Looking for the best coverage at the lowest price? In your search, you may have come across group supplemental health insurance plans, more commonly known as gap plans, especially if you’re currently enrolled in a high-deductible plan and looking for protection against high out-of-pocket costs.
This page covers the details of supplemental health insurance without coverage, including how it works and when it makes sense to buy a plan without coverage. When you’re done reading, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about whether a gap plan makes sense for you.
If you decide to enroll in a gap plan, be sure to work with a trusted insurance company that takes a digital-first approach to enrolling and managing plans. Being able to quickly access and manage your plan means you can always get the health care you need without unnecessary hassle or delay.
- what is health insurance without coverage?
- does the gap insurance comply with the aca?
- what does gap health insurance cover?
- How much does gap insurance cost?
- when to consider a medical gap insurance plan
what is differential medical insurance?
gap health insurance is a supplemental health insurance policy that is usually purchased in conjunction with a high deductible health plan (hdhp).
For 2022, the irs defines an hdhp as a policy that has a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual and $2,800 for a family, with total annual out-of-pocket expenses (including deductibles, copays, and coinsurance) of less than $7,000 for an individual or $14,000 for a family.
hdhps offers coverage only after this substantial annual premium has been met.
Differential health insurance policies allow you to receive coverage for medical expenses before you meet your deductible.
For certain people with high deductibles, paying a small monthly premium for health insurance coverage without coverage can potentially lead to significantly lower medical expenses.
does it meet the insurance gaphere?
not. Differential health insurance does not meet the standards set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because differential health insurance is not intended to be primary health insurance. instead, it is used in conjunction with an aca-compliant major medical plan. “Major” health insurance plans generally refer to plans that provide robust, comprehensive coverage, which gap plans generally do not.
What does the differential medical insurance cover?
Generally, gap health insurance only covers unexpected high-cost medical services, such as surgeries related to heart attacks and strokes that are performed in hospitals. however, not all urgent medical services will be covered in the same way; For example, differential health insurance plans typically provide different coverage for inpatient and outpatient hospital services.
To help you better understand the details of health insurance coverage without coverage, the factors associated with it are described below.
explanation of benefits (eob)
After receiving care, you will be asked if you want your services to be billed to your insurance company. When you say yes, you will receive a reference document from your insurance company called an Explanation of Benefits (EOB). your eob is not a bill; Instead, traditional EOBs show what services you received, how much your insurance company covered, and how much you are responsible for.
Differential health insurance plans are slightly different from standard health insurance plans when it comes to EOBs. For coverage, gap health insurance plans typically pay a fixed lump sum, and you have the option to use this money however you want. Therefore, when you receive medical services that are covered by your gap health insurance plan, you may receive two EOBs: one from the insurance company that offers your primary plan, which will show the traditional services and coverage breakdown, and another from the insurance company that offers your gap insurance plan, which will itemize the details of your lump sum payment.
Because differential health insurance policies do not need to meet the standards set by the aca, they vary in the coverage they offer. Some gap insurance policies will help with copays and coinsurance, two flat rates that can be substantially higher before you meet your deductible, and some won’t.
If your primary plan has coinsurance built in, differential health insurance payments can be used to help pay your portion of the coinsurance payment for which you are responsible.
Differential health insurance does not help pay monthly premiums with existing health plans. rather, buying differential health insurance will increase your insurance premiums. however, this additional monthly cost may be offset by the money you save by having health insurance without coverage.
How much does differential insurance cost?
Like traditional health insurance plans, the cost of your differential insurance will vary based on a few factors about you and your lifestyle.
benefits of the chosen plan
first, what health care services do you want coverage for? low-cost plans provide limited benefits, while plans that provide extensive coverage cost more.
next, how much coverage do you want? Larger payments for high-cost medical services mean higher monthly premiums, and vice versa.
Older people generally require more health care services than younger people. therefore, the older you are, the more you will typically pay for gap insurance.
state of health
The ACA prevents health insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions. However, gap insurance plans do not need to follow the standards outlined in the ACA. therefore, if you have existing medical problems, you should expect to pay more for health insurance without coverage.
Places with high costs of living generate higher medical expenses. Insurance companies will take this into account when quoting you for a gap insurance policy. If you live in an affluent area with a high cost of living, your differential health insurance policy will generally cost more than an identical plan would for someone living in an area with a lower cost of living.
when to consider a medical gap insurance plan
gap insurance plans are supplemental insurance plans. If you already have health coverage, you may be wondering why you need gap insurance in the first place.
The answer is simple: In some cases, purchasing gap insurance can save you a lot of money on medical expenses by reducing extreme out-of-pocket costs. Knowing that you are at least somewhat covered for very high medical costs also gives you important peace of mind in your daily life.
low hsa balance
gap insurance plans are often purchased in conjunction with hdhps. HDHPs are sometimes offered in conjunction with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which are special types of savings accounts that can be funded with pre-tax money, but are used only for medical expenses.
Employer contributions to HSAS are often rolled over from month to month, allowing long-term employees to build up large balances in their HSAS. For these long-term employees, who have deep pockets to cover unexpected high-cost medical procedures, signing up for a gap insurance plan may not be an ideal option. the increase in the monthly premium may be an unnecessary expense considering the immediate availability of funds.
for those who are enrolled in hdhps and do not have hsas, or do not have substantial balances accumulated in their hsas, enrolling in a gap insurance plan may be the ideal option.
high probability of needing high-cost medical services
If heredity or lifestyle factors indicate that you may need high-cost medical services in the near future, purchasing a differential insurance policy may allow you to receive important coverage if something happens.
Because insurance companies can discriminate based on pre-existing conditions when offering health insurance plans without coverage, you may end up paying a substantial monthly premium for coverage, but if something serious happens, the payment of the The lump sum you receive can be very beneficial in covering medical expenses and preventing serious alterations in your lifestyle.
savings on most common medical expenses
Some differential health insurance policies are intended to lessen the burden of more common and frequent medical needs rather than serve as protection for worst-case scenarios. For these types of gap plans, try to cover only the services you think you’ll end up needing to keep your monthly premium low. An efficient gap health insurance plan provides savings on medical expenses without increasing your monthly premium to the point where the premium increase is worth more than the savings.
gap health insurance policies are not stand-alone insurance policies. instead, they are supplemental insurance policies that are often purchased in conjunction with hdhps.
Gap insurance policies provide coverage for select high-cost medical services and, depending on the specifics of your particular gap insurance policy, you may also receive coverage for more common medical services. they work to fill the “gap” left by high deductible plans where coverage is very limited or non-existent until a high deductible is met.
Gap insurance policies generally pay a lump sum of money directly to you, rather than directly to the medical company. How you use your gap insurance policy payout is up to you.
Not everyone needs a differential insurance policy. In particular, people with very high deductibles will benefit most from differential insurance policies. gap insurance policies help ease the financial burden of high deductibles and, when purchased wisely, can result in lower medical expenses even during years when serious medical problems do not occur.
If you decide a differential health insurance plan is right for you, make sure you work with an efficient insurance company that takes a digital-first approach. When enrolling and managing your plan is as easy as 1-2-3, you can know you’re covered for everything you need without losing valuable time in your day.