What would you do if, after you experienced a serious health issue, you came into a substantial sum of cash?You’d probably ask, “OK, where are there strings? There have to be strings.”
If you have supplemental health insurance, there aren’t any strings. Your insurance agent doesn’t care how you spend it; we just want you to get better, and use your policy benefits as you see fit. Sure, on a personal level, we’d advise against running out and buying a tiger, or betting your windfall on some horse named George in the Belmont Stakes, but professionally? It’s none of our business.
Having said that, if you need a little help visualizing the upshot of supplemental insurance payouts, we’ve got a few nuggets of inspiration:
Hire Someone to Finish Cleaning Those Gutters
Have you learned—the hard way—that you have no business climbing a ladder beyond the second rung? Accidental injury insurance will help you outsource unfinished chores and projects as you recover. You can still sit out on the lawn with a bullhorn, and shout directions if you have that “If you want the job done right, do it yourself” attitude.
Matías H. of San Antonio, Texas did fall off a ladder while he was fixing his roof. He broke his collarbone, preventing him from completing that job… and kept him from his day job as a drywall contractor for six weeks. “I got my roof fixed, my driveway pressure-washed, my lawn re-seeded, and yeah, I threw in a few extras,” he smiled slyly. “Like a new deck and outdoor sauna.”
Hey, saunas are fantastic for rehabbing sore muscles and achy fractures. What a great idea, Matías!
Have Funds to Help Finance Home Accessibility Retrofits
Permanent injuries or mobility issues stemming from serious illness mean life changes. You’ll adapt, and so will your surroundings. Supplemental insurance payouts will help you make the retrofits you need to remain independent in your home, and retrofitting your existing property is cheaper than moving.
Accessibility isn’t just about wheelchair ramps and handrails. Certain injuries require medications that can affect your coordination and balance. Home hospice requires bulky hospital beds. Vision impairment means improved lighting and better storage to reduce clutter. And if you are permanently chair-bound, you’ll want to consider widening doorways, lowering counter spaces, and yes, making adjustments to your exterior landscaping.
Have An Excuse to Get That Premium Cable Package
Why not? If your recovery is going to take a while, you’ll need lots of entertainment. Heck, you don’t need to justify the expense—cash payouts from your supplemental insurance don’t come with strings attached, whether you binge all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix or catch up on Game of Thrones on HBO.
If you opt for the latter, you don’t have to bribe an insurance adjuster to keep them from telling your hockey buddies, and your supplemental insurance agent will likely ask you to pass the popcorn.
Protect Your Credit Score
How many credit card and car payments eat your paycheck now? How will you pay them if you can’t work? Even if you have an emergency fund, it’s not going to last when the bills add up. Your supplemental insurance will allow you to keep current on your major financial obligations, keeping your credit healthy as you, yourself heal.
You might decide to pay down on those balances to save you money in the long run and reduce upcoming premiums, or pay off your debt entirely. Whatever you do to get a handle on your liabilities is up to you.
Send Your Mother-In-Law on Vacation
…Which is pretty much just a nicer way of saying, “We’ve got this; stop bringing me hot water bottles, prunes, and Danielle Steele novels…you’re driving me batty!”
Speaking of travel, supplemental insurance can help you get to and from your appointments, and pay for airfare and rental cars so your family can come out to help when you actually want them to.
Your health plan likely has limitations on what they’ll pay for medical-related transportation. What if you have to be transported between hospitals, or travel across the country to visit a specialist? A cash infusion from your critical illness or accidental injury policy will let you pay for airfare, hotels, meals, and ground transport… not to mention that out-of-network treatment program.
Pay Your Mortgage
Credit card bills are one thing, your mortgage is another. Did you know that some lenders will start the foreclosure process as early as three months after your first missed payment? Protect your biggest investment by ensuring you have the means to pay your mortgage, homeowner insurance, and other loan-related fees until you’re literally back on your feet.
“Worker’s comp didn’t do much to keep our heads above water, and when I messed up the tendons in my arm and couldn’t work for ten months, we had to borrow money from family members to keep up with house payments,” said Sarah M., who drives for a major shipping company. “We have accidental and critical illness insurance now.”
Cover Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses
It’s likely you’ve considered the main benefit to having supplemental insurance, but how much have you really thought about it?
You might opt for treatments not covered by your health plan, and your medical insurance might have high deductibles, caps, or gaps that might cost a fortune when paid up front. Supplemental insurance will relieve the stress and financial strain related to unexpected medical bills, allowing you more options for quality of care and “elective” treatments.
“I’m a huge believer in Reiki, yoga, and therapeutic massage,” said Rebekah J. of Bellingham, Washington. “If I didn’t have critical illness insurance, I really don’t think I’d have been able to afford any of it. Looking back, I really attribute my full recovery from cancer to the options my policies allowed me to maintain.”
Preserve Your Nest Egg
Business Insider broke down data from the most recent Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances: “The median savings account balance for those under 35 years old was $1,580. During the years between 35 and 44, balances grow significantly — the median for this age group is $5,000.” Middle-aged people tend to save much more, but the average nest egg still falls far short of what could cover the expenses incurred during an unexpected medical emergency or illness.
Whether you’ve been a big saver your entire life, or you’re doing your best to build up your retirement fund, injuries and illness can wipe you out. Your supplemental insurance policy can provide a buffer, if not allow you leave your savings untouched.
Hold Down the Fort
Who wants to cook and clean house when your life has been upended by a medical emergency? Who is going to make sure the family is fed, the laundry is done, and the crud on top of the refrigerator is finally scrubbed away?
Supplemental insurance takes the pressure off your support network (i.e. your spouse and kids) when you’re laid up.
Joshua D. of Grand Rapids, Michigan is a single dad who learned firsthand (well, ok, one hand) the value of his supplemental insurance policy. “When I broke my arm, I couldn’t cook. The kids really stepped up and helped with chores, but with three kids under the age of ten, well, things go sideways pretty quickly.” Joshua took advantage of healthy takeout and delivery services, and a twice-weekly housekeeping service to keep things on an even keel.
“My oldest son learned all sorts of cooking skills with our delivered meal kits,” said Joshua. “Everything was prepped, and all I had to do was make sure he didn’t burn the house down when he did the actual cooking.”
Protect Your Passions
You work hard, and chances are, you play hard. When your health has thrown you for a loop, what better motivation exists than the idea of getting back to your favorite hobbies?
When we have unexpected expenses come up, the first things we sacrifice are those which enrich our lives, but aren’t considered “essential”. How many hours did you put into restoring that old classic car? Imagine how it would feel to have to sell your RV, boat, vacation home, or that awesome 600mm telephoto lens (and the rest of your camera gear) you love so much?
Fun is important to your recovery and your long-term health. One study found that hobbies had a positive effect on post-surgical breast cancer patients, results that surely carry over to other injuries and illnesses. Having to give up our favorite diversions to pay for expenses is a huge blow to our emotional well-being.
How Can Supplemental Insurance Help You and Your Family?
There’s no way to list all the ways significant health issues might impact our finances, our quality of life, and our day-to-day routines. Nor are there limits to how you use your supplemental critical illness, accident, vision, and dental payouts. Your recovery strategy is up to you; our job is to help you make it happen.
But if you do decide to get that tiger, let us know; we have a really big mouse in the breakroom.