Original Medicare may not cover everything you need. For example, Medicare does not cover routine dental, vision, or hearing care. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find insurance to help cover your costs? With ancillary insurance products, you may be able to find the coverage you need.
What Are Ancillary Insurance Products?
Ancillary insurance products are designed to supplement your primary insurance plan. For example, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, Original Medicare is your primary insurance plan. If you add a private vision insurance plan to your Medicare Supplement, that vision plan is considered ancillary.
Ancillary insurance covers items that your Medicare plan will not. Typically, ancillary health products are available for dental, vision, hearing, short-term care, cancer, heart attack, stroke, hospital indemnity, life, and final expense coverage.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing
Mainly, if you schedule a wellness-visit with your primary physician and they check your vision and hearing, that visit is still covered under your Medicare Part B. Additionally, if you have a medically necessary jaw surgery or have a face tumor, most of the related dental work falls under your Medicare Part A.
Additional dental work, such as tooth extractions (whether related to a hospital stay or not), will not be covered. Nor will your eye doctor appointments, eyeglasses/contact lenses, or hearing aids. An ancillary dental, vision, or hearing plan can help you cover some of those costs.
A short-term plan will cover you for up to a year for a temporary injury or illness. For the most part, long-term care is included in your Original Medicare. Short-term care, however, is always an add-on option.
Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke
Others may include annual payouts based on costs, even including loss of income, childcare, travel to facilities, home health care, rehabilitation/therapy, and any other out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare does not cover.
Make sure you disclose your and your family’s medical history when speaking with an agent. That way, the agent can determine whether an ancillary plan for cancer, heart attacks, or strokes is right for you.
Ancillary hospital indemnity policies are the best, cheapest way to save your piggy bank in the event of an extended hospital stay.
The average cost for one night in the hospital is between $1500-$3000. Your Medicare plan will help cover most of that, but not all, and does not include additional procedures and drugs.
You’ll send in a claim stating what your copayment was, and your carrier will send you a check for a percentage of that amount. This will be especially beneficial if you foresee any medical procedures that will require an extended hospital stay.
Life & Final Expense
Final expenses are any costs associated with funerals, burials, and sometimes medical bills for your final hours. You can buy a final expense whole life plan, meaning the policy lasts for your entire life, or a final expense term life plan, which lasts for a set number of years.
Final expense policies help to reimburse your family members for expenses surrounding your death. You must appoint a beneficiary to receive the reimbursement when you purchase your policy. You will have the ability to change your beneficiary after your policy has been active for a year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ancillary Insurance Products
You may have many questions about ancillary products, insurance coverage, and costs including:
Q: Why aren’t these ancillary benefits included in my Medicare plan?
A; Each individual who has enrolled in Medicare has different health care needs. Medicare Supplement plans are designed to help you pay for your existing Medicare. They can cover your copayments, coinsurance, and other out-of-pocket costs. You’ll have to purchase any additional ancillary products separately.
Q: Why didn’t my agent discuss these with me sooner?
A: If an agent visited with you to discuss Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Supplements, it is highly likely that they were not legally allowed to discuss ancillary plans with you.
When an agent makes an appointment with you, you agree on what to discuss during the meeting. You legally cannot discuss more than you agreed on. Now, you can set up an appointment with your agent specifically to discuss ancillary plans.
Q: How much do these products cost?
Costs for ancillary plans vary depending on your needs and what the policy covers. Your agent can discuss any details and help you find the right fit.
Q: So how do I get ancillary insurance?
A: If you are employed, your employer may or may not provide ancillary plans. The best way to get information about ancillary benefits is to speak to your agent.
Get the Ancillary Plans You Need Today
Your agent may be able to help you find the right ancillary products to suit your needs including budget and lifestyle. Speak with a licensed & local agent today by calling 833-438-3676 or contact us here.
This post was originally published on October 23, 2018, by Anastasia Iliou and was updated on September 23, 2019, by Troy Frink.