Simply Explained: Ancillary Products | Medicare Plan Finder

Simply Explained: Ancillary Products

Anastasia Iliou Ancillary, Medicare

Understanding Ancillary Products

Ancillary insurance products cover items that your Medicare plan will not. Typically, ancillary health products are available for life, dental, vision, hearing, short-term care, cancer, heart attack, stroke, hospital indemnity, life, and final expense coverage. Below is a brief overview to prepare you for discussions with your agent. Check back soon for more details about what the following ancillary products include.

Dental, Vision, and Hearing

Dental, vision, and hearing coverage can come in the form of three respective ancillary plans. Medicare will pay for some very specific dental, vision, and hearing costs. Mainly, if you schedule a well-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 pullings (whether related to a hospital stay or not), will not be covered. Nor will eye doctor appointments, eyeglasses/contact lenses, or hearing aids. An ancillary dental, vision, or hearing plan will help you cover some of those costs.

Short-Term Care

Uniquely, a short-term plan will cover you for only up to a year, so if you have a temporary injury or illness, this is the ancillary plan for you. 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 

Medicare parts A and B, respectively, will cover hospital stays and doctor visits relating to cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Some policies are as simple as large payments upon diagnosis. Others 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 Medicare does not touch.

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.

Hospital Indemnity

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 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 typically have the ability to change your beneficiary after your policy has been active for a year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ancillary Products

Q: Why aren’t these 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 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: So how do I get ancillary products?
A: If you are employed, your employer may or may not provide ancillary plans. The best way to get ancillary benefits is to speak to your agent. Speak with a licensed & local agent today by calling 1-844-431-1832.