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3 Reasons to Get Supplemental Health Insurance

You think you have everything planned out for your future, but you can’t plan for the unexpected. What happens if you get into an accident or develop a serious illness? Most people don’t have a plan for those kinds of unexpected health risks. That’s why there are supplemental health insurance products available.

Why Buy Supplemental Health Insurance?

Peace of Mind
Since you can’t plan for the unexpected, find a policy that will protect your hard-earned savings in case something does go wrong. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’ll have help to pay for your health and medical expenses.

The cost of care is on the rise
Because care is getting more and more expensive, your budget may have to be the deciding factor on how you receive care, or you could use all of your savings to cover costly health and medical bills.

Cost of care by the numbers:

  • $18,720 is the national average cost for adult day health care for one year in 20181
  • $30,00 is the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay2
  • $48,000 is the national average cost of an assisted living facility stay for one year in 20181
  • $50,336 is the national average cost of a home health aide for one year in 20181
  • $100,375 is the national average cost of a private room in a nursing home for one year in 20181

Increased risk of a critical illness diagnosis
Regardless of risk factors, more and more people are being diagnosed with critical illnesses every year.

  • 4% of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime3
  • Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. will have a heart attack4
  • Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. will have a stroke5
  • 1 in 10 people age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s6

Types of Supplemental Health Insurance Products

Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness insurance is meant to help you after being diagnosed with a serious illness. Along with the difficult emotional effect of a diagnosis, your medical bills will start to pile up along with your other expenses that include bills and groceries. This product can help alleviate the financial burden that comes with a life-altering diagnosis.

Typically Covers:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • End-stage renal failure
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Transplant surgery/waiting list
  • Amputation
  • Deafness

How it works:
You’ll be paid a lump-sum cash benefit upon diagnosis. The money will go directly to you, so you can manage it. You can use it to help pay for your medical bills and doctor visits, or it be used for other expenses, like utility bills. You have great flexibility with this type of policy, and there are a lot of illnesses that it can cover.

Hospital Indemnity Insurance
Hospital Indemnity Insurance can help you pay for costly hospital stays. This product can help you focus on your recovery instead of your bills.

  • Daily hospital stay
  • Day one hospital admission
  • Intensive care unit stay
  • Emergency room visit
  • Ambulance trip

How it works:
You will be paid a lump-sum cash benefit once you are hospitalized because of accidental injury or sickness. You decide how to use this money. You can’t predict an accidental injury, but you can have some help paying for it in the aftermath.

Medicare Supplement Insurance
It’s no secret that Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and you’re still expected to pay for part of your care, these are usually called co-payments or coinsurance. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans can help decrease or completely cover the rest of your health or medical bills that you would be billed after Medicare.
Typically helps cover:

  • Coinsurance
  • Co-payments
  • Foreign travel emergency

How it works:
Before you see a bill for health or medical expenses, your Medicare Supplement Insurance provider will pay the hospital directly. Once you receive the bill, you’ll be charged a lower amount or $0 depending on your plan and its coverage restrictions.

Accident Insurance
Accidents happen, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Accident Insurance can help with expenses due to a serious injury or loss of a limb. Certain plans can also help with your missed income due to an accident.
Typically Covers:

  • Loss of limb
  • Loss of sight
  • Loss of hand(s)
  • Loss of foot/feet
  • Monthly income for totally disability
  • Monthly income for partial disability
  • Emergency treatment

How it works:
After the injury occurs, you will receive a lump-sum cash benefit within 90 days of the injury. Accident insurance plans clearly list the benefit amounts based on the injury, so you’ll know exactly how much money you will receive if you are ever injured. There are less premium options for an accident insurance plan, which will make it less confusing to choose the one that’s right for you.

Short-Term Care Insurance
If you suffer from a non-life-threatening illness or serious injury, you may spend a long time recovering. If you want to be able to choose how you receive your care for a recovery time of less than one year, short-term care insurance is a good fit.
Typically Covers:

  • Home care
  • Adult day care
  • Facility care
  • Hospice care

How it works:
Your insuring company will help pay for care, services, and supplies at the facility of your choice. You will be charged a low fee or $0 for your care after this insurance plan helps to cover expenses. The coverage of services for these plans is pretty extensive, so you won’t be stuck with a big bill due to a care facility’s hidden fees. Your coverage will not last for more than a year, so if you feel you might need coverage for a longer period of time, consider a long-term care insurance policy.

Long-Term Care Insurance
If you can no longer perform basic tasks to take care of yourself like eating, bathing, and dressing, you’ll need some help. Long-term care insurance coverage is meant to help pay for the care you may need. With long-term care insurance, you can control where and how you receive care.
Typically Covers:

  • Hospice care
  • Ambulance services
  • Alternative plan of care
  • Respite care
  • Caregiver training allowance
  • Monitoring equipment allowance

How it works:
There are plenty of coverage options to choose from, so you can find a plan that is right for you. Your insuring company will help cover expenses by paying the care facility directly, so if you see a bill, you’ll owe much less than the care facility charged if anything at all.

You can prepare for the unexpected with a supplemental health insurance policy, and with so many coverage options, you’ll be able to find the one that fits your needs and your budget.


1Genworth, Cost of Care Survey 2018, 2018., Why Health Is Important, 2018.

3National Cancer Institute, Cancer Statistics, 2018.

4American Heart Association, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2018.

5American Heart Association, Circulation, 2017

6Alzheimer’s Association, 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, 2018.

Bankers Life is a private company that is not Medicare, Medicaid or MaineCare and is not a governmental agency