Why it’s smart to have supplemental health insurance

Laura Cave
August 22, 2021

Too often all it takes is one unexpected injury or illness to strain a family’s bank account— even for people with health insurance. Where do all these costs come from? Here are just a few ways that financial hardship often follows health hardships, and why supplemental health insurance can be a smart supplement to your health benefits.

Health Insurance Cost-sharing

The average employee health plan today has a $1600+ deductible for single coverage, and deductibles for families are much higher. You can expect to pay cash for medical care until you reach your deductible, and if there is a separate pharmacy deductible, it could leave you on the hook for costly medications before your coverage kicks in.

After your deductible, you’ll share the cost of your care with the insurance company by paying co-pays or co-insurance, which is a % of the medical bill. When you reach your out-of-pocket max, which is $3,000 or more for most people, you’ll typically be covered for the rest of the year, but look out for limitations on coverage, especially for services like physical therapy.

Denied health insurance claims

Increasingly, health insurance plans may not cover care that happens outside their network of healthcare providers. Experimental and alternative treatments often are not covered as well. You may also see claims denied for not following rules that require prior authorization, proof of medical necessity, or step therapy that shows you’ve failed to find relief with less expensive treatments.

Everyday expenses

Almost everyone has some exposure to medical bills, and pre-tax health savings accounts (HSA) can help cover those costs. But what your HSA dollars can’t cover is other expenses that happen because you’re out of commission with an injury or illness.

What would happen if you weren’t able to do all the things you normally handle in your household? Who will watch the kids, walk the dog, mow the lawn, and put dinner on the table every night? How would you get to and from doctor appointments? Would your absence from work mean a loss of income?

Health insurance doesn’t cover these kinds of costs, and you can’t use health savings account funds to cover them either.

What’s so smart about supplemental?

Supplemental health insurance is designed to provide financial support when costs like the above add financial strain to a health hardship.

The problem has been that, historically, supplemental plans have only covered narrow groups of conditions, so you’d have to buy as many as 4 plans to get comprehensive coverage. Brella’s simple supplemental plan is different. It covers 13,000+ conditions, and you can personalize your payouts to get the level of financial support you need.

If you’re diagnosed with a covered condition, use our app to submit a claim in minutes and, once approved, get paid cash benefits in hours—not weeks. Use it to pay for anything you need on the road to recovery from medical bills to groceries and childcare.

In short, a supplemental plan like Brella is smart because it compliments your benefits and puts money in your pocket when you need it most.