Sign up for our newsletter
Get health tips, wellness advice, and more

Thanks for signing up!
You've been added to our list and will hear from us soon.

See all Healthline's newsletters »
Healthline Connects
Healthline Connects

What is Supplemental Health Insurance?

Even if you have a robust employer-provided health insurance plan, you may be surprised to discover what isn’t covered by the plan and what you have to pay out-of-pocket for your health expenses like doctor visits and prescriptions. When you start to add up your medical expenses (and those of your spouse and children) it might make sense to consider a supplemental health insurance plan. These plans can help lower your insurance costs, expand the number of healthcare providers available to you and also expand the services you can receive at a discounted cost. Your individual needs will help determine what kind of supplemental plan would serve you best, as specific plans have specific goals.

Supplemental Dental Plans

Many employer-provided dental plans are great at covering major procedures, but may be less effective at paying for regular maintenance like teeth cleanings, fillings and check-ups. A supplemental dental plan can help lower your out-of-pocket costs for your more common dental needs. Another option could be a dental discount program. These aren’t quiet insurance plans, but can offer discounts on services at member dentists.

Plans Covering Alternative Medicine

Very few employer insurance plans cover alternative or complementary medicine like acupuncture, massage therapy or the services of a chiropractor. Depending on your individual needs and how frequently you use these types of services, a supplemental insurance that helps cover the costs of alternative treatments might make financial sense for you.

Medicare Part D

Seniors often find themselves paying out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions. A Part D plan is a supplemental insurance plan that helps cover costs that fall in the “gap”, the difference between when your plan has paid a certain amount for covered medications and until your drug costs hit a specific limit ($3850 in ’08). Learn more about Medicare Part D.

  • 1
Was this article helpful? Yes No

About the Author

The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.