When illness or injury results in hospitalization, it is rare that any health insurance plan will cover all related expenses. That is why hospital indemnity coverage, which provides a daily cash benefit during a covered hospital stay, has emerged in recent years as a highly sought-after insurance plan.
According to a May 2007 study by Eastbridge Consulting Group, demand for hospital indemnity coverage has increased by double digits over the past four years, earning it a spot among the top five most popular supplemental insurance plans.
In response to that growing demand—and in keeping with its mission to provide comprehensive insurance benefits to protect the health and financial well-being of AVMA members and their families—the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust now offers an improved hospital indemnity plan, featuring increased benefits and more coverage options.
The hospital indemnity plan can supplement other medical insurance, providing hospitalized participants with a daily cash benefit that can be used to cover expenses. Benefits can be used in any manner the insured wishes. They can be used to offset deductibles or co-insurance; be applied toward the cost of a private room; be deposited in a savings account; or used to cover general expenses, such as gasoline or groceries.
The new hospital indemnity plan offers a choice of daily benefits ranging from $100 to $400, in increments of $50. Eligible AVMA members under age 65 who reside in the United States and members of the Student AVMA attending a full schedule of classes in the United States, as well as eligible dependents of both groups, may purchase the new hospital indemnity plan. Dependent children are limited to a maximum daily benefit of $200.
The daily benefit is paid for each day of a covered hospitalization, up to 500 days. There are some exceptions, such as hospitalizations for gastric bypass procedures, in which daily benefits are limited to a maximum of 30 days, and hospitalizations outside the United States, which are limited to 15 days.
Benefits increase for covered intensive-care stays to help offset the higher associated costs. In these instances, daily benefits are doubled for participants under age 65 and are increased 150 percent for participants 65 and older.
Eligible AVMA members under age 65 who reside in the United States and members of the Student AVMA attending a full schedule of classes in the United States, as well as eligible dependents of both groups, may purchase the new hospital indemnity plan.
The plan also provides full daily benefits for covered hospitalizations that are the result of a pregnancy (up to 30 days), as well as in-hospital treatment of medical and nervous system disorders and alcohol and drug abuse (up to 500 days). When alcohol and drug abuse treatment is received in a qualified residential program, 50 percent of daily benefits can be paid for up to 100 days.
Partial benefits can also be paid for confinement to a skilled nursing facility or for home convalescence following a covered hospitalization. A one-day benefit may be paid for each of up to three medically necessary outpatient surgeries each calendar year that are the result of covered illness or injury.
Premiums for hospital indemnity coverage are affordable. Depending on the participant's age and the daily benefit amount selected, rates may start at just $4 per month. While hospital indemnity coverage is available to all eligible AVMA members no matter what type of medical insurance plan they hold, it is ideal for those who have chosen high-deductible plans.
Hospital indemnity coverage does not require medical underwriting, which means it will be issued to eligible AVMA members, regardless of health status. However, benefits will not be paid for medical conditions that were pre-existing up to 12 months prior to the effective date of coverage.
By providing an extra layer of benefit coverage, hospital indemnity insurance can help provide additional peace of mind by easing the financial worries that accompany hospitalization.
To learn more about the Trust's hospital indemnity plan, including exclusions, limitations, rates, eligibility, and renewal provisions, or to find a GHLIT agent, call the Trust office at (800) 621-6360 or visit www.avmaghlit.org. The Trust's insurance program is underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company.