A growing number of Americans are finding that even with health insurance, the rising costs of medical expenses has become overwhelming, forcing some families and individuals into financial catastrophe.
Planning for basic healthcare coverage may not be enough to avoid these consequences, unfortunately. When unforeseen illness or injury strikes, the “hidden” costs, things like physician copays, missed days of work and travel can quickly mount up. Several recent reports show that individuals and families have found themselves dealing with debt, foreclosure, and even bankruptcy as a result of high medical bills.
How to Prepare When Being Prepared is Not Enough:
The crippling costs of healthcare, despite being covered by insurance, is concerning. People who thought they were prepared are finding that they are required to pay significant out-of- pocket expenses before their health insurance will cover any medical costs. Today, 69 million people are enrolled in plans with high deductibles, which can translate into debt with a single visit to the ER. This begs the question: how can you prepare when basic health insurance is not enough?
Fortunately, there are options available to help close these gaps in high deductible health insurance policies.. The options include supplemental insurance plans designed to cover any out of pocket medical and non-medical costs related to a covered illness or accident. These are those expenses that often fall through the cracks, including the high deductibles associated with many, if not most, insurance plans. A $2500 deductible has become a common policy implementation. So, how do you ensure that a trip to the doctor or hospital won’t wreak havoc on your finances?
Gap Insurance to Cover High Deductibles:
Supplemental insurance, also known as “gap insurance” or “emergency insurance”, is a plan that kicks in when you need to pay a high deductible or other costs related to a covered accident or illness (i.e. lost wages, rehabilitation, out-of-network doctors, etc). Since many health insurance policies include deductibles of $2500, and even $5000, the option of supplemental insurance is becoming an important component of coverage. Employers are increasingly offering supplemental insurance as a way of safeguarding their employees. But, even when an employer does not offer this plan, individuals and families can purchase a supplemental policy on their own.
Companies who offer gap insurance are welcomed as an answer to the high risk and rising costs incurred from deductibles. The plan premiums have varying set ups, but they are designed to reduce the risk of high out-of-pocket costs driven by health insurance deductibles.
One way companies do this is by allowing monthly payments to cover the premium. For example, a non-smoking 40 year-old can get a physical injury insurance policy or a critical illness insurance policy for as little as $11 and $16 per month, respectively.
This option is much more feasible for most Americans, especially since a large part of the population is now living paycheck to paycheck or have inconsistent income like a freelancer.
Supplemental Insurance Pays:
Some employers who have historically offered health insurance as part of their benefits package are switching to high deductible insurance and adding a supplemental policy. These business leaders are finding that the costs of pairing the two policies are more affordable than a health insurance policy with a lower deductible. Even if you are responsible for your own coverage, choosing a supplemental policy to cover the gaps is financially wise. Most people can handle the reasonably priced plans offered by these companies over a policy that comes with a low deductible.
What Else Does Supplemental Insurance Cover?
Like other insurance plans, supplemental policies vary. One of the most popular options includes critical illness insurance. This is insurance that helps individuals and families that face a critical illness pay for out-of-pocket expenses. Every family who has encountered the misfortune of having a member diagnosed with cancer, or who has experienced a heart attack or stroke, realizes that the costs of everyday living combined with medical expenses can pile up fast.
Soon, you could be dealing with not only a health crisis, but a financial crisis as well. That’s where critical illness coverage comes in. This type of coverage helps you cover things like mortgage, bills and childcare when you are confronted with a medical emergency situation. Often, people don’t think about this until they are in a medical emergency, and then it is too late. But, this policy allows you to focus on your health when you need to the most, instead of having to worry about keeping your regular bills up to date.
Supplemental policies can also be invoked to offset costs of missed work and monthly co-pays at the doctor or for prescriptions. Entrepreneurs, freelancers and mature policy holders have found that these plans have become a necessary addition to their regular health insurance. Individuals who have to take regular medications no longer are having to choose which ones they can afford. These policies can mean the difference in making sure that your health is a top priority and that you are getting the care that you need.
It may seem that those struggling to pay their bills should not incur another monthly cost. But these individuals are often the ones who need supplemental insurance the very most. An unforeseen illness or injury would potentially throw them into financial ruin. These policies can keep them safe from disaster in a situation such as emergency surgery or a bout with pneumonia that requires extensive treatment.
Taking care of your health should be a top concern, no matter how much money you have in the bank. Supplemental insurance plans make sure that you are covered in the most stressful circumstances so that you can concentrate on you and your loved ones’ health. If you don’t want to gamble on being able to handle medical needs that may arise, contact a professional that can help you find the supplemental plan that is right for you. Don’t let expenses outweigh the importance of your health!