It’s no surprise that medical insurance is complicated in the United States. That being said, did you know your traditional coverage doesn’t cover any “additional” care like dental, vision, and beyond? Any of this additional healthcare that goes past essential coverage will be an additional cost.
Luckily, supplemental plans are affordable and easy to find. You might be able to find supplemental plans from your current provider, but there’s also a large marketplace where you can purchase them on your own. This guide breaks down everything you need to know about supplemental insurance so you can get the coverage you need.
What is Supplemental Insurance?
First, let’s go more in depth about what supplemental insurance even is. There are a variety of different supplemental insurance types, some of which you’ve likely already heard of. These plans jump in to fill the gaps in your essential medical coverage.
Without these plans in place, you might find yourself on the hook for a lot of medical expenses. Here are the most common types of supplemental insurance:
- Dental – Dental insurance coverages all routine and restorative dental care.
- Vision – Like dental insurance, vision coverage helps with vision exams and the cost of vision equipment.
- Accident – Accident insurance pays a lump sum benefit if you suffer an accidental injury.
- Critical Illness – Once again, this is a lump sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness like cancer, heart disease, or stroke. You can put this sum towards anything.
- Travel – Travel insurance provides coverage while you’re traveling between states or out of the country.
- Hospital Indemnity – Also called Hospitalization insurance, this plan pays you benefits if you’re confined to a hospital for planned or unplanned reasons. It makes up any lost income from your hospital stay. For more information, read Hospital Indemnity Insurance: What You Need to Know | HealthMarkets.
As you can see, supplemental insurance comes in all shapes and sizes. These types of coverage might not seem necessary, but they make the difference between struggling and financial comfort.
When Should You Get Supplemental Insurance?
You might be wondering if supplemental insurance is right for you. While supplemental insurance is entirely optional, they come with a number of benefits that usually make them worth it. In general, most people choose one or two supplemental plans that specifically fit their lifestyles.
If you’re in relatively good health, you might only need the basics of supplemental insurance. This could include dental insurance, vision insurance, and perhaps travel insurance when you take your yearly trip. Talk to your doctor about your health outlook to get their recommendation for the best plans that fit your lifestyle.
Where to Find Supplemental Plans
Finally, let’s discuss where to find supplemental plans. If you have an existing health insurance plan through your employer, you can start by talking to your current insurance provider about supplemental coverage. This will likely be your best choice to get coverage at a lower cost.
Aside from this, you can visit the health insurance marketplace to browse providers near you. Unlike traditional health coverage, you don’t need to wait for an enrollment period in most cases. However, most plans do come with a waiting period in which you’ll need to wait for your full coverage to come into effect. That’s why it’s so essential you plan accordingly so you always have the coverage you need without the wait.
Before deciding on a plan, review the amount of coverage as well as out-of-pocket costs. Like other insurance plans, the more you pay in monthly premiums, the less you can expect to pay out-of-pocket. Sometimes coverage will default to your medical insurance before your supplemental plan kicks in. Make sure you know just what you’re signing up for.
Supplemental coverage is just another way to protect your health and your finances. With rising costs for things like dental care, hospital stays, and more, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You never know what life has in store, so it’s always better to be prepared.