Review Your Life Insurance Policy in January
Within the next couple of weeks, many of us will be making our New Year’s resolutions. While most Americans will focus on losing weight, or quitting smoking, this year I challenge you to think about your financial resolutions for the year. In this blog post, I am going to focus on why you should review your life insurance policy in January, tips for what to review, and how to save money when you get a new policy. more
Your Guide To Supplemental Insurance
What is supplemental insurance?
Supplemental insurance is merely extra insurance—above and beyond basic coverage. You can get this extra coverage for health, dental, life and many other types of insurance. Unlike traditional insurance payments that go straight to your medical provider, supplemental insurance benefits go directly to you to use as you decide. It provides you with another layer of protection beyond any existing policies. Most often used for unexpected, out-of-pocket expenses, supplemental insurance should not and does not replace a primary insurance policy.
Just because supplemental insurance is extra coverage doesn't mean it's extra expensive. Some policies start at just $10 a month, depending on your coverage. Be aware that supplemental insurance may not cover all costs either or may come with a waiting period before payments begin.
Why would I need supplemental insurance?
Consider your basic insurance coverage. Are there likely or possible situations where your insurance won't cover costs? Does your family have a history of a specific illness? Do your extracurricular or professional activities put you at risk? These are situations where supplemental insurance can save the day.
Make sure you know what additional coverage you'd like, what you already have, and what coverage is redundant or unnecessary. When it comes to supplemental insurance, you can be as conservative or as thorough as you'd like. With that said, be sure to consider not only your current situation, but future expenses as well. Do plenty of research and assess your needs to decide if supplemental insurance is right for you.
Tell me more about specific supplemental insurance options.
- Supplemental health insurance covers additional costs that your health insurance plan may not cover, such as extended hospital stays or in-home care. Some common types of supplemental health insurance include critical illness insurance, accidental death policies, and hospital indemnity insurance.
- Supplemental life insurance often covers the costs associated with housing expenses and replacement income and is designed to protect your family in the event of your death.
- Supplemental disability insurance is paid if you become disabled and can no longer work to supplement your income; a physician must determine that you cannot carry out the functions of your occupation.
- Supplemental cancer/critical care insurance varies by lender, but some will cover the costs of travel for treatment, private nursing, radiation and chemotherapy, prescriptions, hospital stays, intensive care, organ failure, etc.
- Supplemental accident insurance may offer additional security for expenses not covered by health insurance or even supplemental health insurance such as emergency room treatment, physical therapy or post-hospital recovery for treatment unrelated to disease (like a bee sting, hitting your head on a hard object, or otherwise injuring yourself).
Are there federal options?
In addition to independent and private supplemental insurance providers, the United States government offers various types of supplemental insurance such as Medigap and Supplemental Security Income.
- Medigap - Although many retired Americans receive Medicare, oftentimes their health costs are not totally covered. Medigap is the supplemental insurance that can be added to Medicare coverage. It can be sold by private companies to Medicare recipients.
- Supplemental Security Income - People with disabilities who have worked long enough and paid social security taxes may add supplemental security income (SSI), which is essentially supplemental insurance for those who are disabled. Benefits of SSI are awarded based on financial need. Designed to help the elderly, blind and disabled people who have little to no income, SSI provides money for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. This program is funded by general tax revenues separate from social security taxes.
What should I look for in a supplemental insurance provider?
Before you approach a supplemental provider, find out what your current insurance covers and what you're lacking. Shop around for providers and policies; visit their websites and find out exactly what type of coverage they offer. Some providers are better at cancer coverage, while others have great coverage for dental. Know how much you can spend on a supplemental policy each month. Before contacting a provider, make a list of questions to ask. Get all the answers before committing. Watch out for vague policies or terrible customer service. The best supplemental insurance providers will provide you with a plan that includes the options you are looking for without overselling you on coverage you don't need.