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Ancillary Health Insurance

Ancillary insurance is a type of add-on protection that you can use to affordably fill in some of these gaps that are often left by health insurance providers.


Ancillary Insurance

Maintaining a good health insurance plan is a must to help you cover the costs of your prescription drugs, any emergency treatments and services, and other types of medical care you need. While the Affordable Care Act widened the list of essential benefits that health insurance carriers must cover, there is still a wide range of different health needs that your health insurance plan may not cover. And that’s where ancillary insurance benefits come into play.

Those gaps the health insurance companies leave are often filled with some friendly, affordable ancillary provider insurance protection. Learn more about below.

What is ancillary insurance

Ancillary insurance is a secondary health insurance coverage that fills in some healthcare needs gaps often left by some insurance plans. Even some top health insurance companies won’t cover every cost associated with your healthcare needs, making ancillary insurance a valuable add-on to nearly any type of coverage.

dental insurance

Ancillary insurance definition

ancillary benefits definitonAccording to Investopedia: Ancillary benefits are a secondary type of health insurance coverage that covers miscellaneous medical expenses incurred during a stay at the hospital. The definition of ancillary benefits means it can cover expenses such as ambulance transportation, blood, drugs, and medical supplies like bandages.

These benefits are usually layered on primary medical coverage, so they are purchased in conjunction.

Ancillary products

ancillary productsThere are many types of ancillary benefits. The benefits you will have access to will depend on your employment situation and any health insurance through your employer.


Your primary protection is your health insurance, and if you maintain that against sky-high medical care costs. However, health insurance won’t even come close to covering everything that is associated with services and care that you may need. 

Ancillary insurance benefits will help you cover those costs not covered by your health insurance, which can quickly blow up in one medical emergency. Some things that ancillary benefits may cover can include:

  • Bandage cost
  • Specific medical devices not covered by health insurance
  • Hearing support and hearing aids
  • Home health services 
  • Ambulance rides

If something happens, like accidental death or an injury that permanently limits your ability to work, that is not fully covered under your health insurance. To offset this risk, a few employers may offer some life insurance benefits as an add-on to the ancillary benefits they offer. 

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Another common ancillary benefit offered through employers is Vision insurance. Health insurance companies are only required to offer vision benefits to anyone under 18 signed onto a family plan under the Affordable Care Act. Even though some health insurance companies opt to provide these benefits, they are not guaranteed the essential benefits.

A good vision insurance plan should provide you with assistance in covering the following eye care needs and treatments:

  • Annual and routine eye exams
  • An annual allowance to be used for contact lenses or prescription glasses
  • Eyeglasses lens enhancement options like anti-reflective coating or progressive lenses
  • Discounts on elective eye procedures like LASIK surgery

Depending on which type of insurance you get, any specific benefit included on your vision insurance plan will vary slightly depending on your policy options. 

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Dental insurance benefits are also not required to be provided to adults on an Affordable Care Act-approved long-term insurance plan. Like vision insurance, dental insurance helps you pay for common dental issues like root canals, cavities, and bridgework. 

Dental benefits are another common ancillary benefit that you may have access to through your employer. Some of the things that are usually covered under most dental insurance plans include:

  • X-rays
  • Routine teeth cleanings
  • Dental exams
  • Dental sealants
  • Fluoride treatments (for children and some teens)
  • Tooth extractions
  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Dental crowns
  • Denture creation and fittings
  • Dental bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Braces, retainers, or aligners

Most dental insurance companies split treatments into different categories, and of course, the category of treatment that you need will determine what percentage of the cost your insurance will pay. For instance, your insurance provider might classify a filling as a standard care need and pay for 80% of your treatment. 

However, they may classify a root canal as a primary care need and pay only 50% of the treatment cost. Most dental insurance plans will include 100% coverage for preventive services like X-rays and exams, cleanings, etc. But benefits vary by provider. 

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Ancillary services

ancillary servicesAncillary services are medical services or supplies not provided by acute care hospitals, doctors, or health care professionals. Examples of ancillary services include:

  • Ambulance services
  • Ambulatory surgery center (ASC) services
  • Audiology services
  • Behavioral health services (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Cardiac monitoring
  • Dialysis services
  • Durable medical equipment (DME)
  • Hearing services
  • Home health care services
  • Home infusion therapy services
  • Hospice care services
  • Laboratory services
  • Medical daycare (adult and pediatric)
  • Mobile diagnostic services
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Personal care assistant services
  • Private duty nursing
  • Radiology/diagnostic imaging
  • Rehabilitation services (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Skilled nursing services
  • Sleep laboratory services
  • Speech services
  • Substance-abuse services (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Ventilator services
  • Wound-care services

Ancillary Benefits

ancillary benefitsAccording to hub international if you’ve ever had to do any time in a hospital, or if you’re an employer offering some health care benefits to employees, you’ll want to understand more about ancillary benefits. These benefits cover ambulance rides, medications, and medical supplies related to medical care. Even if someone is given one acetaminophen while in the hospital, it will cost them, and ancillary benefits will cover that cost.

Ancillary benefits can involve voluntary plans, where the employer contributes from 0 to 40% of the premium, or employer-contributory ancillary benefits, where the employer pays 50 to 100% of the premium. Employees pay whatever portion the employer does not cover through payroll deductions. The employer may cover the total cost of an employee’s health plan and leave it to decide to purchase a voluntary dental or vision plan. Often, the offering of an employer-contributory ancillary plan encourages more employee enrollment.

There are advantages to both the employer and the employee regarding ancillary benefits. Whether the ancillary insurance intermediaries contributes more or the employee voluntarily purchases a plan, it is beneficial in various ways:

  • Pre-tax dollars are used to pay for these benefits, lowering an employee’s taxable income.
  • An employer offering ancillary benefits will be at the top of the competition when searching for valuable employees to join the team.
  • Some ancillary products are available for benefits not included in many typical health care plans, such as vision and dental insurance, and preventative care is often included.
  • Premiums are relatively reasonable, with a generally large group of people participating in the plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does ancillary mean in insurance?

Ancillary insurance is additional coverage that allows you to supplement your primary policy. This insurance typically covers indirect losses, like legal fees and expenses, lost wages due to injury, or medical costs not covered by a basic health plan.

What are examples of ancillary benefits?

Ancillary benefits are additional benefits that can help to enhance your overall employee experience. Examples of ancillary benefits include commuter assistance, pet insurance, legal assistance, telemedicine coverage, health saving account (HSA) contributions, dental and vision coverage, and more.

What does ancillary mean in medical terms?

In medical terms, ancillary refers to something supplementary or additional to a primary procedure or treatment. Ancillary services are usually provided alongside more intensive treatments and are typically related to diagnosis and supportive care.

Which is an example of an ancillary product?

An example of an ancillary product is travel insurance. It's a product that can be bought to provide additional coverage and protection in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage, delayed flights, and illnesses while traveling.

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About Coach B.

After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.

In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.

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