Prepare for unexpected with supplemental insurance

Published On: May 09 2012 04:53:47 PM EDT   Updated On: May 23 2012 10:56:16 AM EDT

(NewsUSA) - From managing chronic conditions to coping with sudden diagnoses or accidents, maintaining the health of you and your family can be expensive. And without a crystal ball or an untouched savings account, unexpected illnesses or accidents can leave you financially crippled -- unless you have supplemental insurance.

Consider that approximately 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure each year because of unpaid medical bills, according to an article published in the Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine. That number isn't surprising when you consider the average cost of a single day's worth of inpatient hospital care is more than $1,600.

"The facts are scary: one in two men and one in three women has a chance of developing cancer. One in three adults has some form of cardiovascular disease. And often enough, health insurance will not cover all of the related expenses in treating these diseases," explains Polly Galbraith, medical director at Assurant Employee Benefits -- a small-business insurance provider.

"Patients aren't just responsible for medications and appointments, which regular health insurance will take care of. Indirect expenses vary from child care and lost work to transportation and property maintenance, which is where supplemental insurance comes in," adds Galbraith.

Supplemental coverage includes accident insurance, cancer insurance, critical illness insurance, gap insurance and more. These coverages pay fixed benefits for specific injuries procedures, early detection and treatment (like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy) for certain types of cancer, and other out-of-pocket medical and non-medical expenses that your other insurance doesn't cover. Additionally, these benefits are paid directly to you to use any way you choose and in addition to other coverages you may have.

Working with your employer to get the advantage of critical illness, gap or accident coverage will prevent you from tapping into your children's education fund, your retirement money or worse.