Supplemental insurance covers costs not covered by your health plan

Supplemental insurance—accident insurance, hospitalization insurance, critical illness insurance, etc.—serves as a safety net and helps cover expenses not covered by your primary health insurance, or costs you pay within your existing plan such as:

  • Deductibles
  • Co-insurance
  • Co-payments
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

Supplemental insurance may offer other benefits as well. For example, some plans cover lost income from missed work.

Disability insurance replaces income lost if health issues keep you from working. Qualifying health issues include long-term illnesses and injuries. Typically, employers and government-sponsored programs provide disability insurance but individual policies are also available for purchase.

Hospital indemnity insurance provides limited coverage for hospital stays. It is often a fixed amount for each day and has a maximum length of stay cap. This particularly benefits people with a basic insurance plan that has a high deductible and provides limited hospital care coverage.

Long-term care insurance provides coverage to offset the costs of ongoing long-term care, such as assisted living or nursing home care. Most private insurance plans and Medicare provide limited long-term care coverage but as Americans live longer, many people invest in a private policy to supplement the basic coverage.

Do you need supplemental health insurance plans if you already have health insurance? It depends on your risk factors and how much insurance you want, or what you want to be insured for. If you know that you could not afford the costs of long-term care, or the loss of income if you are diagnosed with cancer, then long-term care or critical illness insurance may be a good investment. 

It is important to note that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) does not apply to supplemental health insurance policies. In many states, it is legal for supplemental insurers to use information about your genetics, personal or family health history to determine policy eligibility or set premiums. The Privacy & Nondiscrimination section of our website provides details about your legal rights related to health and genetic information. 

See the Medical Leave & Disability section of our website for more information about disability laws and insurance options.