Maybe this is a familiar scenario.
You’re reviewing your annual enrollment materials to figure out what coverage is best for you and your dependents. Medical, dental, and vision coverage are pretty straightforward. Now you’re looking at the extra kinds of coverage, and they all sound similar. Accident coverage, hospital indemnity coverage, and critical illness – what’s the difference? While exact coverage varies per provider and employer, these are the general differences between plans.
- Accident coverage provides benefits for you and your covered family member for expenses related to an accidental injury that occurs outside of work. This coverage can help pay deductibles, copays, and even typical day-to-day expenses such as a mortgage or car payment.
- Critical Illness coverage pays a lump-sum benefit if you are diagnosed with a covered disease or condition (the exact diseases and conditions will be specified in plan documentation). You can use this money however you like. You might pay expenses not covered by your medical plan, lost wages, childcare, travel, home healthcare costs, or any of your regular household expenses.
- Hospital Indemnity coverage pays you cash benefits directly if you are admitted to the hospital or an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a covered stay. This can help pay for your medical expenses such as deductibles and copays, travel cost, food and lodging, or everyday expenses such as groceries and utilities.
While these coverages may overlap at points, they are definitely not all the same. Before your next benefits enrollment, consider whether you might want to enroll in any of these coverages for a little extra peace of mind.