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Supplemental Insurance Plans: What's Important

A recent NIH funded study looked at medical expenditure bills that represented more than 8,303 emergency room visits and came up with two startling conclusions: 

  1. There are huge variations in prices.
    Bills sent out for sprained ankles ranged from $4 to $24,110. 
  2. Prices overall are really high.
    The average emergency room visit cost 40 percent more than an average month’s rent (or $1,233 as the average rent is now $871 per month). 
 Supplemental Insurance options avaliable from GMS. Image: Scrabble Series Insurance” by Chris Potter is licensed under CC BY-ND

The Washington Post shared a chart that broke down the top 10 most common reasons for visiting the emergency room—designated by billing codes—and how much each one cost. Just a quick glance confirms the high prices and vast variations. A headache could cost $15 – or $17,797. 

So how do you protect yourself (and your employees) from having to pay these radically high prices or extreme variations?  Education and Supplemental insurance may be an option. 


The most important thing you can do, as an employer, is educate your employees on when / WHEN NOT to use the Emergency Room.  This education is not meant to discourage an employee from seeking medical attention, rather it is meant to educate that a sore throat is not the reason to see an ER doc.

What is supplemental insurance?

Supplemental insurance typically refers to supplemental health insurance, insurance policies that pay out cash directly to the person insured. Other types of supplemental insurance include accident & disability. 

How supplemental insurance works

Payment is often event-based. So the insurance pays the insured a set amount if you visit an emergency room, or for each night you spend in a hospital. In no case is the benefit sufficient to cover the cost. What it does is reimburse you for expenses your existing insurance does not cover. Supplemental insurance should NOT be your only form of insurance. 

Why should I offer supplemental insurance to my employees?

If you are looking for a way to attract and retain more talented employees, offering a competitive benefits package with supplemental insurance can convince them to join and remain part of the team. 

GMS can help you build a better benefits package

GMS can help you offer supplemental insurance plans and special benefits to your workforce. As one of the largest employers in Ohio, GMS has the buying power to secure great rates on supplemental insurance. That means through GMS you can gain access to high-quality supplemental insurance plans for low prices. 

We offer a range of supplemental coverings, including: 

  • Life
  • Dental and supplemental dental
  • Accident, disability, and short-term disability
  • Cancer and special disease
  • Hospital indemnity and intensive care
  • Long-term care

If you have questions about supplemental insurance or how GMS could help your business, contact us today

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