Supplemental insurance is a type of insurance that fills in gaps in coverage, usually in health insurance, by paying things that aren’t normally covered. It can be an important insurance coverage to have.
What is it?
A supplemental policy is called that because it “supplements” another type of insurance. It is most common as an addition to health insurance,and it can be used to pay costs such as deductibles and co-pays, that aren’t covered by regular health insurance. Supplemental policies may be offered by your employer as part of a suite of voluntary benefits.
Who is it for?
A supplemental policy can be for anyone, but it is most useful for people who have bare-bones health insurance policies that have a lot of coverage exclusions or require large out-of-pocket contributions. It also is a good idea for older people or those with chronic illnesses who may be more prone to face large medical bills.
How does it work?
A supplemental policy will pay expenses that your health insurance doesn’t. You need to be familiar with your supplemental policy to know what it will and will not cover. The policy may require you to pay the expenses first and then submit a claim for reimbursement. Most policies cover out-of-pocket health expenses, and some policies may even cover travel, lodging and child care that is required as part of a hospital stay.
Types of coverage
Supplemental policies usually are pretty standard, although they may vary in what expenses they will cover. Some policies may also cover dental care, and some policies are only for use with Medicare coverage.
The major benefit of supplemental insurance is that you get coverage for out-of-pocket health expenses, which, depending on the level of health insurance you have and what you are being treated for, could add up to thousands of dollars.