Though health insurance is one of the most popular insurance types out there, it’s not the only one. In fact, there are plenty of supplementary insurance options out there designed to bolster your coverage in the event of a covered health ailment or even an accidental injury. If you’re unsure of the difference between health insurance and accidental injury insurance, you’ll find everything you need to know below.

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a primary insurance type that helps to cover one’s medical and health costs. From general doctor visits to major surgeries, a person can receive help with paying for these treatment costs if they have health insurance.

However, health insurance is not an end-all-be-all approach to funding medical costs and can depend on the type of plan you have. Generally, the process works by having someone pay a monthly premium, or perhaps their employer pays the costs on the individual’s behalf, and then they will need to pay a deductible or copay when they use health services.

What is accidental injury insurance?

Accidental injury insurance is a supplementary insurance option that helps covers a specific circumstance, which in this case, is accidental injury. The purpose of this type of insurance is not to replace a primary health insurance plan but to work in conjunction with the health insurance plan to help cover costs. Because costs for medical treatment can exceed what insurance will cover, or if you have high deductibles, a supplementary plan is useful for helping with gaps in coverage, making a recovery much easier.

The primary difference between health and accidental injury insurance

Payout amounts for accidental injury insurance may increase with the severity of the injury and subsequent treatments. But the key difference between accidental injury insurance and traditional health insurance is that to qualify for payouts, the injury must be an approved accident, which can mean no coverage in some situations. Unlike health insurance, which might cover all health ailments despite circumstances, accidental injury insurance specifically looks at circumstances.

Who needs health insurance vs. accidental injury insurance?

It is generally required that a person have health insurance, or they may face a penalty from the government for not having coverage.  Beyond that penalty, health insurance can also mean paying hundreds of thousands in medical bills for treatment compared to hundreds to simply help cover the deductible amount.

On the other hand, accidental injury insurance is not a necessity for everyone, and it is not intended to replace primary health insurance. If it comes down to choosing between the two insurance options, always opt for a primary health insurance option. Situations where you may want to purchase accidental injury insurance include if you’re working in a risky occupation and have an increased vulnerability to an accidental injury.

The content herein is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation

This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on plan selected. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders have limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. For costs and complete details of the coverage, please contact your local Aflac agent. In Idaho, Policy A37000ID. In Oklahoma, Policy A37000OK. In Virginia, Policies A371AAVA & A371BAVA.

Aflac insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac. In New York, coverage underwritten by Aflac New York.

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