If you have current healthcare benefits, we’ll show you affordable options to pay for some of your out of pocket expenses. Secondary medical insurance coverage fills some of the needed gaps that your primary plan does not cover. Rates are actually much lower than most consumers expect and there are many benefits that can be utilized. Any quotes provided by our website are free (of course) and we believe in researching all of the reputable companies that offer this type of coverage, instead of just a few.
What Is It?
Secondary medical insurance is designed to reduce your out of pocket cost that you pay when you have your primary benefits in place. For example, if you have a group policy through your employer, you pay for a private individual or family policy through an insurance company, or you have become eligible for Medicare, then you have primary coverage. COBRA and HIPAA policies are also considered to be your main benefits. Of course, there are no deductible medical plans that are available.
More than likely, you are not covered for 100% of your expenses. If you have a $10,000 hospital bill, you my have to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 yourself. If the bill is $100,000, your portion may increase to as much as $6,800 under Obamacare legislation passed in 2010 and implemented through Marketplace plans in 2014. Even with a covered office visit, ER visit or a basic outpatient procedure, you may have to pay some of that obligation.
Secondary policies pay the gaps and out-of-pocket expenses not covered by your “primary” policy. You can easily customize benefits to closely work with your main contract. That way, you’re not paying for items that are either very inexpensive, or automatically paid by your private or group Exchange plan.
If you have an ongoing illness that is treated every year, the medical expenses will also need to be paid. And it’s possible that these will be bills that continue each year. With constant breakthroughs in the treatment and early diagnosis of diseases, our life expectancy is increasing and a large percentage of the elderly are treated for chronic illnesses.
How Much Will It Pay?
That depends on the type of contract you have. A very basic policy will not cover all of your out of pocket costs, but it will put a cap on your obligations. If, for example, your maximum potential out of pocket cost (after your healthcare coverage has started to pay 100%) is $10,000, you could perhaps reduce that to $5,000 or $3,000 with a supplemental policy. Essentially, you would be paying a slightly higher premium to cover some of your risk. Or most of the risk, if that’s what you want.
If you wanted to cover ALL of your out of pocket expenses, which would include any copays, coinsurance or deductibles on your medical coverage, you would have no healthcare costs other than the premiums on your primary and secondary plans. So, if you were paying $500 per month in premiums, that would represent your entire expenditure, regardless of whether you had a healthy year with few claims or a claim-filled year.
You can purchase a supplementary policy that will cover 100% of any medical expense you have (other than your health insurance premium and its benefits). However, when you compare the cost of that type of plan to an option that just pays 90% (or 80%), you may be over-spending, especially if you stay relatively healthy. And the extra money you spend could be quite substantial. AFLAC plans often act as non-primary coverage.
Consider this example: A family of four pays $600 per month in premiums for their healthcare coverage. On average, the combination of copays, coinsurance, and deductibles on office visits, prescriptions, lab tests and inpatient or outpatient procedures cost an additional $4,000 per year. Thus, the $4,000 is the out of pocket cost that a supplementary plan would cover.
Is it best to have 100% of the $4,000 covered by paying about $275 per month, or perhaps only covering 50% of the $4,000 ($2,000) and paying about $100 per month. It certainly makes more economical sense to pay the lower amount. Not only will you put more money in your pocket, but after 5-10 years (or longer), the savings will be likely be in the thousands of dollars. And once you are eligible for Medicare, your needs may change.
When you turn 65, your “secondary” coverage will actually take the form of a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policy. There are approximately 14 available options that each offer different sets of benefits. Typical monthly costs range between $90 and $200, depending on age and health conditions. Medicare “Advantage” policies are also offered by many carriers at substantially lower premiums.
Are Medigap Plans Considered Supplementary Coverage?
“Medigap” policies are indeed designed to supplement the benefits that Medicare provides. By paying most of the potential out of pocket expenses, persons age 65 and over can effectively budget for expected and unexpected hospital, prescription, office visit, and other costs. Policies are issued separately, so two married spouses would have to purchase two plans. Senior plans are very popular since they provide an option to more accurately predict maximum out-of-pocket expenses.
Private companies offer Medicare Supplementary coverage including industry giants Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Many smaller carriers also offer plans, including Colonial Penn, Equitable, Gerber, Globe, Mutual Of Omaha, Physician’s Mutual, Thrivent, and USAA. In many states, regional insurers feature very competitive prices.
Some of the most common expenses covered include Part A and B coinsurance, three pints of blood, Part A Hospice care, skilled nursing care, Part A and B deductibles, and foreign travel. NOTE: Many standardized plans are offered (A though N), and benefits and cost of Supplement plans vary. Medicare “Advantage” contracts replace original Medicare benefits, so you generally don’t use a supplement.
NOTE: Persons that qualify for Social Security Disability may be able to utilize a secondary benefit. Although the Social Security Administration covers the majority of expenses, large bills could occur, depending on the type of surgery and/or treatment.
How Do I Purchase A Policy?
An experienced broker that represents several of the insurers that offer secondary coverage is the best option. They can also coordinate your primary and secondary policies so they work together to reduce your out of pocket costs. The quotes you request from our website will give you access to affordable options through these types of brokers. You will be able to apply direct or with the help of an expert.