insurance

Cover Out-of-Pocket Health Costs With Supplemental Insurance

As deductibles rise, insurers are offering policies to cover out-of-pocket costs.

Health care costs are on the rise, and not just premiums. The average deductible for an individual with employer-provided coverage jumped from $646 in 2010 to $1,077 in 2015, says the Kaiser Family Foundation. So it’s no surprise that supplemental policies covering major out-of-pocket expenses for accidents, hospital stays or a serious illness are becoming popular. Met­Life estimates that the number of supplemental plans offered industrywide has increased by more than 20% annually over the past few years. “We’ve seen exponential growth and interest from employers who are offering these products for the first time,” says Meredith Ryan-Reid, head of accident and health/worksite benefits at MetLife.

The policies—similar to Medicare supplemental policies—can cost from a few dollars to $150 per month. They can also be purchased directly from an insurer and are available in all 50 states and D.C. Benefits are paid to you when you file a claim, often a flat dollar amount per incident (for example, $3,000 if you have a skin-piercing fracture). It may seem like a small price to pay to protect against out-of-pocket expenses, including those you might not think of (say, a baby­sitter to watch your child while you get treatment). But read the fine print. A critical-illness policy might cover only one type of ailment, such as cancer. And preexisting conditions can be excluded for up to 12 months. Disciplined savers might funnel $150 a month into an emergency fund instead.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022
tech stocks

The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022

The best tech-sector picks for the year to come include plays on some of the most exciting emergent technologies, as well as several old-guard mega-ca…
January 3, 2022
How to Know When You Can Retire
retirement

How to Know When You Can Retire

You’ve scrimped and saved, but are you really ready to retire? Here are some helpful calculations that could help you decide whether you can actually …
January 5, 2022

Recommended

Could You Lose Your Job if You Get COVID-19?
careers

Could You Lose Your Job if You Get COVID-19?

With omicron surging, many are losing the ability to work. Can they get fired? Will they get paid time off? It depends.
January 12, 2022
Take This Job, I'm Retiring
Financial Planning

Take This Job, I'm Retiring

The pandemic and bull market have led to an increase in the number of workers who are retiring. You might call it the Gray Resignation.
December 21, 2021
How to File Tornado Insurance Claims
insurance

How to File Tornado Insurance Claims

The five-state storms caused billions in damages. If you were affected, make sure you document your losses and contact your insurer immediately.
December 14, 2021
7 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover
Healthy Living on a Budget

7 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover

Medicare Part A and Part B leave some pretty significant gaps in your health-care coverage. Here's a closer look at what isn't covered by Medicare.
November 16, 2021