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Health Insurance Basics

Complementary Coverage Options Provide More Choices

January 23, 2018

With the closing of open enrollment period, you may find yourself scrambling to ensure that you and your family are covered for the upcoming year. It can be hard finding the right level of coverage at the right price to meet your needs. Complementary health insurance plans can help you achieve this goal.

For example, if you won't have coverage until the next enrollment period, a complementary plan can fill a gap. Complementary health insurance can also supplement a primary plan to address specific circumstances.

There are plans that cover accidents, critical illness, doctor visits, hospital visits, and more. While these are not Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant plans, they offer reasonably priced coverage for specific benefits.

Here are a few of your options:

  1. Short-term plans: If you don’t have coverage and are waiting for the enrollment period to roll back around, this could be an ideal option. Short-term plans are medically underwritten plans that provide medical coverage for typically no more than 90 days. It’s important to note that these plans do not provide comprehensive coverage, and there is no coverage for preexisting conditions, according to When deciding on a short-term plan, inspect the plan closely, as not all are held to the same standards as ACA plans. That could mean that there’s a list of coverage exclusions.
  2. Critical illness plans: Critical illnesses and accidents can cause financial devastation to individuals and families. This is where Critical Illness Insurance can provide cash to pay for medical treatment and bills while in recovery. The three primary illnesses covered include: cancer, heart attack and stroke, according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance.
  3. Fixed indemnity plans: Also referred to as a hospital indemnity plan, this medically underwritten plan pays a specific amount for services. A fixed-indemnity insurance plan is a type of supplemental health plan that gives you a fixed cash benefit payout in case of illnesses or injuries covered by your policy. However, remember that fixed-indemnity plans may only cover a limited set of illnesses, injuries, drugs, and/or medical procedures. Check your policy brochure carefully before you select a plan.

In addition, both fixed indemnity and critical illness plans can be paired with ACA plans to offer greater protection. Or, if you find yourself not able to afford to buy an ACA plan, fixed indemnity and critical illness plans might give you just the right amount of insurance at a lower cost.

If you are looking for additional coverage to supplement your existing plan, these plans may be worth considering. There is no open enrollment period, so these plans are available to purchase at any time.

Complementary plans can help ensure financial security and are ideal for individuals looking for first-day coverage. And there are options to meet different budgets. Contact your local sales representative or broker for more information.