if you’re hurt and have to miss work. And that can help if you don’t have the money saved for a situation like that.
Why might you need accident insurance? Here are four scenarios where accident insurance could help.
Your child may be injured playing a sport.
About 7% of all children under the age of 17 have experienced a concussion or brain injury, according to the CDC.² Popular middle school and high school sports like football, ice hockey, soccer, wrestling, and volleyball all put your child at high risk of injuring themselves.³ And any unexpected hospital visits with your children may cost you: At least half of all ambulance bills result in a surprise medical bill, with bills averaging about $450.4
You could find yourself in the hospital unexpectedly.
A hospital stay can be expensive. In fact, the average cost of a three-day hospital stay is around $30,000, and even a trip to the ER for a broken leg can end up costing up to $7,500.5 In cases like these, you may have to pay a high deductible or for other out-of-pocket expenses, even if you have good health insurance.
In 2022, for example, if you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), which has a higher deductible to meet but a lower premium (monthly insurance bill), your yearly out-of-pocket expenses can cost up to $7,050 for an individual or $14,100 for a family.6 It could cost you thousands of dollars. This happens more than you may realize: Almost 20% of all American families report having medical debt.7
Don’t go down the road of medical debt. Call a licensed insurance agent at (800) 827-9990 to talk about your accident insurance options.
You get out-of-network care—whether you’re aware of it or not.
If you have health insurance, you probably have a list of in-network doctors that you can see—they cost less because they have a contract with your insurance provider.8 But let’s say you develop a life-threatening illness and the closest specialist to you is out of network, meaning you may have to pay a lot more to see them. Seeing an out-of-network doctor could mean paying full price for any treatment.
This can happen even if you research your in-network options beforehand. A 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that surprise medical bills happen about 20% of the time to patients who have surgery in an in-network hospital with an in-network surgeon. Having a surprise out-of-network bill raised that total cost by an average of $14,083.9
In the JAMA study, surprise bills most often came from anesthesiologists and surgical assistants. While the hospital might be in network, these specialists might not actually work for the hospital but simply treat patients there.
Accident insurance can help in these situations. It can also help if, for example, you get injured in a more remote location and need to be airlifted to the nearest ER. Because not all plans may cover all of your medical expenses, accident insurance could be there to help cover additional costs.
You may need to cover other expenses.
Let’s say one of those three things that we talked about happens to you and it’s covered by an accident plan. An accident plan will directly pay you a lump sum, so you have the money when you need it most. For some people, that might mean paying your HDHP, but for others, it may mean paying for a grocery delivery service while you’re injured and can’t go to the market yourself.
Bottom line: Even though it’s a good idea to have health insurance, it might not cover everything. That’s why it’s worth exploring accident insurance. Call a license insurance agent at (800) 827-9990 to talk about your options, or explore your options online.