Finding The Right Supplemental Health Insurance Plan
It can be difficult to find the right supplemental health coverage even when you know what your budget and needs are. Common sense will go a long way in helping you find the best policy. Our online services will provide you with free, instant quotes for supplemental health insurance plans from the top insurance companies in California.
Just take a few seconds to complete our confidential form. No contact information is needed, and you are under no obligation to buy.
Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.
How Does Supplemental Insurance Work
Supplemental health insurance pays benefits above and beyond the health coverage you carry either through a group or individual policy.
Although people without any type of health insurance can purchase supplemental insurance as their primary source of coverage, it’s certainly not ideal. Supplemental health insurance is best used to complement a traditional plan, not replace it.
There are numerous benefits of carrying supplemental insurance coverage. They include:
- Benefits are payable directly to you, not the provider
- The money provided can be used to pay for deductibles and coinsurance
- Benefits paid to you can make up for lost income while you’re ill or convalescing
- You’ll have funds to pay for expenses not covered by your primary plan
For many, this insurance provides them with peace of mind, knowing that they’ll have extra money coming in if they are faced with major medical or dental expenses.
For example, if you know that your child will need braces in the near future, a supplemental plan covering orthodontia may prove beneficial when that time arrives.
Similarly, if you know that you won’t be able to pay your bills if a heart condition incapacitates you, a supplemental disability insurance plan can prove to be valuable coverage for you.
Many people only think of supplemental health insurance when considering this type of coverage, but here are five different types of coverage that you should become familiar with.
A Great Idea For Some But Not For Others
Supplemental insurance is extra or additional insurance that you can purchase to help you pay for services and out-of-pocket expenses that your regular insurance doesn’t cover.
Some supplemental insurance plans will pay for the out-of-pocket cost-sharing that goes along with your health insurance plan , or for medical services that your health plan doesn’t cover at all, such as dental and vision costs.
Other supplemental plans may provide you with a cash benefit paid out over a period of time or given to you in one lump sum. The cash can be used for:
- Covering lost wages
- Transportation related to your health condition
- Food, medication, and other unexpected expenses you have due to an illness or injury
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When Should I Enroll In A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Medicare Supplement insurance plans help cover out-of-pocket costs, such as coinsurance, copayments and deductibles, which Medicare doesnât pay. The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is typically during the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period. During this Open Enrollment period, you cannot be subjected to medical underwriting, where insurance companies could use a pre-existing health condition* as a reason to deny you coverage or charge you more for coverage.
The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period lasts for 6 months and begins on the first day of the month in which youâre both
- 65 or older
- Enrolled in Medicare Part B
Some states have additional Open Enrollment Periods including those for people under age 65.
Delaying Part B And Medigap Enrollment When Youre Still Working
If you or your spouse are still working past the Medicare-eligible age, delaying Medicare Part B enrollmentwhich also delays your Medigap OEPmay be in your best interest if you have group health insurance through an employer or union. Before you decide if you want to keep your employer insurance, its a good idea to review Medicare Supplement Insurance plans to ensure you opt for the right choice for you.4
These are some of the reasons you would want to delay Medicare Part B enrollment if you have health insurance through an employer or union:4
Note: If youre going to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B because youre currently employed, contact Social Security to let them know. If you do choose to enroll in Part B while you have employer coverage, your Medigap OEP will start. If you dont buy a Medigap plan during this time period, you will miss your OEP, and you wont get another OEP when your employer coverage ends.4
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Options To Supplement Your Group Health Insurance Plan
Sometimes, the escalating cost of group health insurance plans leaves some employers feeling like they have to settle for less comprehensive coverage with many separate supplement plans. If youre finding supplemental health insurance doesnt cover what you need, or is out of your budget, it could be time to look for another option.
The good news is that employers can instead bundle their group health insurance coverage with a tax-advantaged health reimbursement arrangement , like an excepted benefit HRA or group coverage HRA , or a taxable stipend. Well discuss each option below so you can have a better idea of which one may work for your business.
How Much Does Supplemental Health Insurance Cost
As with costs for other insurance policies, the cost of supplemental insurance depends highly on factors like your age, occupation, pre-existing health conditions and location. Premiums also vary depending on the extent of coverage, limitations and lifetime maximums. In a recent search across different plans, individual coverage for dental and vision insurance ranged from $10-$80 per month. Other types of supplemental insurance ranged from $10-$150 per month or more.
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What Is A Supplemental Health Benefit
Medical costs have risen dramatically in the U.S. over the past several decades. According to a recent study, the average American pays roughly $1,650 in out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Many employees are discovering their employer-sponsored health insurance plan just isnt enough on its own, forcing employers to look at the gaps in their health benefit.
To rectify this problem, some employers choose to buy one or more supplemental health insurance policies to complement their health insurance plan. Supplemental insurance helps employees pay for healthcare costs that group health insurance plans don’t cover.
But having several supplemental plans can be expensive and may not give your employees exactly what they need.
Can Employees Purchase Their Own Health Insurance Supplement
If youre not looking to purchase supplemental insurance for your entire company, thats okay too. Your employees can purchase individual supplemental policies that they need to cover their own specific needs based on their own circumstances. Depending on the type of plan they want, they may not need to wait until the annual open enrollment period to purchase their supplemental plan.
For example, if you have a lot of older employees, they may be interested in supplementing their group health plan with Medicare. Medicare supplement plans, or Medigap policies, are health insurance policies that limit the amount people over 65 will pay for medical services once they are on Medicare. These plans work with their original Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B to help them pay for out-of-pocket costs that arent covered.
Recommending individual supplemental health insurance and Medicare supplement insurance plans to your workforce is a cost-effective solution for your business and a customized alternative for your employees.
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Supplemental Health Insurance And Obamacare
Supplemental health insurance, or Supplementary insurance, is meant to supplement your plan and is not ObamaCare compliant on its own. Supplementary insurance is sold by private companies and can help pay some of the health care costs that your plan doesnt cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
There are a number of supplemental health insurance options for private individual and family health insurance, and for public health options like Medicare. Whether or not a supplement health plan is right for you depends on your medical needs, what plan you have already, and what plans are available to you.
As a general rule of thumb Americans under 65 should simply obtain a major medical plan during open enrollment and wont need supplemental insurance.
Other options include dental and vision only plans, which arent covered on most major medical plans. Typically, families benefit more from dental and vision plans then single policy holders.
Not all plans cover you outside of your region. For instance an HMO may only cover certain regional providers in-network. If you plan to travel and your plan doesnt cover you, supplemental travelers insurance is an option.
Your Deductible Is Greater Than Your Savings Account
Almost all major medical plans have high annual deductibles that are now $1,000 or more and include over $6,500 in out-of-pocket expense limits.
Compare the deductible and the out-of-pocket maximum for your health insurance plan against the balance in your savings account. Would your savings cover your out-of-pocket maximum?
If you are like most people, your savings wont cover that expense. In fact, a recent study showed that more than 40% of Americans do not have enough money in savings to cover an unexpected $1,000 medical event.
So, what do you do if you cant afford to pay your medical expenses?
- Use a credit card and pay double-digit interest on those funds and hope that you can pay it off in the next few years?
- Ask for a loan from family members and face them at every family event, knowing you owe one or more of them money?
- Take a second mortgage on your home or a title loan on your car or other assets and pay the often high-interest rates that those entail?
Supplemental health insurance, sometimes called gap health insurance can make a big difference for you and your family.
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What Are The Common Expenses Covered With Health Insurance Supplements
If costly life expenses pop up for your employees, a supplemental health insurance policy can help. Employers may offer them as a voluntary benefit, or your employees can purchase a plan directly from an outside insurance company or the health insurance marketplace.
Supplemental insurance includes a variety of policies, including:
- Dental and vision coverage
- Short and long term care insurance plans
- Medicare supplement plan, or a Medigap plan
You can also have supplemental health plans for specific critical illnesses, such as cancer, stroke, or kidney failure. Other less common policy types may help pay for food, medicine, transportation, and other expenses related to an illness or injury.
Who Should Get Supplemental Insurance
Money expert Clark Howard says stop, do not pass go and do not collect $200 before taking inventory of your current insurance coverage.
Do you have life, health and disability insurance? If not, take a hard look at those first.
And if you have the Big Three, buying something thats a narrow-purpose insurance policy is really not a priority, Clark says. What I always say is go wide with insurance, never narrow.
Most types of supplemental insurance are inexpensive but limited in scope and coverage amount. Clark says supplemental insurance is not a scam or rip-off, but that its a very, very low priority in your life and that you should have everything else in your life in place before buying it.
Clark laments that few people who need life and disability insurance have it. Too many people have whatever they can get through their employers and dont take steps to buy adequate coverage on their own. That purchasing behavior helps explain why the workplace is such a successful sales channel for companies like Aflac that sell supplemental insurance.
Its often an emotional purchase. For example, cancer can be so devastating that thinking about it tugs at most peoples heartstrings. A good workplace salesperson often can convince people to buy cancer insurance.
Just make sure you understand what the insurance youre purchasing actually covers and that you already have the more important types of insurance.
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Supplemental Health Insurance Plans
Financial protection against out-of-pocket medical expenses can be important to anyone who relies solely on their provincial health insurance plan. Supplemental health insurance protects against the day-to-day costs that really add up and even more reassuring, it can swoop in to save the day when sudden illness or injury occurs.
Medicare, Canadas publicly-funded health care program, merely covers residents for fundamental medical services. Though the system is ever-changing its benefit policies, youre probably still not receiving coverage for key health care services like:
- Prescription drugs
- Routine and enhanced dental procedures
- Prescription eyewear
- Registered specialists and therapists
Boosting your benefit level
With a supplemental health insurance plan, you can extend your personal protection against health-related expenses well beyond the governments provision. Extended health insurance plans are available for purchase through a number of health benefits providers.
You are the perfect candidate for supplemental health insurance coverage if:
- You have no group health benefits at work, or
- You will lose your group employee health coverage at retirement, or
- You are self-employed, working on contract or freelance.
Medigap: Medicare Supplemental Insurance
One of the most common types of supplemental insurance is Medigap, which is sold by private insurance companies to people enrolled in Original Medicare. .
Original Medicare, which includes Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance, covers many, but not all, health-related services and medical supplies. Things not covered by Original Medicare include:
- Dental care
- Basic vision care
However, even for the medical services that Original Medicare does cover, you still have some cost-sharing expenses:
- A deductible for inpatient care
- Daily coinsurance, if you’re in the hospital for more than 60 days
- A deductible plus coinsurance for outpatient and physician care
You can purchase a Medigap policy to cover some or all of those deductible and coinsurance costs that you’d otherwise have to pay yourself under Original Medicare.
These can add up to a lot, especially if you need extensive outpatient services and have to pay Medicare Part B’s unlimited 20% coinsurance for all of it.
If you have Original Medicare but lack Medigap coverage, there’s no limit to how high your out-of-pocket costs can be. By contrast, Medicare Advantage plans cap out-of-pocket expenses without the need for supplemental insurance, but tend to have higher out-of-pocket costs than you’d have with Original Medicare plus a Medigap plan. Medicare Advantage plans also tend to have more limited provider networks.
If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare and have a Medigap policy:
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What Is Supplemental Insurance
Supplemental insurance is any policy that you have in addition to your main health insurance coverage.
Supplemental policies may improve the medical coverage you already have. They may cover a different set of services, such as dental care. They may also function in different ways, such as paying out a set price if you need treatment, rather than paying a percentage of the medical bill.
Plans can protect against the financial burdens caused by catastrophic illnesses and accidents. For example, lets say that you end up in the hospital for three days. With a typical health insurance plan, your portion of the bill could be a few thousand dollars. The supplemental plan could help pay for your costs, potentially reducing your portion of the bill down to a few hundred dollars.
There are many types of supplemental plans, some of them specific to certain diseases and conditions. For example, consumers can purchase supplemental cancer insurance to help pay for cancer-related screenings and treatments. Women can buy supplemental insurance for pregnancy to defray costs of prenatal care, labor and the birth of a baby.
Medicare supplemental plans, also called Medigap, are a separate category of supplemental plans that provide additional coverage beyond Medicare. With Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B , you’d typically pay 20% of your health care costs. Adding a supplement plan would reduce or eliminate your medical costs.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Plan
The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period starts on the 1st day of the 1st month in which youre age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. In some states, you can buy a plan on the 1st day youre enrolled in Medicare Part B, even if youre not yet 65.
If you meet certain criteria, such as applying during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, or if you qualify for guaranteed issue, a company cant use your medical history to determine your eligibility. Rules in some states may vary.
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Group : Major Medical Health Insurance
The goal of this article is to discuss supplemental insurance, so well keep this part brief. Major medical health insurance includes any one of the following:
- Group health insurance: Health insurance offered by an employer.
- Medicare or Medicaid: Medicare is primarily for seniors, while Medicaid is primarily for people with low incomes.
- Individual or family major medical health insurance: These are health insurance plans you can purchase for yourself on private insurance exchanges or government-run health insurance exchanges some people may qualify for government subsidies when purchasing these Obamacare plans.