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Home Knowledge CenterIs Supplemental Health Insurance Right For Me?

Is Supplemental Health Insurance Right For Me?

Supplemental insurance policies can help people pay for unexpected expenses that primary health insurance may not cover. Learn more below.

What is supplemental insurance?

Supplemental insurance is coverage that you can buy in addition to your primary health plan. These policies can help provide coverage for certain kinds of illnesses, accidents and injuries, and life insurance.

Supplemental health policies are different from traditional health plans. This is because they can help cover costs that your health plan may not include. Some insurance companies may consider dental and vision plans to be supplemental as well.

What are the benefits of buying supplemental insurance?

For many, supplemental health coverage can be a cost-effective way to help with out-of-pocket costs. Here are a few of the advantages to supplemental health insurance plans:

  • They typically come with affordable monthly premiums.
  • They can offer financial support when you experience unexpected medical situations.
  • In many cases, the cash benefits can be used in any way you like (i.e. pay medical costs, household expenses, or even pet sitting and child care).
  • Some policies you can keep as long as you want, but not all are guaranteed renewable for life.*
  • You can purchase policies any time of year. There's no need to wait for open enrollment like you would for a traditional health plan.
  • You can buy them on your own or through an employer, if offered. They may be referred to as “voluntary” or “optional” through an employer.
  • Need more than one policy to cover your needs? You can buy each policy separately. You may also ask your insurer about adding on a “rider” policy for an additional premium cost.

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What do supplemental health insurance policies cover?

Supplemental health insurance can come in a variety of plans. These plans offer coverage and financial support for specific types of heath situations. Take a look at some examples of what supplemental insurance plans may cover:

Accidents and injuries

Accidental injury coverage could offer you cash benefits if you are hurt or injured. Not all accidents are covered and some high-risk situations may be excluded. Typically, the terms of the policy itemize the covered injuries your policy would cover, so read the plan details carefully.

Critical illnesses

Supplemental policies can offer coverage for a range of critical illnesses. In addition, there may be separate policies for certain kinds of illness, such as cancer insurance or heart attack and stroke insurance. These policies provide financial benefits that help cover medical and/or household expenses, should you need it. Make sure to read your policy to determine which critical illnesses are covered.

Hospitalization

Being in the hospital for any length of time can be costly in itself, but there could be additional costs you have to pay. These may include follow-up care, physical therapy, loss of wages, rent or mortgage, utilities, and more. Hospital insurance may pay you a cash benefit to help cover household and/or medical expenses not covered by your health plan.

Life insurance

Having a life insurance policy may make sense as a way to protect your loved ones should you not be around. There could be a number of different types of life insurance policies available to you, so carefully consider which is right for you and your loved ones.

Dental and vision

Some insurers consider dental and vision coverage to be supplemental coverage. Dental coverage can come in a number of different types of plans. You may have options to get dental insurance coverage that emphasizes preventive or routine care. On the other hand, you can find plans that cover you for braces and more major types of dental work. Vision insurance may give you preventive eye exam coverage, as well as some coverage for eye glasses and contacts.

Who buys supplemental insurance coverage and why?

You may be a right fit for additional insurance coverage if you:

  • Have a family history of certain types of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc.
  • Want additional financial protection in the event of unexpected accidents or injuries

When can I buy supplemental health insurance?

You can purchase a supplemental insurance policy anytime. Unlike traditional health insurance plans, there is no formal enrollment period. You can buy from a health insurer all year round. Check the terms of the policies to understand what’s covered and not covered. For example, you may need to be at least 18 years of age to purchase a policy. Life insurance and hospital insurance may have age limits, too.

How much does supplemental insurance cost?

Because supplemental health plans cover very specific health situations, the cost per month for these policies is often much lower than a traditional health plan. They are considered “additional” insurance coverage. Costs for supplemental plans can vary depending on the type of policy.

Is it worth it to get supplemental insurance?

To understand whether it’s worth it to you to get supplemental health insurance, assess your health and lifestyle needs. You can ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a chronic illness that could put me in the hospital?
  • Am I at risk for accidents and injury? (Considering your lifestyle and leisure activities could help you decide if you need additional coverage for accidents or injury.)
  • Do I have a history of family illness, like cancer or stroke? (If so, what would happen if you were to be diagnosed with a critical illness? Would having the peace of mind of a critical illness policy be helpful?)
  • If I died, would my loved ones be left having to deal with my finances? (If so, should you consider purchasing a life insurance plan?)

If you’re thinking about buying supplemental insurance coverage, you will want to make sure to read the details of any policy you’re considering. Cancer insurance may cover you for certain kinds of cancer or treatment, but may come with limitations you will want to understand.

Evaluate your health history and your family’s needs. In addition, read all plan and policy details to ensure you are getting the financial protection you may need.

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* Policy cannot be canceled as long as you pay your premium when due. Subject to the company’s right to raise premiums on a class basis.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Any third-party content is the responsibility of such third party. Cigna does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any third party content and is not responsible for such content. Your access to and use of this content is at your sole risk.

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FOR ALL APPLICABLE POLICIES AND RIDERS:
PRE-EXISTING CONDITION(S): A condition/conditions diagnosed or for which medical advice or treatment was recommended by or received from a physician within the six months prior to the policy or rider effective date. The benefits of the policy and any attached rider will not be payable during the first 12 months that coverage is in force with respect to an insured person for any loss caused by pre-existing condition(s). This 12-month period is measured from the policy and rider effective date for each insured person.
 (Pre-existing conditions(s) do not apply to the Catastrophic Accidental Injury Benefit Rider, Vehicular Accidental Injury Cash Benefit Rider, Parent Benefit Rider, Declining Deductible Benefit Rider, Individual Whole Life Insurance Policy, Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider and Accidental Death Benefit to Age 100 Rider)

LUMP SUM CANCER POLICY/RIDER AND CANCER RECURRENCE BENEFIT RIDER

If you happen to be diagnosed within the first 30 days following the effective date of the policy and/or rider, the benefit amount payable will be reduced to 10% of the selected benefit amount, and your coverage will be terminated. (not applicable on Cancer Recurrence Benefit Rider)

In addition to any benefit-specific conditions, limitations, or exclusions, no benefits will be payable under this policy and rider for:

  1. any disease, Sickness or incapacity other than Cancer as defined; this is so even though such disease, Sickness or incapacity may have been complicated, affected (directly or indirectly) or caused by Cancer;
  2. loss that begins prior to the policy and/or rider effective date;
  3. Diagnosis received outside the United States or its territories, unless otherwise specified in this policy and/or rider; or
  4. any illness specifically excluded from the definition of Cancer or Carcinoma in Situ.

LUMP SUM HEART ATTACK AND STROKE POLICY/RIDER AND HEART ATTACK & STROKE RESTORATION BENEFIT RIDER

If you happen to be diagnosed with two or more qualifying events on the same day or have two or more surgical treatments at the same time (through a common incision or entry point are considered one operation), we will pay only one benefit amount for the diagnosis and one benefit amount for the surgical treatment, the larger of the qualifying event benefits.

In addition to any benefit-specific conditions, limitations, or exclusions, no benefits will be payable under this policy and rider for:

  1. any disease, Sickness or incapacity other than Qualifying Events as defined; this is so even though such disease, Sickness or incapacity may have been complicated, affected (directly or indirectly) or caused by a Qualifying Event;
  2. loss that begins prior to the policy and/or rider effective date;
  3. Diagnosis received outside the United States or its territories, unless otherwise specified in this policy and/or rider;
  4. intentionally self-inflicted Injury, suicide or any attempt while sane or insane;
  5. voluntary self-administration of any narcotic, drug, poison, gas or fumes, unless prescribed or taken under the direction of a Physician and taken in accordance with the prescribed dosage; or
  6. any illness specifically excluded from the definition of Qualifying Events listed in this policy and/or rider.

CANCER TREATMENT POLICY

In addition to any benefit-specific conditions, limitations, or exclusions, no benefits will be payable under this policy for:

  1. any disease, Sickness or incapacity other than Cancer as defined; this is so even though such disease, Sickness or incapacity may have been complicated, affected (directly or indirectly) or caused by Cancer;
  2. loss that begins prior to the expiration of the Waiting Period;
  3. Diagnosis received outside the United States or its' territories, unless otherwise specified in this policy; or
  4. any illness specifically excluded from the definition of Cancer or Carcinoma in Situ.

WAITING PERIOD: If you are diagnosed with cancer within the first 30 days after the effective date of the Cancer Treatment policy, no benefits will be paid until such waiting period has expired.

HOSPITAL AND INTENSIVE CARE UNIT INDEMNITY BENEFIT RIDER AND INTENSIVE CARE UNIT INDEMNITY BENEFIT RIDER

Benefits are only payable for the first 30 days for any one period of confinement.
Once you reach age 65, coverage will be reduced by 50%.

These Riders are subject to the following Exclusions and Limitations, in addition to those outlined in the policy.

In addition to any benefit-specific conditions, limitations, or exclusions, no benefits will be payable under these Riders for Confinement or loss caused directly or indirectly by:

  1. Suicide (while sane or insane), attempted suicide or intentionally self-inflicted Injury;
  2. War or act of war (whether declared or undeclared);
  3. Commission or attempt to commit an illegal activity or a felony;
  4. Commission of or active participation in a riot, insurrection, rebellion or police action;
  5. Voluntary self-administration of any narcotic, drug, poison, gas or fumes, unless prescribed or taken under the direction of a Physician and taken in accordance with the prescribed dosage;
  6. Operating any type of vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any drug, narcotic or other intoxicant. "Under the influence of alcohol", for purposes of this exclusion, means intoxicated, as defined by the law of the state in which the Injury occurred;
  7. Mental or emotional disorders, alcoholism and drug addiction;
  8. Treatment outside the United States except for emergency care for acute onset of Sickness or accidental Injury sustained while traveling for business or pleasure;
  9. Travel or activity outside the United States;
  10. Participation in any motorized race or contest of speed on sea, land or air;
  11. Travel in or on any off-road motorized vehicle not requiring licensing as a motor vehicle;
  12. Participation in any high risk activities such as bungee jumping, parachuting, skydiving, parasailing, hang-gliding, deep-sea scuba diving, parkour, free running, sail gliding, parakiting or any similar activity;
  13. Flight in, boarding, or alighting from an aircraft or any craft designed to fly above the Earth's surface, except as a fare-paying passenger on a regular-scheduled commercial or charter airline;
  14. Practicing for or participating in any semiprofessional or professional competitive athletic contest for which such Insured Person receives any compensation or remuneration;
  15. Operating a motor vehicle without a valid motor vehicle operator's license, except while participating in a driver's education program;
  16. The following conditions if they are diagnosed within six (6) months after the Rider Effective Date unless Confinement is on an emergency basis: a hernia, adenoids, tonsils, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, disorder of the reproductive organs, or elective sterilization;
  17. Routine pregnancy; however, Complications of Pregnancy will be considered the same as any other Sickness;
  18. An elective abortion;
  19. Dental treatment of the teeth, gums or structures directly supporting the teeth, including dental x-rays, examinations, repairs, orthodontics, periodontics, casts, splints and services for dental malocclusion, for any condition are not covered, except if provided for or in connection with an Injury to sound natural teeth and a continuous course of dental treatment is started within six (6) months of the Injury. Sound natural teeth are defined as natural teeth that are free of active clinical decay, have at least 50% bony support and are functional in the arch; or
  20. Cosmetic care, except when the Hospital Confinement is due to medically necessary reconstructive plastic surgery. Medically necessary reconstructive surgery is defined as:
    1. surgery as the result an Injury; or
    2. surgery to restore a normal bodily function; or
    3. surgery to improve functional impairment by anatomic alteration made necessary as a result of a congenital birth defect; or
    4. breast reconstruction following mastectomy.

Also, no benefits will be payable under these Riders for:

  1. Loss that begins prior to the Rider Effective Date;
  2. Treatment for which no charges are made by the provider of same;
  3. Services which are primarily for rest care, convalescent care or for rehabilitation; or
  4. Any Injury or Sickness paid for under any state or federal Worker's Compensation, Employer's Liability Law or similar law.

Catastrophic Accidental Injury Benefit Rider
In addition to the policy exclusions and limitations, no benefits will be payable for:

  1. a Covered Loss that is not sustained throughout the Catastrophic Accident Waiting Period, as shown on the policy schedule page. Vehicular Accidental Injury Cash Benefit Rider In addition to the policy exclusions and limitations, no benefits will be payable:

Vehicular Accidental Injury Cash Benefit
Rider In addition to the policy exclusions and limitations, no benefits will be payable:

  1. if the Insured Person was the driver, operator or passenger and was not wearing a helmet, as required by the laws of the state in which the Covered Vehicular Accident occurred.
  2. if the Insured Person was the driver, operator or passenger and was not wearing a seatbelt, as required by the laws of the state in which the Covered Vehicular Accident occurred.
  3. for a Covered Vehicular Accident that occurs during the Vehicular Accidental Injury Cash Benefit Waiting Period, as shown on the Policy Schedule Page.
  4. for no more than one Vehicular Accidental Injury Cash Benefit Amount will be paid per the lifetime of each Insured Person.

Parent Benefit Rider and Declining Deductible Benefit Rider
The exclusions and limitations that apply to these riders are the same as the exclusions and limitations of the policy.

INDIVIDUAL WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE POLICY

Suicide
If the insured dies by Suicide, while sane or insane, within two years from the policy effective date, our liability under this policy is limited to the premiums paid.

Incontestability
Except for non-payment of premiums or for fraud if permitted in the state where the policy is delivered or issued for delivery, this policy will be incontestable after in force for two years from the policy effective date. This provision does not apply to any rider that contains its own Incontestability clause.

Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider
If the Insured dies after the claim is presented for a Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit, but before any such benefits are received, the request is cancelled and the Death Benefit will be paid pursuant to the policy. We will not pay a benefit amount for any condition that is not diagnosed as a Terminal Illness. The diagnosis of a Terminal Illness must be confirmed by a physician practicing within the United States or its territories.

Accidental Death Benefit To Age 100 Rider
No Accidental Death Benefit will be payable if the Insured's death results within 180 days directly or indirectly from any of these causes:

  1. Suicide: while the Insured is sane or insane.
  2. War: declared or undeclared, or any act of war. War is defined as armed conflict between nations, or between factions in the same nation.
  3. Military Service: in the military forces of any country at war or in any civilian noncombatant unit serving with those forces.
  4. Natural Causes: Bodily or mental illness, disease or infirmity of any kind, or medical or surgical treatment for any of these.
  5. Death caused or materially contributed to by voluntary intake or use by any means of any drug, unless prescribed or administered by a physician and taken in accordance with the physician's instructions.
  6. Speed contest: Fatal Injury which is incurred as the result of taking part in any speed contest.
  7. Blood Alcohol: Death while the Insured is operating a motor vehicle and is determined to have a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit as defined by state law.
  8. Felony: Injury received while committing a felony or incarcerated.
  9. Participation in a riot, civil commotion, terrorist activity or rising against civil or governmental authority.

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Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

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