Supplemental Insurance

You may have heard your doctor’s office or other patients speak about coverage called supplemental insurance. Supplemental insurance is used to pick up the cost left over by your primary coverage. Most primary plans have a copay or a deductible that you must pay before the plan will begin to cover services. Most supplemental policies will pick up those costs that normally would be passed on to you.

The most common use of supplemental coverage is to pick up the cost left over by Medicare. Medicare part B is used to pay for doctor’s visits and leaves a 20% portion payable by the patient. By purchasing a supplemental plan, that 20% portion will be picked up by that policy instead of by you, the patient. Be aware to check supplemental policies for deductibles when purchasing. If there is a deductible in place, you may end up still paying the 20% cost until that deductible is met.

You can also obtain these types of policies for your dental, vision, and accident insurance. For these coverage types, the plans work much the same way as the medical plans do. The main difference is that for an accidental policy, you are required to pick an amount of coverage the same as you do for your primary accident policy. Dental and vision policies are generally as inexpensive as the primary policies for those types of coverage.

If you are wondering whether a supplemental plan is right for you, you should consider how often you are visiting the doctor. Patients who visit their doctors two or three times a year for check-ups or a case of the sniffles probably will not get much value out of having a supplemental policy. However, if you have a chronic illness and find yourself in the doctor’s office or even hospital several times a year, then a supplemental policy will pay for itself and lend much needed peace of mind so you can focus on recovery instead of cost.