Pros and Cons of Limited Indemnity Medical Insurance 

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Limited indemnity medical insurance is a type of health coverage that pays out a fixed amount for specific medical services or conditions. It is often used as supplemental insurance to cover out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered by primary health insurance plans. 

While this type of coverage has its advantages, however, like any financial product, it comes with its set of limitations. So this guide will cover all of the pros and cons ofLimited Indemnity Medical Insurance, providing a clear, comprehensive overview for those considering their healthcare coverage options. 


Overview of Limited Indemnity Medical Insurance 

Limited Indemnity Medical Insurance is a healthcare policy that provides a covered person with a predetermined, fixed benefit for specified medical services and conditions, rather than covering the actual cost of medical care. 

Unlike traditional health insurance, which pays out based on the cost incurred from medical services, limited indemnity plans may pay out a set amount per day, per week, per incident, or per visit or a combination of these, depending on the covered medical event and/or treatment provided. 

This type of insurance is typically utilized to supplement existing health coverage, helping to offset out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, copayments, and non-covered (excluded) treatments. 

For example, a policy may cover a fixed amount per day for hospital stays or a set dollar amount for prescription drugs. The benefit amounts are often predetermined and paid out regardless of actual costs incurred. 

How It Differs From Traditional Health Insurance and Other Types of Medical Coverage 

Limited indemnity medical insurance differs from traditional health insurance in several ways. While traditional health insurance pays out based on the actual costs incurred, limited indemnity plans pay pre-determined fixed amounts for specific services or conditions. This means that a covered person may still have out-of-pocket costs if the predetermined benefit limit is lower than their actual medical expenses. 

Additionally, limited indemnity plans do not typically cover preventive care, major medical procedures, pre-existing condition treatments or ongoing treatments for chronic conditions. These types of coverage are usually included in traditional health insurance plans. 

Limited indemnity medical insurance also differs from other types of supplemental coverage, such as critical illness or accident insurance. Critical illness policies pay out a lump sum upon the diagnosis of a specified serious illness, while accident insurance provides benefits if an insured individual suffers an accident or injury. They are similar, however, in that they each will typically pay a predetermined amount that is not based on the actual treatment cost.  


Pros of Limited Indemnity Medical Insurance 

Limited indemnity medical insurance can serve as a financial safety net, offering peace of mind by providing predictable benefit payouts for specific medical events. So with that being said, let’s take a look at all of the pros of limited indemnity medical insurance. 


One of the major benefits of limited indemnity medical insurance is its affordability. Premiums for this type of coverage are almost always much lower compared to your standard health insurance, which is why it’s a much more attractive option for those on a budget. 

This can be especially beneficial for individuals who do not have access to employer-sponsored health insurance or who cannot afford thehigh premiums associated with traditional health plans. 

Limited indemnity medical insurance plans offer capped coverage for common accidents and illnesses. The insurer typically reimburses the plan participant after they cover the medical expenses. These plans exclude copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, eliminating the requirement for in-network services, clinics, or doctors. 

The reimbursement options are negotiated upfront at enrollment. 

Pricing for limited plans varies based on coverage amount, extent, family medical history, and the age, health, and gender of the plan participant. 

  • Price Comparison: The average annual premium for employer-sponsored health insurance in 2023 is $8,435 for single coverage and $23,968 for family coverage. In contrast, limited indemnity medical insurance plans allow individuals to choose the benefit amount that best fits their budget. The market average for a limited indemnity medical insurance plan is around $50 per month.

No Official Enrollment Period 

If you’re still trying tounderstand enrollment periods and how they operate, you’re not alone. But here’s the good news; limited indemnity medical insurance comes with no official enrollment period. 

This means that individuals can apply for coverage at any time throughout the year and do not have to wait for an open enrollment period. 

This makes it a more flexible option for those in need of immediate supplemental coverage or who may have missed the deadline for enrolling in traditional health insurance. 

Flexibility in Coverage 

Limited indemnity medical insurance plans offer a high level of customization, allowing individuals to tailor their coverage to fit their specific needs and financial situations. This flexibility is particularly advantageous because it empowers consumers to choose benefit levels that align with their anticipated medical expenses and risk exposure. 

You select your provider or hospital, and the insurance reimburses you a set amount for each covered benefit, regardless of the real costs of your medical bills. Utilize the funds to settle your medical expenses or mortgage, or for any necessary expenses if you’re hospitalized and unable to work. 

No Network Restrictions (It’s simple) 

Unlike traditional health insurance plans that limit benefits to in-network providers, limited indemnity medical insurance does not have network restrictions. This means that individuals can visit any licensed healthcare provider or facility and still receive a benefit payout for their medical expenses. 

This can be especially beneficial for those living in rural areas or individuals who prefer to see certain healthcare providers outside of their network. It also removes the hassle of having to get referrals or pre-authorizations, making it easier for beneficiaries to assess the care they need. 

For many, the straightforward nature of limited indemnity plans is a breath of fresh air. These policies often avoid the complex terms and intricate conditions associated with traditional health insurance, making them more understandable to the average person. 

Fast Payouts 

Limited indemnity medical insurance often offers fast payouts for covered services. Unlike traditional health insurance, which may take weeks or even months to process and pay out claims, limited indemnity plans typically have shorter turnaround times. This means that individuals can receive their benefit payments sooner, helping them cover their medical expenses quickly. 

This is especially beneficial for those who are facing unexpected medical bills and need the funds to pay for them right away. It also allows individuals to have a better understanding of their financial situation and plan accordingly. 

  • Real-Life Impact: Consider a scenario where an individual requires urgent minor surgery. A limited indemnity plan could provide a direct payout that covers the cost immediately, alleviating financial stress during recovery. 


Cons of Limited Indemnity Medical Insurance 

While limited indemnity medical insurance has its benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks that individuals should be aware of before enrolling in a plan. 

Coverage Limitations 

One of the main disadvantages of limited indemnity medical insurance is its coverage limitations. As mentioned earlier, these plans typically offer fixed benefit amounts for specific medical events. This means that individuals may not receive enough coverage if their medical expenses exceed the predetermined benefit amount. There also may be caps on the number of treatments that can be received, regardless of how many you may be recommended or require. 

Possible Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

Limited indemnity medical insurance also does not cover all medical expenses. There may still be out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments that individuals are responsible for paying. 

Additionally, since limited indemnity plans do not have network restrictions, individuals may have to pay higher fees for services received from out-of-network providers. 

Not a Substitute for Major Medical Plans 

Lastly, it’s important to note that limited indemnity medical insurance is not a substitute for major medical plans. These policies do not offer the comprehensive coverage and protection of traditional health insurance plans and should be used as supplemental coverage. 

Individuals who solely rely on limited indemnity plans may face financial difficulties if they experience a major medical event or need ongoing care for chronic conditions. It’s essential to consider all healthcare options and choose a plan that best fits an individual’s needs and budget. 


Who Should Consider Limited Indemnity Medical Insurance? 

Limited indemnity medical insurance can be a good option for individuals who are looking for supplemental coverage or those who cannot afford traditional health insurance. It may also be suitable for individuals who are generally healthy and have low anticipated medical expenses. 

Additionally, limited indemnity plans can be beneficial for those with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) as they offer coverage for services that may not be covered by their primary insurance. 

It’s a good fit for: 

  • Someone who doesn’t currently have access to major medical insurance, or wants more affordable wellness, doctor, and hospital coverage. 
  • Someone who needs a plan that doesn’t limit them to just in-network providers. 
  • Someone who wants broader access to providers and hospitals so they can minimize out-of-pocket expenses. 


Final Thoughts on Navigating Your Healthcare Choices 

Limited indemnity medical insurance provides flexibility, simplicity, and fast payouts for individuals seeking supplemental coverage. While it may not be a suitable substitute for major medical plans, it can still offer valuable benefits to those with specific needs and financial situations. It’s essential to carefully consider all healthcare options such asshort term medical insurance , critical illness insurance (CI), accident medical expense (AME) or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) plans and choose a plan that best fits an individual’s needs and budget. 

It’s also important to regularly review and reevaluate coverage to ensure it still meets an individual’s needs and circumstances. Having a comprehensive understanding of healthcare options can help individuals make informed decisions about their health and financial well-being. 

You should also always consult with alicensed insurance company or broker before enrolling in any type of insurance plan to ensure it is the right fit for your unique needs and circumstances.

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