Hospitali stays are inherently stressful, even if they’re short-term. Besides the immediate concern of your physical health, a stay in the hospital could also raise your risk for financial hardship. According to a report by Salary Finance, 32 percent of working Americans have outstanding medical debt, and 54 percent of people with medical debt have defaulted on it.
One thing that may help reduce the financial burden associated with a stay in the hospital—and help you focus on your recovery, instead of mounting bills—is hospital indemnity insurance.
If you’ve never heard of this type of insurance before—or haven’t had a chance to look into it—you're in the right place. Because it's always a good idea to learn more about benefits that can save you money in the long run. And open enrollment is the perfect time to explore your options.
What is hospital indemnity insurance?
Hospital indemnity insurance is a voluntary insurance benefit, which may be provided by employers, that offers coverage for accident-related inpatient rehabilitation and hospital stays. The benefit can be used as you see fit and the lump sum payment is made directly to you.
What are the benefits of hospital indemnity insurance?
Consider the following four advantages of hospital indemnity insurance to determine whether it's worth investing in:
1. Spend the money how you need to
When you make a qualifying claim on your hospital indemnity insurance policy, you’ll receive a lump sum payment from your plan that is paid out directly to you. And you can use this in any way that might be helpful for you and your family. In other words, you don't have to put it toward hospital bills.
For example, you might need it for food deliveries, childcare, hospital co-pays, or other essential bills. Once the money is in your hands, it’s entirely up to you how you spend it.
2. Coverage is guaranteed and payments are easy1
Unlike other insurance policies that may involve a medical screening, hospital indemnity insurance is a voluntary benefit that’s guaranteed without the need for a medical exam or health questionnaire with coverage under MetLife.
Insurance premiums are also handled directly through payroll deductions, since these policies are generally provided by employers as a benefit to their employees. That means you never have to worry about missing a payment or having your policy lapse. It’s an easy way to ensure you’ll have extra financial protection in the case of a hospital stay, without the added stress of remembering to make monthly payments.
3. You can take your benefits with you if you change jobs
Although most hospital indemnity coverage plans are provided through an employer, you can often take your plan with you if your employment status changes. As long as you continue making your premium payments—and your employer doesn’t terminate the group policy—you’ll be covered whenever you might need to use it.1
4. It's a smart step in financial planning
Even the savviest of budgeters can run into unforeseen expenses: The average three-day hospital stay clocks in at around $30,000, according to healthcare.gov. And one study found that 29 percent of households have less than $1,000 in savings.
Although health insurance may cover a portion of hospital bills, it may not cover an entire stay. Plus, there are other factors to consider that can affect you financially, like childcare when you're in the hospital and recovering at home, transportation costs if you can't drive, additional healthcare needs, like physical rehabilitation, and even grocery and food delivery costs. The cash provided by hospital indemnity insurance can help cover any of those expenses.
The extra costs associated with a hospital stay don’t have to derail your financial goals. A hospital indemnity insurance plan can help protect your finances. Learn more about the specifics of hospital indemnity insurance plans here, and take our quiz to see if hospital indemnity insurance might be right for you.