Types of additional coverage:
When we talk about insurance benefits, people tend to think immediately about health plans. But there are other coverages which are available on the private market – dental, vision, accident, specified disease and short-term disability.
Things to consider:
1. Do not wait until you need the coverage to get it! These coverages cannot be backdated, and many require wait periods and/or medical underwriting, so if you wait until you’re having a problem you probably will not be able to coverage.
2. These plans can be (and frequently are) purchased separately from your health insurance.
Dental and Vision plans utilize national PPO networks, which allow you to choose your providers. They have immediate benefits for check-ups, but there are wait periods for dental repair work like fillings, crowns and root canals. Therefore, it’s best to get the coverage before you need dental repair work.
Accident / Association plans include a few different benefits. They cover bills up to a specified amount due to accidental reasons, including things like car/bike accidents, food poisoning, sporting accidents, and even slipping off a curb and breaking your wrist (which I’ve done!). Some of these plans also make payments if you have to spend more than one night in a hospital due to an accident or serious disease. They may provide a free, unlimited use 24/7/365 online doctor service which can be used for advice or to prescribe medication for minor problems. These plans are excellent to supplement high-deductible plans, provide some out-of-area coverage for those who travel, and even provide support for a college student far from home.
Specified Disease plans give a payout if you are diagnosed with, or pass away from, specified serious diseases like cancer, stroke or heart attack. These plans can help cover expenses for a high deductible health insurance, or even to help cover loss of income if you cannot work while being treated for these diseases.
Short-term Disability offers coverage if you cannot work due to a disability. You can select different levels of coverage, allowing flexibility in dollars and time frames to fit your needs.