Unexpected Medical Expenses: 3 Ways to Cover Yourself

Medical expenses, especially unexpected ones, can derail financial plans you’ve been diligently working towards. Whether it’s a vacation or retirement savings, a major medical event can drain those hard-earned funds.

Many Americans have health plans with high deductibles. Funds in a health savings account (HSA) or flexible savings account (FSA) may be able to help you cover copays or deductibles. But if you experience a major hit, such as an overnight hospital stay, can you cover your portion of the payments and all your normal bills? Here are three unexpected medical expenses you could face and supplemental insurances that can defray the costs.

  1. Hospital Stays

Over the weekend, your husband has trouble breathing and needs to go to the emergency room. While there, X-rays and other tests reveal that he has pneumonia. The next thing you know, he’s been admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. Days at the hospital, medications and any testing can add up to a significant bill. Add to that time off work, and you may find it difficult to cover basic expenses. According to Healthcare.gov, a three-day hospital stay costs an average of $30,000.

The good news is you can be prepared for this type of situation with hospital indemnity insurance, which gives you a lump sum payment for each day of a covered hospital stay. Payments can be applied to large number of expenses incurred during the medical incident.

  1. Accidents

Your 4-year-old thinks he can fly. If Superman can do it, why can’t he? So, he climbs on the playroom table and leaps. Next thing you know, he’s screaming due to a dislocated wrist. Now, you’re on your way to urgent care.

Even without a hospital stay, the costs of common accidents can add up. Families with active kids and adults alike may benefit from accident insurance. It pays you a lump sum for certain expenses related to accidents.

  1. Critical Illness

A medical event caused by heart disease — whether it’s chest pain from a blocked artery or a heart attack — can add up fast, from emergency room visits to tests to surgery. On top of expensive surgery, you need constant follow-up care and possibly costly medications. Insurance and disability can cover some of those expenses and time off work, but it’s not always enough.

Critical illness insurance can help you stay prepared if a critical illness occurs. You receive a lump sum payment to use toward any personal or medical costs. You may think that a critical illness is unlikely to happen to you or someone in your family, but one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer at one point in their life. And that’s just one of many critical illnesses. If you receive a difficult diagnosis, you don’t want to be worried about how you’ll cover expenses. Critical illness insurance can allow you to focus on your or a loved one’s health should illness strike.

Having supplemental insurance can be an affordable way to offset expensive surprise medical care. Accidents happen, but they don’t need to derail your long-term savings efforts. For a few extra dollars a year, you can take care of your long-term financial future.

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