Many of our U.S. audience should be familiar with the quacking sound of Aflac duck when it appears on commercials during the game or your favorite T.V. show. You may have heard something about insurance, but were not paying much attention, or maybe you were so captivated by that beautiful duck, you forgot about the 30-second conversation in the advert.
Why am I suddenly talking about Aflac? Well, it’s because they are one of the most recognized brands in the U.S. when talking about supplemental insurance. Read on if you want to know what Aflac, the duck has been trying to tell you all these years.
What is Supplemental Insurance?
Supplemental insurance is an add-on that helps you close the gap on your regular health insurance. For example, if you have health insurance that covers a certain amount, and you have to bear the remaining hospital bill, supplemental insurance can help you with those expenses.
Supplemental insurance is not a replacement for regular insurance but aids you in covering plans and expenses which are not covered by your health plan. For example, if you have Medigap insurance, it helps cushion the effect of the deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payments on your pockets. Supplemental insurance is very detailed in what it covers and how you qualify for the claims.
Medicare vs. Medigap
In the United States, Medicare is the national insurance available to its citizens. Including Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance. Even with these, it doesn’t provide all care like vision care, dental care, prescription drugs, and Custodial long-term care, this is where Medigap comes in. Medigap has insurance plans from Plan A to N. However, not all the numbers are available, E, H, I, and J have been discontinued. There are some plans which are not active anymore, the folks at MedicareFaq advise learning about the programs available to you and their content, before making your decision. While it is advisable to learn about what plans are available and appropriate for you, there is also a law that states all Medigap plans sold by different states must standardize their product. This rule means companies may call them other names, but the details of those plans are the same.
It is also worth mentioning that most of these private insurance companies sell Medigap through employers of labor. The insurance companies take a premium every month from your paycheck if you sign up for one at your workplace.
Types Of Supplemental Insurance
In listing the types of supplemental insurance, we will look at their names and not the plans for simplicity’s sake. Here are some of them:
- Hospital confinement Insurance
- Accident Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Whole life assurance
- Critical Illness Insurance
- Cancer Insurance
Some Benefits of Using Medigap
Helps Emergency Expenses
The main reason why Medigap is popular is because it covers payments that are not covered by your Medicare plan. Medicare covers your costs to a certain point, and then you have to worry about deductibles and coinsurance. Not to mention the extra funds that are going straight from your pockets. Medigap can help you with extra money to pay your remaining bills and sometimes meet your basic needs, like buying groceries.
Medicare, in most states, can also be flexible with payments, either paying in large lumps or smaller bits, making it possible to choose how you want your payments. The funds are also made directly to you, most times reimbursement to the money already spent. Medicare pays straight to the other party, which may not be ideal if you need cash urgently for other bills.
Can Act as a Buffer for You and Your Family
While it’s possible for Medicare insurance to help cushion some expenses, Medigap puts your mind at rest, knowing that you have an extra layer of protection for whatever plan you decide to choose. Most people have fears, and not everyone likes to be caught off-guard by life, so it may be ideal for you if you are cautious.
Most health insurance packages have a wait time before the insurance company pays the money. In cases like this, the person or family can feel stranded. A Medigap insurance for a similar plan can help as they are quicker in paying out claims.
What You Should Consider Before Choosing Supplemental Insurance
Even with all the benefits, there are things to check before taking up a supplemental plan. The first thing to do is to make sure all Medicare options and other insurance plans are exhausted. This reason is critical because the three primary insurance packages, namely health, life, and disability insurance, cover you pretty much to a large extent. If in doubt, ask your local insurance company.
Another good thing to consider is the premium. Although some packages are affordable, some of them can be expensive. The premium depends on factors like your current health condition and your past medical records.
Employers tend to push Medigap to employees, and most of the time, you think to yourself, “since it’s coming from my paycheck, it’s no harm,” but you could have used the money for other pressing needs. If you end up paying, make sure to read the lines before signing a Medigap. What happens when you leave the company? Most plans are transferable, but it’s good to confirm these beforehand. Reading the lines will also inform you what qualifies you for an insurance claim.
If you are over 65 years, you can apply for a Medicare Advantage, which offers similar services to Medigap.
The decision to purchase supplementary insurance depends on you. There will be factors like age, previous health condition, current medical condition, and family security that will influence your decision. The key to purchasing supplementary insurance is to read what your present insurance covers. Read what this add-on insurance covers, too, and what qualifies you to make a claim. The correct information is the tool you need to decide what’s best for you, and we hope this article was of help in taking that step.