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July 25, 2019

Going Out of Network for U.S. Healthcare Without Going Broke: How Supplement Policies Can Help

affording out of network care

Most would agree, health insurance is very important for everyone. Medical treatment costs can be staggering, and without a primary health insurance plan in place, a single hospital bill could be devastating to the average American. Of course, health insurance plans vary, and you might prefer treatment that is outside of your network of doctors and hospitals; and according to the Patient Advocate Foundation, “out-of-network costs add up quickly,” and out-of-network medical providers “may charge the full amount for your treatment and your insurance provider may not pay for these charges, leaving the full burden of payment up to you.”1

One option that could help offset the costs of out-of-network care is purchasing supplemental health insurance. Supplemental health insurance is voluntary and is meant to do what its name implies – supplement your existing health coverage. This can come in handy, especially when copays, coinsurance, and out-of-network costs add up to a large financial burden. There are many different kinds of supplemental insurance policies to choose from, including accidental death and dismemberment, hospital indemnity, cancer, and critical illness.

According to The Balance, “supplemental health insurance kicks in to help you pay for what your health insurance does not pay or other expenses,” and “plans like critical illness or disability can also protect you for expenses you could not pay if something happened and you could not make an income to pay your bills.”2 The Balance also notes that if you need care while you are traveling and are outside of your health insurance network, supplemental travel insurance can help with healthcare costs.

Types of supplemental insurance and policies vary, but many offer benefits that pay a lump sum or help pay for out-of-pocket costs that can come with out-of-network care costs. More specifically, Verywell Health tells us that depending on the policy, critical illness insurance often has coverage for a covered illness that can be used to pay for out-of-network specialists.3

Make sure you research and read any policy you’re considering purchasing carefully to determine if it can help with out-of-network costs.

Supplemental health plans can be purchased through your employer or directly from an insurance company. If you want to know more about them or if you’re wondering if supplemental health insurance is right for you, contact a financial advisor, an independent broker, or a licensed insurance agent.

  1. Patient Advocate Foundation, Out-of-Network Costs and How to Handle Them, 2019

  2. The Balance, , The Basics of a Supplemental Health Insurance Plan, 2019

  3. Verywell Health, Should You Buy Supplemental Health Insurance? 2019

Categories: Insurance, Supplement Health Insurance

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