Is supplemental health insurance necessary if I have major medical coverage?

Start with a review of your major medical plan. Confirm out-of-pocket responsibilities and uncovered situations. Insurance companies offer a variety of supplemental insurance options to fill the gaps.

For example, critical illness, hospital indemnity and accidental death and dismemberment plans typically pay cash benefits for specific health-related issues. Policyholders can use the money for prescription costs, co-payments, deductibles, travel-related expenses or other bills.

Those on Medicare are familiar with copayments, coinsurance, deductibles and out-of-pocket fees. Products like Medicare Supplements and Advantage Plans offset these costs.

Major medical insurance plans may not include dental or vision benefits. Many employers offer this type of insurance. Individual plans are also available.

Long term care and disability insurance are other supplemental options to think about.

Confirm supplemental benefits you are considering are not duplicated by your major medical plan. Be familiar with supplemental policy limitations like waiting periods, maximum payout, duration of payout, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance requirements. Finally, check the supplemental insurer's financial strength rating, complaint record and licensing status.