If you’re admitted to the hospital suddenly, can you afford an extended hospital stay? Because 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, a sudden emergency room visit would more than likely throw you into serious financial trouble. And hospital visits aren’t that uncommon. Did you know that in 2011, there were 136.3 million emergency department visits? Out of those 136.3 million, only one-third (40.2 million) of those visits were injury-related. And unfortunately, 16.2 million visits required hospital admission. Thankfully, there is a supplemental insurance plan that can cover the costs of extended hospital stays: hospital indemnity insurance.
What Is a Hospital Indemnity Insurance Plan?
Hospital indemnity insurance is coverage you can add to your existing health insurance plan. This form of supplemental insurance pays you a predetermined benefit amount per day for each hospital confinement. They usually pay you this daily benefit amount for up to a year.
The coverage your hospital indemnity insurance provides will depend on your plan choice. In general, most plans cover:
• Hospital confinement (with or without surgery)
• Intensive Care Unit (ICU) confinement
• Critical Care Unit (CCU) confinement
However, there are plans that cover even more. Some hospital indemnity coverage also includes :
• Outpatient surgery
• Continuous care
• Outpatient X-rays and laboratory procedures
• Outpatient diagnostic imaging procedures
• Emergency rooms
• Physician office visits
How Much Does Hospital Indemnity Coverage Cost?
The monthly cost of a hospital indemnity plan will depend on your plan choice, age, gender, and possibly your tobacco use. For example, plans that offer fewer benefits may range from $5 to $41 per month. Plans that offer a wider range of benefits can vary anywhere from $27 all the way up to $427 per month.
Contact a licensed agent for exact benefits and coverage costs available in your area.
With a comprehensive health insurance plan, you are still responsible for copays and coinsurance. On top of that, you are still required to pay your annual deductible before your plan will start covering the cost of your care. Can you predict how much you’ll owe without hospital indemnity insurance?
A 4-year study conducted by the University of Michigan revealed that a stay in the hospital could cost you over $1,200 in out-of-pocket costs (with an employer-based health insurance plan). If you have an individual health insurance plan, you could face $1,800 in out-of-pocket costs. During this study, deductibles increased 86% and coinsurance increased 33%. If out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, you will be responsible for even more money despite your health insurance coverage.
Are There Waiting Periods for Benefits?
Waiting periods vary for hospital indemnity insurance. In general, there is a 30 day waiting period before your benefits can be used toward an illness that results in hospital confinement. However, there may not be a waiting period for accidental injuries that land you in the hospital. Make sure to ask your agent about waiting periods before purchasing a hospital indemnity insurance policy.
How Does It Pay Out Benefits?
Like most supplemental insurance plans, hospital indemnity insurance pays cash benefits. This means the benefit amount you have chosen is sent directly to you instead of to your doctor or hospital.
Can You Add Dependents to a Hospital Indemnity Plan?
In some cases, yes. It is possible to add dependent children to some hospital indemnity plans. However, there will be an additional monthly premium per dependent.
Where Can You Get Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance?
You can purchase hospital indemnity insurance through a licensed health insurance agent. An agent can help you choose a plan, determine a benefit amount that matches your household coverage needs, and find a premium amount that fits your budget. Find a HealthMarkets agent today or call us at (800) 642-0607.