Dollars and Sense Behind Supplemental Health Insurance

HealthCare Writer

Updated on May 12th, 2021

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If you have health insurance, think about your deductible (that is how much you have to pay out of your own pocket before your health insurance company will begin paying claims on your medical bills). If you are like most individuals, you have at least a $2,000 deductible or possibly a $10,000 deductible for family coverage. Are you able to afford to pay out thousands of dollars for your healthcare?

Most individuals and families cannot.

Since 2009, health insurance deductibles have risen 50%, which doesn’t come close to the average income increases over the same period of time. People are pinched to pay for their medical bills, and only 51% of Americans have more than $5,000 in savings to pay for healthcare costs at one time.

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With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, more individuals and families have health insurance coverage than ever before. However, just having a health insurance ID card doesn’t mean those same people can afford to pay for healthcare bills, especially bills that come from unexpected accidents or a critical illness diagnosis.

In spite of these bleak statistics, there are ways families can save money on their medical expenses and avoid draining a savings account to pay out thousands of dollars for healthcare. Supplemental health insurance helps cover expenses for accidents and illnesses, and helps to “bridge the gap” in coverage an individual or family might have with their regular health insurance policy.

Here’s how it works:

Every day accident costs aren’t cheap. If a child breaks a wrist playing in the backyard with friends, it can cost between $1,147 and $6,065 for the ER visit, the doctor’s time, X-ray and a cast, depending on location and hospital pricing. If a family has a fairly common $6,000 deductible, the entire expense for the broken wrist is the family’s responsibility. However, if they have supplemental health insurance, and depending on the level of coverage they have, the entire cost of the broken wrist could be paid for with their supplemental insurance coverage. Supplemental insurance pays out a lump sum, cash benefit, and can be used to pay medical bills that aren’t covered by high deductible health insurance.

It’s not unusual to avoid spending any more than you have to on insurance coverage. But understanding that most health insurance policies won’t pay for things like car accident injuries, a slip-and-fall or an unexpected cancer diagnosis can be alarming.

Learn more about supplemental health insurance.

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