Best Supplemental Health Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
November 4, 2022

No matter what age you are, you can take steps to protect yourself against the rising cost of healthcare and a rising monthly premium. A supplemental health insurance plan can help you cover some of the costs that come with healthcare expenses that may not be covered by your standard health insurance policy — like dental treatments or eye exams. You can purchase a supplemental health insurance plan if you have a standard Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant plan or if you qualify for Medicare. The specific types of benefits that you can claim from your supplemental health insurance plan will vary depending on the type of medical coverage you have and where you purchased your plan.   

The Best Supplemental Health Insurance

Let’s take a look at a few of the best supplemental health insurance plan providers for both standard insurance and Medicare coverage. 

Mutual of Omaha

Though Mutual of Omaha only offers 3 Medigap policy options (plans F, G and N), those who have never purchased a Medicare supplemental insurance policy before may appreciate the company’s straightforward application process. In addition to a streamlined application, Mutual of Omaha customers also have the option to connect with a representative for more personalized information on pricing, availability and assistance choosing the best Medigap policy for your unique budget and needs.

If you or your spouse already has a Mutual of Omaha insurance policy, you may be able to save on your Medigap insurance by bundling your coverage together. This feature can be worth considering if you have a life insurance policy or other type of insurance through Mutual of Omaha and you’re looking for a more affordable way to expand your Medicare protections. 

AARP

If you’re a member of AARP, you can access a wide range of Medigap policy choices directly through the nonprofit organization. AARP’s Medicare supplement insurance plans are issued through UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest health insurance care providers in the United States. This means that coverage is available in most parts of the country, and you can choose from almost every type of Medigap plan that you can currently purchase.

One of the major benefits of choosing UnitedHealthcare Medicare supplemental insurance through AARP is that your premiums remain level. Instead of increasing in price as you get older (and tend to have more healthcare-related expenses), you’ll pay a steady premium for your coverage. Though you’ll need to already be an AARP member to access these plan options, AARP’s coverage can be particularly helpful if you’re over the age of 65 and still enrolled in your employer’s health insurance plan. 

Humana

Finding a Medicare supplemental insurance plan can be confusing. Humana makes it easier for first-time shoppers to know and compare all their options with a user-friendly website and pricing based on location. Learning more about what you can expect to pay for your policy through Humana is fast and easy — enter your zip code to view pricing and learn more about plan options available where you live.  

In addition to a quick and easy quote process, Humana also offers comprehensive customer service that makes getting a plan easier. Humana’s expanded customer service team is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, which can be a major benefit for anyone who works during the standard 9-to-5 hours.  

Cigna

If you’re looking for an injury or illness-specific supplemental policy for an individual or family, you may want to consider Cigna. Cigna currently offers supplemental insurance policies that can be used for:

  • Cancer-related illnesses and diagnoses
  • Heart attack and stroke-related expenses
  • Expenses related to hospital stays

You can choose a benefit plan or a lump-sum cash payment when you sign onto a supplemental insurance policy. This feature allows you to further customize your coverage to fit with the existing gaps in your health insurance policy. Cigna provides a wide selection of insurance products (ranging from dental insurance to life insurance) and offers generous discounts to households with more than a single policy under the company. Their 24/7 health inquiry line is also staffed by trained nurses, which can help you ensure that you’re getting accurate and up-to-date information. 

Aetna

If you don’t currently qualify for Medicare but you still want to add a bit more coverage to your health insurance plan, you may want to consider exploring options with Aetna. Aetna offers a variety of individual and family supplemental health insurance plans, ranging from accident insurance that offers a cash benefit with select injuries to hospital indemnity plans that pay for out-of-pocket medical care costs during a hospital stay. Aetna’s medical indemnity plans can even be used for non-medical related expenses while you recover.  

What is Supplemental Health Insurance?

Supplemental health insurance is a type of health insurance protection that helps you pay for medical expenses not covered by your insurance. You can purchase supplemental insurance to help cover costs in the event of specific situations (like an accident or cancer diagnosis) or you can purchase insurance for services that your insurer might not offer (like dental benefits or vision insurance). You can purchase supplemental health insurance for standard family or individual plans as well as Original Medicare and Medicare Part C. Supplemental insurance plans for Medicare enrollees are referred to as “Medigap policies” because they fill in the “gaps” in Medicare coverage.  

Benefits of Supplemental Health Insurance

You could find yourself in a wide range of situations where you might need financial assistance covering your medical bills beyond what your health insurance pays for. Some of the benefits that you may be able to use your supplemental health insurance for can include the following. 

Serious illness: If you are hospitalized with a serious illness, you can easily find yourself with a range of medical expenses not covered by your health insurance. For example, most standard health insurance plans have a coinsurance percentage that you must pay for treatments and services up to your out-of-pocket maximum. Your supplemental health insurance can help you cover these recurring costs so you don’t have to pay them on your own. 

Accidents: If you don’t have an ongoing serious medical condition, you may still run into problems paying for your healthcare-related expenses in the event that you’re involved in a major accident. Before your health insurance kicks in and begins paying your medical bills, you’ll need to meet your plan’s deductible, which can be equal to thousands of dollars. Thankfully, with a supplemental health insurance plan, you may not need to pay this deductible out-of-pocket following your accident. 

Hospital stays: If you’re on Medicare, you might not be aware that there are a set number of days in the hospital that are covered under your Medicare Part A policy component.
Purchasing a Medigap policy can help extend your coverage to pay for longer hospital stays. 

Dental visits: Many health insurance policy owners are surprised to learn that dental insurance is not an essential benefit that all health insurance plans must provide under the ACA. You may be able to use the benefits from your supplemental health insurance policy to cover dental care needs if your insurance doesn’t cover them. 

Orthodontics: Even if you have dental insurance, you may have limited coverage for orthodontics. You may be able to use a supplemental insurance plan to help offset the cost of orthodontic treatments for you or a child under your health insurance plan. 

Eye exams: Like dental insurance, health insurance companies are not required to provide vision insurance under the ACA. However, you may be able to use your supplemental health insurance to cover the cost of routine vision care (like annual eye exams). 

The Benefits of Supplemental Health Insurance 

Health insurance can be expensive — especially if you have a policy for a family.  However, adding the benefit of supplemental health insurance can end up being a financial lifesaver in the event that you’re involved in a serious accident or if you are diagnosed with a major illness. Examine your current health insurance coverage and take a look at your family’s medical records and history before deciding if a supplemental insurance plan is worth the extra expense. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What is the advantage of supplemental health insurance?

A

Supplemental health insurance plans can help you cover a variety of out-of-pocket expenses that your health insurance might not provide coverage for. For example, before you can use your health insurance benefits, you’ll need to meet your plan’s deductible, which can be thousands of dollars. A supplemental health insurance plan can help you cover this expense. 

Q

Are supplemental health plans worth it?

A

Whether or not a supplemental health insurance plan is worth it can vary depending on the type of health insurance coverage you have. For example, if you get a comprehensive policy through your employer, the cost of additional coverage might not be worth it. However, if you have a plan with high deductibles or coinsurance percentages, a supplemental insurance plan can help you pay less out-of-pocket.  

Q

What is the advantage of a supplemental health insurance plan?

A

A supplemental health insurance plan provides medical coverage that may not be covered by your current health insurance plan.

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.