Supplemental Insurance
Health insurance will not necessarily cover all your
medical costs. Here’s how you can use supplemental
insurance to avoid medical debt.
Health insurance doesn’t always cover 100% of the medical expenses you incur. That could leave you
with a medical bill that you can’t afford to pay. If you know there’s a gap in your medical coverage, you
should consider getting supplemental insurance. Medical bills have been cited as one of the biggest
causes of
bankruptcy in the United States. Even more surprising is that many people buried under
medical bills were covered by a health insurance policy, only to find their policy didn’t cover all their
medical expenses. A supplemental health insurance plan can help you avoid uncovered medical

Supplemental insurance is a
type of insurance that pays for health care services and medical expenses
after your primary health insurance has paid their share. Supplemental insurance can’t replace a regular
health insurance policy. Instead, it should only be used to cover out-of-pocked expenses you may incur
due to medical incidents.

High medical expenses aren’t just related to hospital stays and doctor fees, many expenses are caused
by a specific medical issue. For example, you may lose wages if you go on disability; you may have to
pay for childcare while you go to the doctor; or you may have to pay for extra transportation costs to go to
and from the hospital. Regular
health insurance plans don’t cover these expenses, but a supplemental
health care plan may.


Supplemental insurance is often used in conjunction with Medicare; the federal health insurance for
people who are older than age 65. While Medicare pays for a portion of medical expenses, it doesn’t
pay for all of them. A supplemental insurance policy – Medigap – will help fill in the gaps that aren’t
covered by Medicare.

Medigap covers things like coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles that you’d ordinarily have to pay
out of pocket. It doesn’t cover long term care, vision or dental care, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing
expenses. Any company that sells Medigap insurance are also required to offer eligible Medicare plans
Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medigap supplemental insurance can’t be used with Medicare
Advantage Plan.

Types of Supplemental Insurance

Insurance providers offer different types of supplemental
insurance that would cover you for a specific type of event.

Accident insurance covers medical expenses related to
an accident, typically regardless of whether the accident
happened on or outside of the job. The accident insurance
would cover ambulance, hospital stay, and other
out-of-pocket expenses that your primary insurer may not
cover. Some accident insurance provides death benefits
for a named
beneficiary if the accident leads to death.

Disability insurance would provide you with a benefit that
would help you with everyday living expenses if you’re not
able to work because of an illness or injury. The plan will
cover a certain percentage of your regular income if you’re disabled. Your employer probably offers
disability insurance, but you can’t keep that employer’s insurance coverage if you change jobs. A
supplemental disability plan stays with you regardless of your employer.

Cancer insurance pays for cancer treatments that your insurance doesn’t cover. Cancer treatments,
including hospital stays, doctor bills, and child care, can get expensive and primary insurance doesn’t
always cover all these expenses. Having a supplemental insurance keeps you from racking up an
expensive medical bill and allows you to continue with treatment.

Critical illness insurance covers expenses related to major illnesses. Illnesses include things like heart
attack and multiple sclerosis. With this type of policy you can get a lump-sum benefit that can be used to
pay for your illness-related costs that aren’t covered by your primary insurance coverage.

Many plans have no waiting periods for coverage; if you’re approved, the policy becomes effective
immediately. The insurance provider may require you to have a physical exam to maintain your policy
from year to year. If you’re self-employed, pregnant or planning to become pregnant, have a serious
illness, or you’re not able to fund expensive medical bills, consider getting a supplemental insurance
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Supplemental Insurance