What is Supplemental Insurance?

Laura Cave
May 29, 2020

It’s no secret that healthcare costs continue to soar. And even with good health insurance, illnesses and injuries can impact your wallet in a major way. Between higher health insurance deductibles, copays, and out of pocket maximums, you can expect to be on the hook for a number of healthcare-related costs that will really add up.

Since traditional health insurance plans don’t cover everything in full when you're sick or injured, insurance companies have ramped up their sales of other products that aim to offset the cost of medical care. These types of plans are known as supplemental health insurance plans.

Now, you may be wondering: What is supplemental health insurance?

How does supplemental health insurance work?

Supplemental health insurance plans help offset the cost of out-of-pocket medical expenses that aren’t paid in full by your health insurance plan — which is why you may need supplemental health insurance. These expenses can include copays, coinsurance, or the costs you’re responsible for before reaching your deductible. They can also be basic expenses like transportation or childcare costs associated with recovery.

There are typically three types of supplemental health insurance:

  1. Accident Insurance may pay a lump-sum benefit if you are injured in a covered accident. Payouts vary based on the type of injury you suffer, the treatment you need, and the coverage you purchased.
  2. Critical Illness Insurance may pay a lump-sum benefit if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. Payouts vary based on the diagnosis and the coverage you purchased. Most plans only include coverage for a limited number of specific illnesses.
  3. Hospital Indemnity Insurance may pay a lump-sum benefit if an illness or injury results in hospital admission, emergency room treatment, and daily hospital confinement. Payouts vary based on a number of factors including treatment and the coverage you purchased.

In order to receive a payment through one of these supplemental health insurance plans, you must purchase coverage for each one separately and then meet each of the policy’s requirements. Unless you have coverage under all three, your protection is limited. And even if you have all three, policy restrictions will likely leave you with gaps in coverage. This means that you—the consumer—are often left disappointed that the insurance you pay for doesn’t quite cover what you thought.

Where traditional supplemental health insurance plans get it wrong

Supplemental health insurance plans are in need of a major update. They were created decades ago when the healthcare landscape was very different. Plan deductibles and treatment costs were lower and most health insurance plans covered more. And they were created with a great deal of complexity — three separate products all with different benefit triggers and policy requirements.

This complexity also means a frustrating and cumbersome claims process. Claims are often denied due to the fine print and unclear policy provisions. And if you’re looking for additional support, you can expect long hold times paired with frustrating customer service. With so many hoops to jump through, supplemental insurance can be more stressful than helpful in times of need. Where’s the benefit in that?

Meet the modern supplemental health insurance plan, Brella.

We’ve updated the old model of supplemental health insurance and simplified the experience from start to finish. Brella is a simple, comprehensive benefit that sends you fast cash when you are sick or injured. Brella covers a much larger list of conditions than the typical old-fashioned supplemental health insurance plans. And we’re built for speed! No more paper forms, faxes, and multi-step claim processes. Brella sends you the cash you need quickly through our mobile app.

So how does Brella work?

Brella is simple. We built one plan that covers 13,000+ conditions that would require urgent medical care. Brella pays based on your diagnosis, and those payouts are based on the severity of your condition. We think about conditions in three categories:

  1. Moderate conditions that require a short visit to the ER or urgent care and typically don’t require surgery can receive up to $800 from Brella.
  2. Severe conditions that often require surgery or more intensive treatment can receive up to $3,000 from Brella.
  3. Catastrophic conditions that are life-threatening and require immediate medical intervention and longer recovery can receive up to $10,000 from Brella.

The more serious the condition, the more we pay out. It’s that simple. Plus, you have the option to customize your payouts to suit your family's needs.

A member experience that’s easy

With our mobile app you’re always connected to Brella. Our technology is built around photos, not faxes. Send us a photo of your discharge papers or related documents on your way out of the ER to kickstart your claim process. We’ll take it from there and, once approved, send your cash in hours. Use your Brella mobile app to stay up to speed on what’s covered, check your claim status, interact with real humans, and much more.