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If you are diagnosed with a serious illness or are involved in an accident, traditional health insurance programs such as Medicare and Workers' Compensation may not pay for all the services you need.

Are you prepared financially if something did happen to you? Supplemental insurance might be that answer. As its name implies, supplemental insurance provides you with another layer of protection, on top of existing policies you probably already have, such as health and life insurance. It can help you pay for care and services existing policies may not cover.

Supplemental insurance is similar to other lines of insurance - such as life or health insurance - but it is not meant to be your only means of protection. While major medical or life insurance policies can provide the bulk of benefits to your family after an illness or loss, supplemental insurance benefits can be used to pay for unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.

Types of Supplemental Insurance

Supplemental insurance policies include coverage for:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Accident
  • Disability Income
  • Hospital Indemnity

Supplemental insurance such as cancer and heart disease policies fall into two main categories. There are those that provide a one-time lump-sum benefit and others that are expense-based.

Accident and hospital indemnity policies are typically indemnity-based; in other words, the policy will pay specified amounts for certain covered conditions or injuries.

Note: Not all options are available in all policies or in all states.

What to Consider

You may want to consider supplemental insurance if:

  1. You have primary health insurance, and
  2. You are not financially prepared to pay for care that may become necessary due to a major illness or accident.

Keep in mind that supplemental insurance is not intended to take the place of primary health insurance but it can help you with the extra expenses of a serious or chronic illness.