How to determine if supplemental health insurance is right for you

Supplemental health insurance helps pay for costs and services that your regular healthcare plan doesn't cover.

Healthcare costs can add up quickly and unpredictably due to an illness or injury. Regular health insurance policies do not necessarily cover all potential costs, including out-of-network charges, deductibles and copays, to name a few. In fact, a 2020 survey of insured American adults found that a third of respondents had received at least one unexpected medical bill in the previous two years.

Unanticipated medical costs can really stretch your monthly budget. Supplemental health insurance, also known as secondary health insurance, can help close those potential budget gaps.

What is supplemental health insurance?

Supplemental health insurance is an insurance policy that helps you pay unexpected medical bills that your regular health insurance plan doesn't cover. Here are some examples:

  • Unexpected child care – pay for someone to take care of your children while you are ill or in the hospital;
  • Pet care – keep your pets active even if your injury or illness makes it impossible to take them for walks yourself;
  • Meals – if you are unable to cook, you could use part of your benefit to have food delivered to your home;
  • Home maintenance – make sure the lawn gets mowed or the snow gets shoveled when you can't do it yourself;
  • Transportation – pay for gas or even airfare and parking if you need to travel to see a specialist or make regular trips to a clinic;
  • Deductibles and co-insurance amounts – help pay for deductibles not covered by your primary health insurance plan;
  • Private room and private duty nurse fees;
  • Outpatient surgery; and
  • Emergency room visits.

Things to consider with supplemental health insurance

As you think about getting additional health insurance, begin by reviewing your current policies, including policies that cover partners/spouses and children. The key is to make sure that you're complementing — not duplicating — your primary health insurance.

Learn more

There's a lot to understand about supplemental health insurance, and we want to make sure you have the information you need to make informed decisions. We encourage you to learn more and discuss your unique needs with your local State Farm® agent.

Read the full description of Infographic

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
Start a Quote
Select a product to start a quote.
Agents Near You
Contact Us
844-373-0003

Also Important

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Information

Supplemental Medicare health insurance works  alongside Medicare by helping cover extra expenses. Are Medicare supplement plans worth it? Learn more.

The Individual Need for Disability Insurance

If you have an accident/injury, your health insurance typically helps cover the medical bills. But if you were totally disabled you might need disability insurance.

Related Articles

Financial Jargon Simplified: Health Insurance

Doing some homework to understand important jargon can help you navigate insurance with confidence.

Health Insurance Options for When You're Going to Retire

Retirement equals lots of exciting plans for many people — as well as worry about transitions, finances and healthcare. What are the options for health insurance for retirees? These insights help you learn more as you start planning.

Different Health Insurance Types

There are several types of health insurance plans to choose from, and each has associated costs and limitations on providers and visits.