When treating a single broken leg can cost up to $7500 and staying in a hospital for 3 days can charge you $30,000, it’s quite understandable how having health insurance is considered critical. Your health insurance will help you cover the costs of your basic medical treatment and related bills. However, there are certain gaps in health insurance plans, and these gaps can quickly result in overwhelming out-of-pocket expenses.
This was the main reason why health insurance supplement plans were created: to fill the gap in health insurance plans.
What’s a Supplemental Health Plan?
A supplemental health plan comes in the picture when original insurance plans cut their area of coverage short. These kinds of plans aren’t usually issued by the main health care insurers; they’re provided by private insurers to act alongside your original plan. They can be used to pay the costs that aren’t covered in the original healthcare plan, such as copayments, deductibles, and co-insurance, add additional coverage on healthcare services that aren’t covered in your insurance, or do both.
What Do Supplemental Health Plans Cover?
Supplemental plans work parallel to the original plan to cover what’s missing, which means that you should first understand the gaps in your plan and then seek a supplemental plan. Depending on the plan you choose, you can get coverage for the following services:
- Dental and vision care
- Prescription drug coverage
- Critical illness insurance
- Travel insurance
- Disability insurance
- Cancer care
- Medigap (Medicare Supplement Plans)
Who Needs Supplemental Healthcare?
The most important question to ask yourself is whether or not you need supplemental insurance. It’s essential for some people but not so much for others. To answer this important question, you’ll need to evaluate your health condition and that of your family members as well if they’re on your insurance.
For the average healthy person, their health insurance is enough to cover their medical needs. They won’t be subjected to an overwhelming amount of additional costs under normal circumstances. However, this changes once you increase risk factors for certain diseases or illnesses, have long-term treatment plans, or know you’ll be needing an increased number of dental appointments. That’s because most healthcare plans don’t provide dental coverage.
In short, if you know you’ll be needing certain healthcare services that aren’t covered by your original plan or that you’ll reach the cap of your insurance due to high medical needs, then getting a supplemental plan is right for you.
How Much Does Supplemental Health Insurance Cost?
The costs of supplemental health insurance will vary greatly depending on many reasons. For starters, different kinds of supplemental insurance will have their own costs. The costs can be broken down into the following:
- The premium you pay every month as subscription
- The out-of-pocket maximum, which is the amount you pay before the insurance kicks in
- Copayments and coinsurance
While supplemental plans are designed to cover gaps, they can cover only some or even all the gaps, depending on the plan you choose. For instance, Medigap is the supplemental plan for Medicare, but Medigap alone includes 10 different plans. So, how much do medicare supplement plans cost? Well, it depends; you’ll have to choose one plan and explore its options. Even then, the cost of the plan you choose will vary between different providers even if the benefits are exactly the same.
To Get or Not to Get Supplemental Health Insurance?
The final decision on whether or not you should get a supplemental plan depends on the following factors:
Cost of Treatment
If your condition requires high-cost treatments or prescription drugs that aren’t covered by your original insurance, then getting a supplemental plan is a good option.
Duration of Treatment
The same goes for chronic conditions that need long treatment periods, especially if the treatment is expensive on its own (like chemotherapy).
You’ll have to do some calculations to determine whether the insurance premium is more cost-effective than its alternative. Supplemental plans that offer more flexibility and coverage will cost higher premiums, but you’ll save on your treatment costs down the line in return.
What It Covers
You should make sure that the supplemental plan will provide sufficient coverage for your needs; don’t subscribe to one based on pure estimation.
Different Plans & Providers
Different providers will offer the same plans for different premiums, so make sure you’re getting the best deal in the market.
Before getting a supplemental health plan, you should understand what your original plan offers and where it falls short in terms of coverage. A supplemental plan will serve in covering some or all of the costs, and it can also provide additional medical coverage. After determining your risk factors and comparing different plans, you’ll be able to find the one that’s best for you.