Supplemental health insurance is best defined as an additional protection layer offering coverage for healthcare services that are not covered under a traditional health insurance plan. Irrespective of the healthcare needs, supplemental health insurance prove instrumental to individuals and their family’s healthcare coverage. In other words, a supplemental health insurance plan covers anything beyond minimum essential medical coverage. These plans not only provide additional medical coverage but can also be purchased to pay the costs of co-insurance, co-pays, and deductibles that are not covered by the basic health insurance plan. It is also referred to as secondary health insurance plans and both these terms are often used interchangeably.
Different Types of Supplemental Health Insurance Plans
Adult Dental Insurance
Adult dental coverage is not included in the ten essential health benefits of the Affordable Care Act, so some health insurance plans do not provide this coverage. Child dental coverage is a required benefit and so it is included with all ACA-compliant plans. Adult dental insurance works exactly like health insurance having monthly premiums, copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical illness insurance is also supplemental insurance that provides coverage for illnesses like cancer, heart attacks, organ transplants, and strokes. Some critical illness plans are specific to only a specific type of illness. Enrollees of this plan receive cash benefits for every procedure or for a round of treatment. These plans generally have a minimum daily benefit and also a policy maximum.
Disability supplemental insurance plans allow enrollees to retain a part of their income on becoming injured or sick and are unable to continue working. Some of the disability insurance plans pay benefits only for an illness while some plans pay benefits for both illness and injuries.
Accident supplement insurance pays a lump-sum amount to enrollees who get injured in an accident, which they can use to pay medical costs or as living expenses on the course of their healing process. Every accident supplement plan coverage varies from plan to plan and may include the expense for surgery, emergency treatment, physical therapy, and hospital confinement.
Coverage for vision care is not included in adults’ health plans, and even original medicare doesn’t cover routine vision care. Thus, individuals need to enroll in a separate vision care plan also known as a supplemental plan to receive coverage for vision care. Individuals having supplemental plans can receive preventive care for eyes, prescription eye-wear, and even laser eye surgery through these plans. Individuals in exchange for a monthly premium can receive eye-care services at discounted rates.
Fixed Indemnity Insurance
Fixed indemnity insurance plan helps manage out-of-pocket expenses that go out of control after an injury or illness. This supplemental plan directly pays cash benefits to the enrollees, which they can use to manage their out-of-pocket expenses.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term Care supplemental plans allow seniors to protect their independence and finances in their growing age. This supplemental plan helps them protect their assets and gives them much control and choices on requiring long-term care.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans
No doubt Medicare plans are beneficial and instrumental for many Americans, still, everything is not covered under Medicare. To help bridge this gap original Medicare has some supplemental health insurance plans that beneficiaries can use to complement their Medicare plans. Original Medicare pays for much of the cost for covered health care services and supplies but not all are covered. Thus, a Medicare supplement plan or a Medigap plan helps to pay some of the remaining health care costs like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance that is not covered by Medicare.
Medicare Supplemental plans are available in 47 states, leaving only three states Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. There are ten standardized Medicare Supplement plans denoted by letters ‘A’ through ‘N’, and plans ‘E’, ‘H’, ‘I’, and ‘J’ are no longer sold. These plans are sold by private health insurance companies and every company has to offer at least Medigap Plan ‘A’. Individuals need to understand that there is a difference between Medicare Part A and Medigap Plan ‘A’.
Is It Worth to have a Supplemental Health Insurance Plan?
Individuals are often confused about whether they should have supplemental health insurance or not if they already have health insurance. The answer to this question mainly depends on their risk factors and the amount of coverage individuals want to have. Supplemental plans are optional and it completely depends on the individuals to decide whether the benefits offered by the plan are worth the premium cost that they will need to pay to buy that supplemental plan. For example, if an individual is diagnosed with cancer and he/she thinks that affording the treatment cost is difficult, then option for critical illness insurance will certainly be a good investment option for that person to consider.
Things to Consider while Selecting Supplemental Health Insurance
Individuals while shopping for supplemental health insurance plans need to consider their health risk factors, their savings, and how much insurance they can afford. Individuals should also consider their savings before purchasing a supplemental health plan. The amount of savings individuals have, play a vital role because depending upon their savings individuals can decide to buy the best supplemental plan. For example, if they need to stay in the hospital for a few weeks for treatments, they need to consider that whether they have enough savings to meet their hospital expenses that are not covered under their health plan or they need to purchase a supplemental plan to support these expenses. Besides their personal savings, individuals should also check that they have access to funds through their HSA or FSA account. While purchasing a supplemental plan, individuals first need to check whether they can afford it or not. Individuals looking to buy supplemental health insurance plans need to check with the private health insurance carriers, as these plans are generally not sold through the ACA healthcare marketplace.