What Exactly Is Ancillary Health Insurance?

What Exactly Is Ancillary Health Insurance?

Ancillary health insurance plans are designed to cover additional healthcare expenses that are not covered by a primary insurance plan. Ancillary healthcare coverage is usually secondary to a primary medical plan and does not replace it as the primary healthcare policy. Ancillary health insurance helps fill in any gaps left by your primary medical plan so you are able to receive the care you need at an affordable cost.

Ancillary health insurance is also referred to as supplemental or secondary healthcare coverage. It provides additional benefits, such as dental, vision, hospital indemnity, and wellness services, that aren’t typically included in standard medical plans. Depending on your unique needs and situation, there are several different types of ancillary health insurance policies available:

What Is Ancillary Health Insurance?

Ancillary health insurance is a separate policy that provides benefits beyond what traditional health insurance covers. These policies are not required by most employers, but they’re worth considering if you want to ensure you have the best possible coverage at an affordable price. Ancillary health insurance covers expenses related to your general healthcare that traditional plans often don’t cover.

These expenses can be very common and range from basic services like dental checkups to more specialized care like speech therapy or alternative medicine services. Depending on your individual needs and the type of coverage you choose, ancillary insurance can be fairly affordable. Ancillary insurance is particularly helpful for people with pre-existing conditions or other types of risk factors that make them uninsurable without these additional policies.

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Check and see if you’re already covered.

If you’re lucky, you may already have the coverage you need through your employer or your current health insurance plan. Ancillary insurance is most common in professions where employees can have very expensive needs that their primary health insurance doesn’t cover. If your job isn’t in one of those fields and you’re not sure what your coverage looks like, ask your human resources department or check your plan documents online. Your company may already provide these additional benefits. If they don’t, you can consider ancillary health insurance on top of your existing coverage.

Co-pays and deductible waivers

Some ancillary health insurance policies, such as dental or vision insurance, are primarily co-pay plans that require you to pay a portion of the bill or visit at the time of service. These policies also usually offer a percentage of coverage for a variety of procedures, such as a yearly dental check-up or a vision exam.

These policies are usually paired with a health insurance policy that covers your deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. With these types of policies, you pay for a certain amount of coverage every year and receive a discount on your overall insurance costs. Dental and vision insurance are particularly common types of ancillary health insurance. Make sure you understand all the details and terms of your plan before committing to a policy.

Dental care

Many ancillary health insurance policies also offer dental coverage. These policies usually cover the cost of a yearly exam and cleaning, as well as some types of dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, or crowns. Dental coverage is particularly useful for people with risk factors for tooth decay or periodontal disease, such as people with diabetes or breastfeeding mothers. Dental coverage through ancillary health insurance is generally very affordable, with many policies covering a yearly exam and cleaning for less than $50 a year.

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Vision care

As with dental coverage, vision insurance is another common type of coverage offered through ancillary health policies. Vision policies usually cover the cost of a yearly eye exam and a set number of follow-up visits or prescriptions per year. Vision insurance is very helpful for people who wear contacts or glasses and want to ensure they get yearly check-ups. Many vision policies allow you to choose a yearly exam or schedule an exam every two years.

Mental health services and therapy

Many ancillary health insurance policies also offer coverage for mental health services or therapy. These policies can provide coverage for a variety of therapy services, including individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy. Mental health policies may also cover the cost of psychiatric visits or medication. Health insurance plans typically cover some mental health services, but not all. If you have a health insurance plan with a high deductible, mental health services may be out of your financial reach. Ancillary health insurance can provide coverage for mental health services you may need but can’t afford to pay for out of pocket.

Alternative medicine and wellness

Many ancillary health insurance policies also cover alternative health services and wellness services. Alternative health insurance may provide coverage for integrative therapy services, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, or naturopathy. Alternative health insurance policies can also pay for nutritional and dietary supplements, as well as some types of genetic testing. Ancillary health insurance can provide additional support for any health challenges you encounter.

Advanced medical services

Depending on the policy, ancillary health insurance may also provide coverage for some advanced medical services. Medical evacuation policies, for example, can help you pay for the cost of an emergency transportation home in the event of a serious illness or injury while traveling abroad. Medical evacuation policies can be very helpful if you travel frequently and don’t have a health insurance plan that covers you outside of the United States.

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Key takeaway

Ancillary health insurance is a separate policy that provides benefits beyond what a traditional health insurance plan covers. These policies can be very helpful for people with pre-existing conditions or other risk factors that make it difficult to find affordable health insurance. If you struggle to find affordable health insurance, ancillary health insurance may be the solution for you. These policies offer coverage for a variety of healthcare expenses that are not typically covered by traditional health insurance plans.

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