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Having an adequate and affordable primary health insurance plan is of first importance, but adding on one or more secondary, or "supplemental" health insurance policies is also often worthwhile.
Supplemental plans fill in any "gaps" in your coverage, take care of expenses that most regular insurance policies don't cover, or simply give you extra cover right where you need it most.
Don't confuse supplemental insurance with short-term health insurance. The two are not the same. The former means a policy that tides you over between jobs or if you missed the open enrollment period - until you can get full health insurance. The latter is a policy that bolsters your overall coverage and can be as permanent as your primary plan.
Below, we'll take a quick look at 4 of the most common types of supplemental health insurance:
1. Accident, Critical Illness, and Fixed Indemnity
Accident insurance will pay out a lump sum benefit if you are injured in a qualifying accident. This allows you to use the benefit for both medical and living expenses during the potentially tight financial squeeze that an expensive-to-car-for accidental injury can cause.
Critical illness insurance does the same thing, basically, as accident insurance except it does it for serious, critical illnesses instead. You can buy critical illness cover for a wide range of illnesses or for just one specific type of illness.
Finally, if you want to cover both illnesses and accidents under the same supplementary insurance policy - fixed indemnity is the way to do that. The premium will be higher than either accident or critical illness cover alone, but the benefits broader and deeper.
2. Hospital Indemnity Insurance
With a single day spent in the hospital costing literally thousands of dollars in most cases, it's easy to see why an insurance policy covering those specific expenses would be valuable.
You may be able to just get a fixed indemnity policy (mentioned above) and use that lump-sum benefit to help with hospital expenses. But getting a hospital-only policy can be cheaper and can cover hospital expenses more fully.
Having both hospital and fixed indemnity insurance would allow you to use your fixed indemnity for miscellaneous medical and living expenses while the hospital insurance pays the hospital-stay bill.
3. Dental and/or Vision Insurance
Most health insurance policies have limited coverage for two very important areas of your body - your teeth and your eyes!
If you get in an accident, and hurt your eyes, teeth, or gums, your health plan will likely cover it. And many plans cover children well on these fronts - but not adults.
Thus, if you don't get dental and/or vision insurance through your employer, you may want to invest in an individual policy alongside your main health policy.
Through coverage of both preventative and emergency care, dental/vision plans are often cost-effective.
4. "Metal Gap Policies"
The Bronze to Platinum metallic naming system of ACA policies has led to the new term "metal gap insurance" for supplemental health insurance helping you pay the deductibles, and copays or coinsurance of your main policy.
When your deductible is high but your premium low on your health insurance policy, a metal gap policy might not add too much to your total premiums and greatly reduce your annual out of pocket expenses.
To learn more about both primary and secondary health insurance plans, contact the experienced health insurance agents at Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!