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Other Types of Medical Insurance

Insurance coverages for other aspects of health care needs are also available, such as, disability, dental and visions plans.

Plans are often available in group plans offered by employers or organizations to enhance benefit packages.  Finding extended or additional coverages may be very desirable — based on your ability for personal payment.  Some commonly available additional medical coverages are explained below.

Disability Insurance
Dental Insurance
Vision Insurance

Disability

Anyone who must work to pay for their standard of living needs income insurance. These policies replace a percentage of your earned income when you're too sick or injured (on or off the job, usually) to work.

Benefits are payable monthly and begin after a waiting period (an income loss deductible, a period of time you are out of work). You can usually choose 30, 60, 90, 180, 360 days for a waiting period.

As long as you're unable to work you could receive income for a benefit period of your choice, usually 2 years, 5 years, to your age 65 or 67 or lifetime.

Options you can usually add for additional premium are:

    • Partial/Residual disability — if you can work part time you will receive a partial benefit so you're not penalized for trying to go back to work

    • Guarantee of Insurability — allows you to buy additional monthly benefit by proving that you're making more money but, without having to prove you're in good health

    • Cost of Living — this increases the monthly benefit you receive by a certain percentage annually when you're on a multi-year claim

    • Own Occupation — defines your disability as the inability to do a specific occupation, such as, being a physician, pilot, engineer

    • Return of premium — after a certain number of years a percentage of the premiums you've paid will be refunded to you less any amount paid to you in claims.

The more options you add the more expensive the policy. You can mix waiting periods, benefit periods, monthly benefit amount and riders to design a policy that is affordable.

People of all ages are more likely to be disabled for 90 days or more before they reach age 65 than they are to die prematurely.




Dental

There are traditional and HMO plans through employer groups or those which you can purchase as an individual. Traditional plans are more expensive because of the free choice of dentist. Also, traditional plans have waiting periods before certain types of dental care are covered, and with HMO's there are no waiting periods.

This option is generally good for families and people over 40 years of age.




Vision

Usually doesn't exist other than as an employer group benefit. Sometimes it's part of a dental plan or medical plan. Many HMO's include eye exams in their medical plans but, no coverage for eye wear. All medical plans cover eye diseases (i.e. infections, cataracts) and injuries.

Probably not a wise buy for most people. Using savings to pay for this care is more cost effective.

 

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Joanne Rigby
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