Does Health Insurance Cover Death?
Health insurance may cover many illnesses, injuries, and terminal conditions, but death is typically not on its coverage list. That job is generally reserved for life insurance.
Each insurance policy has its own set of stipulations, but the general functions of health insurance and life insurance remain fairly standard across the board. Life insurance policies are specifically designed to offer financial protection following a death, whereas health insurance policies are generally designed to offer financial protection in life.
Life Insurance vs. Health Insurance
Health insurance involves paying a regular premium for coverage that helps pay for your medical and health needs. Depending on the policy, those needs can vary greatly. Health insurance may cover hospital bills, emergency room visits, prescription medication, doctor and healthcare professional visits, and preventative measures that help sustain good health.
Each insurance plan has a deductible, or an amount of money that must be paid before certain benefits kick in. Each plan also has a maximum level of coverage that leaves the policyholder responsible for any expenses that exceed that maximum. Health insurance plans cover services as they are needed. Once the insured dies, the policy is no longer valid.
Life insurance also involves paying a regular premium, but the similarities to health insurance pretty much stop there. Life insurance is designed to pay out the amount of the policy upon the death of the insured. Just as there are various types of health insurance, USA.gov notes various types of life insurance also exist.
Term life insurance covers a specific term, or length of time. You can find term life insurance that lasts a set amount of years or expires after you hit a certain age. Once the term expires, you may get a new policy but the old policy is done and has no cash value. Term insurance is the least expensive type of life insurance and only involves paying a set premium.
Other types of life insurance policies, such as universal life or whole life, have a cash value, US.gov says. This means you can use the money invested in the policy to set up a long-term savings account or another investment product, such as an annuity. These policies are more complicated and more expensive than term life insurance policies.
Does Life Insurance Pay on Any Type of Death?
Like any insurance policy, life insurance policies typically have strict stipulations when it comes to specifics. Certain situations may not be covered, such as death by murder or death by suicide. Either event could involve a motive of dying or killing with the overall goal of obtaining life insurance payouts for the survivors.
Life insurance policies often require a physical checkup before any policies are issued. It may be difficult or expensive to obtain life insurance for a person who is suffering from a terminal illness or other chronic condition.
Because accidental deaths are often covered, provided no foul play is suspected, certain professional may have higher premiums or more trouble obtaining life insurance than others. Examples include those with high-risk jobs, such as window washers, police officers, or others that may be subject to injury or death on the job.
What Type of Insurance Covers Injuries?
Coverage for injuries can fall under more than one type of insurance. The coverage for treating your injuries would typically fall under a health insurance policy. The policy may cover your hospital and medical bills, surgeries, and potentially physical therapy and other recovery programs. Be aware, however, that not all injuries may be covered. Those sustained during risky activities, such as bungee jumping and skydiving, may be exempt from coverage.
If the injuries are severe enough to put someone in a coma, the healthcare portion of the injuries may still be covered by health insurance, but you may also find some benefits in certain life insurance policies. Some life insurance policies may have a clause relating to comas that pays a monthly installment for a preset number of months if an injury results in a coma that lasts more than 30 days.
Also be aware that any lost wages or changes in job status due to the injury are not generally covered by health insurance or life insurance. That task goes to disability insurance.
Disability insurance is designed to help people replace their income if they suffer injuries that leave them unable to work. This type of insurance may be offered by your employer or you may obtain it on your own.
The types of disability policies are the short-term disability and long-term disability, or STD and LTD, respectively. Short-term disability policies generally cover a 24-month period following an accident. Long-term disability policies can extend to the full life of the insured.
Take note of four important aspects when looking into disability insurance. One is how your carrier defines disability, whether it is the inability to perform your usual job or any job in general.
Another is when benefits begin, as most plans have some type of waiting period following the injury or illness that left the insured disabled. A third is how long benefits last. Long-term disability may extend to the full life of the insured, or payments may only extend to a certain age, such as 65.
A fourth important point is the amount of the payout. Check if payments are adjusted to reflect inflation or if they decrease if you receive workers’ compensation or Social Security disability payments.