Supplemental insurance is additional coverage that you can purchase to cover out-of-pocket expenses and services that your regular policy does not cover. This type of insurance often covers co-payments, deductibles and coinsurance. It may also help you pay for some types of living expenses if you are unable to work full time, such as lost wages, transportation to and from medical treatment or appointments, food and medical supplies you may need.
One of the more familiar types of supplemental insurance is Medigap coverage. This kind of policy fills the shortfalls usually covered by the original Medicare Parts A and B. It pays for expenses such as co-payments, deductibles, coinsurance and other costs that can really add up in a short time if you are hospitalized or are in a skilled nursing facility.
Another type is critical illness insurance which meets certain expenses associated with serious conditions such as cancer. It may be paid in a lump sum to help the insured meet additional expenses such as deductibles, visits to specialists who are out-of-network, lodging and transportation to treatment in a distant city, experimental treatment for a condition or illness, homemaking and childcare services and normal everyday living expenses such as car payments, housing and utilities.
Accidental death coverage pays a lump sum to the survivor of an insured who dies suddenly because of an accident. Some policies will also pay the insured person if he or she loses an eye or another body part because of an accident. Accident health insurance is related to this coverage and may pay for an accidental injury not covered by his regular insurance.
Hospital indemnity insurance coverage, payable in a lump sum or in smaller regular payments, help deal with the costs of being confined to a hospital or nursing facility because of a serious illness or injury.
Supplemental insurance should be purchased in addition to a more comprehensive health insurance policy, not instead of one. This coverage is meant to cover additional costs, but it may not meet all these expenses and a waiting period may be required before you receive benefits.