The Pros & Cons of Supplemental Health Insurance

Supplemental insurance benefits, like heart/stroke insurance or cancer insurance are paid directly to the insured, unless otherwise required by Medicare supplemental insurance. Hospital and major medical insurance benefits are paid directly to the provider, where you would normally have to pay a small co-payment, if anything. But if an emergency were to happen or you had a specific disease or condition that was going to cost you out of pocket expenses, investing in a supplemental plan is an idea to consider. As a policyholder, you can use those benefits to help with your out-of-pocket expenses or loss of income. Supplemental insurance products such as cancer and accidental injury insurance are not a replacement for major medical insurance. These types of policies help to cover expenses that are not covered by major medical insurance and reduce the money paid out by the insured. These policies can also pay for lost income in the case of missing work.

Supplemental medical insurance only provides coverage after your regular medical insurance has been exhausted. Supplemental medical insurance is normally used to pick up where basic medical insurance leaves off. You will have to have a regular health insurance plan to be able to use the supplemental insurance. When this coverage is exhausted, your supplemental medical coverage would begin paying. Supplemental medical coverage is written in a separate policy, and does not include coverage for basic doctor visits. Supplemental insurance can definitely be a lifesaver for many people. The only downside is that they can be expensive and useless if you never need them. You have to pay for your regular medical coverage and then add an extra policy or two which can get pretty expensive. If you try to purchase a policy after you have become ill or injured it won’t cover a pre-existing condition, so you will pay out and not receive any benefits for the condition you already have. The idea is that you have to buy into a supplemental plan prior to the incident or condition so they can prove you are healthy. There are some plans for supplementing your health insurance that can be used at any age as well.

Cancer insurance provides benefits to help cover costs for cancer treatment and other related expenses associated with the disease. Most policies provide direct-to-policyholder cash benefits for daily hospitalization and intensive care unit confinement, as well as for surgery, anesthesia, chemotherapy, radiation, and preventative care. This is a good plan to have if you have a family history of cancer, it could save your life and your wallet.

Critical Condition/Critical Illness Insurance is a policy designed to provide you with a lump sum benefit to help pay out-of-pocket expenses if you suffer a heart attack, stroke, have heart surgery, cancer (except skin cancer) or several other conditions. It covers illnesses and diseases that cause you to be hospitalized for critical conditions and picks up where you regular benefits leave off.

Disability Income Protection supplements lost income by paying a monthly benefit to you if you become partially or totally disabled due to a covered illness. This also provides a daily benefit for in-patient hospitalization for a covered illness. This policy has a reduction in benefits after age 65.

Hospital Emergency Recovery and Outpatient Insurance (Supplemental Medical) provides benefits for treatment due to a covered illness including daily benefits for in-patient hospitalization, intensive care and recovery care following hospital confinement due to a covered illness. It also provides a benefit for outpatient surgery and emergency room treatment for each covered illness.

Some of the plans geared toward the elderly and retiring persons are actually very smart to have. They can help pay for things that Medicare won’t or can’t. They also offer assistance if you ever need to be cared for at home, move to an assisted living home, or need to go to a nursing home. These types of expenses can leave other family members in debt after you are gone. Funeral and burial are normally covered as well. This gives many folks the ability to leave their families something other than bills. Also with assistance for medication there is more money to enjoy while you are still around.

Some age related supplemental insurances include:

Long Term Care Insurance can help cover the high cost of a variety of long-term care options such as: assisted living facilities, medical home care, custodial home care, adult day care, and if necessary, nursing home care, up to specified policy limits. Includes bed reservation benefit, respite and hospice care, emergency response system, and caregiver training. For an additional cost, you have the option of a valuable cost-of-living adjustment option. Separate Nursing Home Care and Home Health Care only policies also are available in most states. These will pay if you or your spouse needs to go into a nursing care facility.

Medicare Supplement Insurance is normally for people 65 and over. These offer a wide range of standardized plans that supplement expenses not covered by Medicare. This will help pay for doctors visits and prescriptions that were only covered partially by Medicare.

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