5 Facts You Need to Know About Supplemental Insurance
Unexpected accidents and illnesses happen to everyone at one time or another. When they do, the resulting costs can leave you and your family vulnerable to out-of-pocket expenses that can often significantly deplete emergency funds and savings accounts.
While major health insurance plans through an employer, affordable healthcare act, private health or Medicare may cover a good percentage of medical expenses incurred due to injury or illness, they do not cover everything. Typically, you will be responsible for deductibles and co-payments, which can add up quickly. And major medical does not cover unforeseen expenses, such as transportation for diagnostic tests and physician visits, lost income from time off work, or hiring of outside help for child care and household chores.
That’s where supplemental insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for you and your family. Just as its name implies, supplemental insurance supplements existing coverage and can be used to help pay for the extra expenses often associated with a serious illness or injury that requires a trip to the emergency room, hospitalization, surgery, ongoing treatment and aftercare.
Not sure if supplemental insurance is right for you? Consider the following five facts:
1. Fact: According to the National Safety Council, nearly four out of 10 people are treated in hospital ERs annually, and unintentional injury is the number one cause of death for people one to 39 years old.
A supplemental accident insurance policy can be structured to provide coverage in the event of injuries incurred at home, work or play ‒ even when driving a car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle.
2. Fact: According to the American Cancer Society, cancer strikes one out of three people and affects three out of four families. The American Cancer Society also reports that more than 1.5 million new cancer cases and an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2014 in the U.S.
Supplemental cancer care insurance plans that pay cash directly to the policyholder are often the most affordable and can help ease the financial pressures associated with the diagnosis, treatment and aftercare of a serious illness such as cancer.
3. Fact: Heart attacks and strokes can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime and at any age. According to the American Heart Association, each year more than 1.2 million Americans will have a heart attack, and nearly 800,000 will suffer a stroke. Statistics also show that Americans pay billions every year for stroke-related medical costs and disability and that every 90 seconds in the U.S., someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.
With cash paid directly to the insured, a supplemental insurance policy offering lump sum critical care protection can help ease the financial stress and pay for unexpected expenses. Policy options can cover a wide range of range of serious and life-changing health conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, brain tumor, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, blindness, and amputation of limbs.
4. Fact: According to the National Safety Council, a disabling injury occurs every second in the U.S. with a majority occurring off the job. In addition, disability continues to be a leading cause of bankruptcies and mortgage foreclosure, the Council for Disability Awareness reports in its long-term Disability Claims Review.
Supplemental disability insurance that pays income replacement benefits for up to two years can provide an individual or family with the financial support needed at the time of crisis and beyond. For many people, this extra measure of protection can make a huge contribution towards replacing lost income and to help pay for daily necessities such as housing, food and transportation.
5. Fact: Expected or unexpected, death is something no one wants to think about but, unfortunately, it happens. Unpaid medical bills, attorney fees, credit balances, taxes and funerals can be expensive, and existing life insurance policies may not have the buying power they did when they were first purchased.
A supplemental life insurance policy can help fill that gap and help pay for final expenses and other associated costs. Some insurers offer whole life insurance plans that offer additional options, such as accidental death and accelerated death benefits.
When selecting supplemental insurance, it’s important to compare different policies to determine which plan or plans offer the best coverage for you, your family and your budget. Also, choose a reputable company – one that continually maintains high ratings by the Better Business Bureau, A.M. Best, the Ward Group and other leading life-health insurer rating companies.
With all the health related “unexpecteds” that can happen in life, having supplemental insurance coverage can help prepare you for and reduce the worry around the out-of-pocket costs associated with accidents and illness, while providing the peace of mind needed to better focus on getting well.
By Doug Abercrombie, SVP and Chief Agency Officer, Combined Insurance.