Just over half of Americans get health care coverage through their employer. While these plans provide necessary coverage, they aren’t always a comprehensive solution.
Growing families, especially those with young children, tend to have more frequent — and often more expensive — health needs. That’s why it may be worthwhile to have a supplemental plan, such as accident insurance, critical illness insurance or hospital insurance, to cover what employer-sponsored plans skip.
If you’re weighing options for health insurance for family, here are three reasons supplemental insurance deserves a spot on your list.
1. To Cover the Cost of Treatment If Your Child Is Injured
Kids are adorable, but their young immune systems mean they have a habit of spreading germs. Everywhere children go, from the playground to the classroom, they seem to attract sniffles and coughing fits. The same often goes for their parents. That’s without even mentioning possible scrapes, bumps and adventurous jumps from the top of the monkey bars. More than 30 million children went to the emergency room in 2015 alone.
If your child ends up in the ER or needs to stay overnight in the hospital, your regular insurance may cover some of the costs. Any gaps in your coverage, however, could leave you paying for tests, treatments or deductibles out of pocket. Hospital indemnity insurance provides a cash benefit for qualified medical services, such as an ambulance ride or a hospital stay. This type of supplemental insurance can offset the costs of deductibles or copays you may be responsible for as part of your regular health plan, or go toward whatever other costs you may accrue.
2. To Take Advantage of Supplemental Plans’ Flexibility
One of the biggest advantages of supplemental insurance is that the plans don’t typically have any network restrictions, giving you the freedom to choose your own doctor.
That’s not the case with traditional health insurance. Generally, you have to be careful to visit in-network health care providers to avoid additional out-of-pocket costs. Because of the variety of coverage options and benefit levels supplemental plans offer, it may be easier to find coverage that fits your family’s unique needs with a supplemental policy.
When someone gets sick or hurt, unexpected health care costs can add a layer of financial stress to already tense situations. Having flexibility is especially important for families who are on a tight budget, since it can allow them to see doctors who are closer to home to save on travel costs and choose to visit health care providers who come highly recommended from friends or family.
3. To Get Additional Financial Protection
Unforeseen medical expenses add up quickly. Even after you’ve reached your deductible, coinsurance can leave you on the hook for some of the costs. Tacking 10%-40% of an ER charge or hospital stay onto the bill may put a serious dent in your family’s budget — and that’s where a supplemental insurance payout can really help.
Accident insurance, for example, pays out a cash benefit if you’re injured or have an accident. Since supplemental payouts can go toward anything, not just medical bills, this policy can relieve some of the financial burden if you’re forced to sit out of work. The same thing goes for critical illness insurance, which provides a cash payout if you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Traditional health insurance may cover a good portion of your health care costs, but it doesn’t provide money that your family can use to cover day-to-day living expenses if your income suddenly stops. With this policy, you can use the cash benefit to pay for food, utilities, rent and other monthly bills.
When someone you love gets sick, you shouldn’t have to worry about money. Of course, you want insurance for yourself, but you probably enrolled in traditional health insurance for family to protect the people around you. A supplemental plan provides the extra protection that keeps your family safe so you can focus your attention on what’s important.