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Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy
Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy
Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy
Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy
Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy
Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy
Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy
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Supplemental Health - A "Must" for Americans in the Current Economy

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This white paper describes why American\'s need to have Supplemental Health Insurance

This white paper describes why American\'s need to have Supplemental Health Insurance

Published in: Health & Medicine, Education
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  • 1. [ 01.22.2009 ] Supplemental Health Insurance: A ‘Must’ for Americans in the Current Economy By Ryan Berry, Connie Burgess and Kate Nelson Introduction Risk of Illness and Injury Economic concerns in the United States Many of us, at one point, will hear Introduction today are as numerous as they are seri- from our physician the words we fear 1 ous. National debt, falling stock prices, the most: Cancer. Heart disease. Stroke. record home foreclosures, a weak U.S. Those who don’t may have to support a Risk of Illness and Injury dollar and a negative savings rate have family member or good friend through 1 come together to create a “perfect treatment for one of these diseases. storm” in our economy. High Cost According to an Eastbridge Consulting of Medical Care Americans are struggling to manage Group study, in a typical year 1-in-6 2 their family economies. Many are battling Americans is hospitalized due to sickness or accidents.2 The average hospital stay stagnant wages, overwhelming mortgage Who Bears the Burden? debt, crippling credit card debt and is four to five days in length, including 2 unpaid medical bills. hospitalizations for everything from minor broken bones to major organ Implications Medical debt is, in fact, a leading cause transplants.3 3 of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. today.1 Medical care from hospitals and other A Solution Sensible solutions are needed to help providers is more extensive when certain 4 consumers control their health care health conditions—namely injuries, heart expenditures and protect their hard- Buyers’ Guide to disease, stroke and cancer—occur. earned assets now and in the long term. Supplemental Insurance Injuries 4 Supplemental health insurance is a The National Safety Council reports practical solution. Due to the risk of Summary that a disabling injury occurs once incurring illnesses or injuries, and the 5 every 1.6 seconds in the U.S.4 Nearly high cost of medical care, the protection 2-in-3 disabling injuries among afforded by these products has never been American workers occur off the job, more important to American families. and therefore are not covered by workers’ compensation.5 Heart disease According to the American Heart Asso- ciation and American Stroke Association, about 80.7 million Americans currently have cardiovascular disease.6 Even the CIC-WP-EC (01/09) 132471 © 2009 Conseco Services, L.L.C. 1
  • 2. [ 01.22.2009 ] Supplemental Health Insurance: A ‘Must’ for Americans in the Current Economy is $14,000 for an adult.12 Another 21% most extreme heart-care scenario—a heart transplant—is becoming more of health care expenditures goes toward physician and clinical services.13 common. There were 2,192 heart trans- plants performed in the United States in When most people think about the high 2006 and 2,125 in 2005.7 cost of health care in the U.S., they imagine Cancer expensive hospital stays and pricey “Cancer” is the word patients fear hearing. doctor bills. Yet these costs represent As the average life span of Americans has just half of the individual’s total poten- The American increased, so has the risk of developing tial health care liability. A nearly equal cancer. The American Cancer Society amount goes toward additional medical Cancer Society reports reports that men have nearly a 1-in-2 and nonmedical expenditures related men have nearly a to care.14 These nonmedical costs are lifetime risk of developing cancer, while 1-in-2 lifetime risk 1-in-3 women likely will develop cancer harder to anticipate. Most people aren’t at some point in their lives.8 In 2008 prepared for costs such as transportation of developing cancer, alone, more than 1.4 million new cases to and from medical facilities, lost wages while 1-in-3 women of cancer are expected to be diagnosed.9 from extra sick days and additional child likely will develop or family care expenses. Given the prevalence of accidents and cancer at some point injuries, as well as catastrophic illnesses Who Bears the Burden? in their lives.8 like heart disease and cancer, individuals As health care costs have increased, so have are right to be concerned about their health insurance premiums. From 2002 to personal health risks and the costs 2007, health premiums grew 78%.15 associated with treatment and recovery. America’s employers are facing rising High Cost of Medical Care costs for insurance and total benefits— Health care spending has consistently while they struggle to remain profitable grown faster than the overall economy in a difficult economy. In response, since the 1960s. In 2007, spending on they’re reducing operating expenses health care was about 16.2% of the by cutting benefits and eliminating U.S. GDP.10 employee benefit options—leaving their workers responsible for a greater share The largest chunk of overall health care of insurance costs. Nearly 3.7 million expenditures—nearly 31%—goes to pay fewer people had employer-provided hospital costs.11 That’s not surprising insurance in 2004 than in 2000.16 In considering that the average per-patient 2007, the percentage of people covered amount charged by U.S. hospitals by employer-funded health insurance fell (which includes care for everything from for the fourth year in a row.17 stitched-up cuts to open-heart surgery) CIC-WP-EC (01/09) 132471 © 2009 Conseco Services, L.L.C. 2
  • 3. [ 01.22.2009 ] Supplemental Health Insurance: A ‘Must’ for Americans in the Current Economy As shown below,18 due to reductions in 29% reported that medical expenses employer-provided benefits, individuals contributed to their current level of credit card debt.23 are paying higher out-of-pocket costs for medical care, including premium expenses, Not surprisingly, about half of all copays, coinsurance and more.19 Among low- and personal bankruptcies are attributed in middle-income house- part to medical problems.24 2004 2006 holds with credit card In an attempt to reduce household ex- Increased copays 38% 44% penses, more Americans are making poor debt, 29% reported Increased 25% 37% health care decisions. In an October 2008 that medical expenses deductibles study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Decreased contributed to their 31% of surveyed respondents said they 12% 13% coverage levels skipped recommended medical tests or current level of credit Fewer plan treatments to save money.25 10% 9% card debt.25 options This problem is even more marked in Implications rural areas. In small towns and sparsely In an October 2008 populated communities, residents are Many Americans are struggling to make study by the Kaiser more likely to suffer certain types of ends meet. The last thing they need is Family Foundation, 31% chronic conditions, such as diabetes,26 an illness or injury to further stress their and are more likely to die from heart of survey respondents resources, especially when so many are disease.27 battling personal debt. said they skipped Because they tend to have fewer options After adjusting for inflation, the recommended medical of health care providers—and often must indebtedness of U.S. households has risen tests or treatments to travel some distance to receive quality 42% over the last five years alone.20 As save money.26 care—people in rural areas are less likely a result, families are more vulnerable to to seek regular preventive care. As a financial difficulty and a deteriorating result, they are more likely diagnosed quality of life if an injury or illness occurs. with a major illness requiring advanced One-third of Americans report they have treatment.28 had problems paying medical bills in the past year, up from about one-quarter of the population two years ago.21 Between 2000 and 2003, family health costs rose about 45%.22 Among low- and middle- income households with credit card debt, CIC-WP-EC (01/09) 132471 © 2009 Conseco Services, L.L.C. 3
  • 4. [ 01.22.2009 ] Supplemental Health Insurance: A ‘Must’ for Americans in the Current Economy A Solution Buyers’ Guide to Supplemental Insurance American families have a choice: They can be victims of circumstance, or they An individual in the market for supple- can find solutions that can help them mental health insurance should look for: maintain their standard of living in the • Lump-sum benefits, which are paid event of a major illness or accident. when the consumer is diagnosed with a Supplemental health insurance is a viable common catastrophic illness. American families solution, providing policyholders the EXAMPLE: A supplemental cancer financial assistance to pay bills and main- have a choice: They plan would pay an insured single tain their household’s solvency through can be victims of mother a $10,000 cash benefit if she periods of illness. circumstance, or they were diagnosed with breast cancer. Cheaper than fast food? can find solutions Health insurance is more affordable than • Indemnity benefits, which offset that can help them you might think. While premiums vary, medical costs associated with hospital the average annual cost of supplemental and ICU stays, chemotherapy, radiation maintain their standard health insurance is on par with many and corrective or preventive surgery. of living in the event non-essential expenses people willingly EXAMPLE: An insured factory of a major illness or incur on a regular basis. worker who is hospitalized with an accident. Supplemental appendectomy could use his daily $200 COMPARE THE COST: hospitalization benefit to help pay for health insurance is a expenses associated with a stay in the Two lattes a week for one year $442 viable solution. hospital. This could eliminate the possibility of using his hard-earned Going to a movie twice a savings as a safety net. month with your spouse— $670 including popcorn and sodas • Transportation benefits, which help Two fast-food meals a week insured persons cover the cost of $725 for one year travel to and from a medical center for treatment. This benefit is especially Half a pack of cigarettes a day $820 important for those who live in rural areas, where transportation and lodging expenses typically accompany medical care and treatment procedures. EXAMPLE: The parents of an insured nine-year-old child who must travel 350 miles to receive specialized treatment could use their plan’s transportation benefit to offset the cost of travel and overnight stays. CIC-WP-EC (01/09) 132471 © 2009 Conseco Services, L.L.C. 4
  • 5. [ 01.22.2009 ] Supplemental Health Insurance: A ‘Must’ for Americans in the Current Economy • Coverage for regular diagnostic tests, this coverage for the extra insurance on such as mammograms, Pap smears top of our military and work benefits and colon screenings. This option because cancer is terribly expensive. makes it easier to afford preventive care The return-of-premium feature made it and detect any disease when it’s easiest a win-win situation,” she stated. “The to treat. following year during a mammogram, I was told of a lump. They removed EXAMPLE: A 44-year-old mother has 25 lymph nodes and performed a a family history of breast cancer, so she By having the mastectomy. Now I have been taking purchased a supplemental cancer policy cancer medication for several years. financial “safety net” with wellness benefits. Her coverage Conseco has paid directly to us and the pays for an annual mammogram, of supplemental money has helped—so we have had no which provides assurance that any health insurance, more out-of-pocket expenses.” cancerous cells likely will be detected Americans can avoid at an early stage. Summary the too-common • Premium-return feature, also known as By having the financial “safety net” of circumstance of having a “cash value” or “return of premium” supplemental health insurance, more rider. As the name implies, this benefit to choose between people can avoid the too-common can return premium to the policyholder circumstance of having to choose obtaining needed if coverage is kept for a certain period between obtaining needed medical medical care and of time. It gives the buyer assurance care and paying necessary household that they will get their premiums paying necessary expenses. Supplemental health insurance returned to them if the insurance protects against the potentially high household expenses. coverage is not needed. personal costs of an accident or major EXAMPLE: A couple in their 60s illness, and its cost is comparable with have had their supplemental cancer common househould expenses. insurance for 20 years. They bought With most supplemental plans, benefits their policy with a 100% return of are paid directly to insureds or their premium rider attached. Because they beneficiaries, giving them the freedom haven’t had to file a claim, they recently to use their insurance benefits however received a check for their entire paid they choose. Benefits from supplemental premium and decided to continue policies are paid regardless of any other their coverage. insurance already in place, including Delores Shileny of New Hampton, employer-sponsored major medical, for Iowa can attest to the value of extra assurance. supplemental coverage with the premium-return feature. “We took out CIC-WP-EC (01/09) 132471 © 2009 Conseco Services, L.L.C. 5
  • 6. [ 01.22.2009 ] Supplemental Health Insurance: A ‘Must’ for Americans in the Current Economy Ardel Fugleberg and her husband, the many nonmedical costs so they can Randy, of Hope, North Dakota, thought focus on their health. to supplement their major medical Now more than ever—in a climate insurance with a cancer plan—and marked by an unstable economy, rising they’re glad they did. medical costs and increasing personal “We always think it would only happen health care expenses—individuals should to others, but in a split second many lives take steps to protect themselves and “Having our Conseco are changed with a diagnosis of cancer,” their families with supplemental health cancer insurance Fugleberg stated. “Having our Conseco insurance products. helped with many cancer insurance helped with many of those additional financial concerns. Even of those additional with medical insurance, the expenses financial concerns… added up quickly. It helped with lodging References with the illness and and travel expenses at a time when many 1 “Illness and Injury as Contributors to family members had to take off from transplant, almost Bankruptcy,” Market Watch: Health Affairs, work. With the illness and transplant, Feb. 2, 2005. a year of work was almost a year of work was missed to help 2 “Voluntary Supplemental Medical and Hospital Indemnity Plans,” Eastbridge missed to help with with his care. Our agent was very helpful Consulting Group, Inc., p. 15. and really worked hard for us when we his care. Our agent 3 Ibid., p. 15 were going through the worst time of 4 National Safety Council: Report on Injuries was very helpful and our lives.” in America, 2003. really worked hard 5 Ibid. People like the Fuglebergs made the 6 American Heart Association/American for us when we were choice to protect their own health Stroke Association, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2008 Update (At-a-Glance and their finances by purchasing going through the Version), p. 6. supplemental cancer insurance. They are worst time of 7 Ibid., p. 35. among thousands each year who receive 8 American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & our lives.” cash benefits to help offset the cost of Figures 2008, 2008, p. 1. life-saving care. In fact, in 2007, Conseco 9 Ibid., p. 1. Insurance Company—a national insurer 10 “Trends in Health Care Costs and Spending,” Kaiser Family Foundation, Sept. based in Carmel, Indiana—paid out 2007. more than $85 million in medical claims 11 Ibid. related to cancer care and treatment. 12 “Voluntary Supplemental Medical and Hospital Indemnity Plans,” Eastbridge Supplemental health insurance products Consulting Group, Inc., p. 15. pay lump-sum and/or indemnity benefits. 13 “Trends in Health Care Costs and These benefits are flexible enough to Spending,” Kaiser Family Foundation, Sept. 2007. be used however the insured person 14 Ibid. chooses—to pay medical bills through a 15 Ibid. lengthy course of treatment or to cover CIC-WP-EC (01/09) 132471 © 2009 Conseco Services, L.L.C. 6
  • 7. [ 01.22.2009 ] 16 Mishel, Lawrence, et. al., “Less Cash in Their Pockets,” EPI Briefing Paper #154, The benefits described in these policies do 2004. not cover all nonmedical expenses. However, the benefit payment you receive can be used 17 Ibid. to pay any of your medical or nonmedical 18 “Worksite MarketVision – The Employee costs not paid by any other insurance. Viewpoint Revisited,” Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., May 2007. These policies have limitations and exclusions. For costs and complete details 19 Watson Wyatt survey as presented at the of coverage, contact an agent. Certain policy Eighth Annual Washington Business Group benefits, riders and features may vary by state. on Health Summit. 20 “Flow of Funds Accounts, Balance Sheet A hospital is not a bed, unit or facility that Tables: Total Household Liabilities,” functions as a skilled nursing facility; a Federal Reserve, 2006. Deflated using nursing home; an extended care facility; a CPI-U from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. convelescent home; a rest home or a home for the aged; a sanatorium; a rehabilitation 21 “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election center; a place primarily for providing care 2008–October 2008.” for alcoholics or drug addicts; or a facility 22 Mishel, Lawrence, et. al., “Less Cash in for the care and treatment of mental disease Their Pockets,” EPI Briefing Paper #154, or mental disorders. 2004. The facts in this document represent the 23 “Borrowing to Stay Healthy: How Credit U.S. population, are for information only, Card Debt Is Related to Medical Expenses,” and do not imply coverage under the policies Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action as or endorsement of the companies or policies Part of the Access Project, Jan. 2007. by the cited sources. 24 Ibid. Products cited in this article are issued by 25 “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008.” Conseco Insurance Company, a life and health 26 National Center for Health Statistics. insurance company, and Conseco Health Health, United States, 2001, With Urban Insurance Company, administrative offices, and Rural Chartbook. Hyattsville, Carmel, IN. These policies and certain benefits Maryland: 2001. and/or riders are subject to state availability. 27 Ibid. 28 Casey, M. M., Call, K. T., & Klinger, J. M. (2001). Are Rural Residents Less Likely to Obtain Recommended Preventive Health Care Services? American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 21(3), 182-188; and Zhang, P., Tao, G., & Irwin, K. L. (2000). Utilization of Preventive Medical Services in the United States: A Comparison Between Rural and Urban Populations. The Journal of Rural Health, 16, 349-356. CIC-WP-EC (01/09) 132471 © 2009 Conseco Services, L.L.C. 7

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