Hospital Insurance

(Why 7% of the Population Will Need $9,700 This Year)

Written by Jessica Huneck
Written by Jessica Huneck

Jessica Huneck is an insurance writer from She began her writing career in 2011 and has since earned herself a bachelor's degree in English writing.

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The average cost of a hospital stay was $9,700 in 2010, but for people between the ages of 65-84, that cost was much closer to $12,300, according to a 2013 study from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. 

Of patients admitted to the hospital, those facing the biggest increase in cost were diagnosed with spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, and other back problems, as well as patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. 

According to the report, only about 7% of the population actually stays in a hospital for a health condition, but inpatient services constitute nearly 30% of healthcare spending in this country.

If you find yourself hospitalized due to an illness or injury, there are many things to think about, including how long you will need to stay and how you will pay for the unexpected costs. 

Hospital insurance is an available coverage plan that can help pay for the costs associated with medical care, as well as other costs such as transportation and even child care.

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Examples of Costs Covered by Hospital Insurance

  • Deductibles and co-pays
  • Private room and private nurse expenses
  • Extra transportation, housing, and meals
  • Long distance phone calls
  • Unexpected child care
  • Home health care

How Hospital Insurance Works

If you carry hospital insurance and you have to be hospitalized, your policy will pay out a cash benefit that you can use to pay for extra expenses you have during your stay. Depending on the type of plan you purchase, you may receive benefits even if you don’t stay in a hospital overnight.

For example, some hospital confinement insurance policies may require that you stay at least one night in a hospital in order to receive benefits, while other types of plans offered under hospital insurance allow you to receive benefits even if you have an out-patient procedure. 

Like all insurance policies, hospital insurance coverage comes with limits and exclusions, so be sure to know the details of the policy you buy.

Hospital Only Insurance

Your “hospital only” insurance plan can cover short or long term stays. If you incur costs after you leave the hospital, it is possible the hospital insurance provider will pay for them. Some policies will help pay for skilled nursing facilities and home health plans, while others will cover you only if you are confined to a hospital bed. 

Because of the different types of plans, you will want to identify your needs and concerns and then seek a plan that meets those needs. An independent agent in our network can look for the right policy for you among severa different insurance companies.

Who Needs Hospital Insurance?

Hospital insurance can provide peace of mind that you are prepared for the unknown, and is appropriate for anyone who wants the reassurance that unexpected expenses can be managed in the event of a hospital stay. 

To determine if this coverage makes sense for your needs, you will need to weigh the benefits versus the cost. If you have plenty of savings and emergency resources, you may not need this coverage. 

On the other hand, if you have a family history of cancer or other serious health condition and want to be prepared in case you are ever hospitalized, adding this to your medical insurance could be beneficial.

You can buy this type of policy by itself, but it's not typically recommended. Most people purchase hospital insurance as a supplement to an existing medical insurance plan. 

Being hospitalized is a rare occasion for most people, but going to the doctor on a regular basis is more common. Hospital insurance will not cover doctor visits and prescription drugs, so you'll need to purchase health insurance to cover your regular medical needs.

How Much Does a Hospital Policy Cost?

Hospital policies are generally inexpensive. Rates are determined by the amount of coverage you purchase as well as your age. The older you are when you purchase the policy, the higher your rates will be due to the higher risk that you have a health problem. 

The number of family members you want to cover will also affect rates. Yearly premiums can be as low as $50 and as high as $200.

Medicare and Hospital Insurance

If you are enrolled in Medicare, then Medicare Part A hospital insurance is normally included. You may be required to have medical insurance, which is covered under Medicare Part B and you will pay monthly premiums for this.

A big difference between Medicare hospital insurance and standard hospital insurance is that Part A can cover supplies that are considered medically necessary. 

The resources for learning more about Medicare hospital insurance include your physician, the government Medicare website and local insurance agents in your area.

Where to Buy a Hospital Policy

If you’re interested in purchasing hospital insurance, it’s important to compare hospital insurance quotes to find the best rates. Private insurance companies offer a number of different policies for you to review. There may be some legwork involved, there are a few steps that can streamline this process:

  1. Only work with agencies with high ratings. You can check them with online rating agencies. You may also be able to see consumer reviews from Yelp! or Google.
  2. Independent agents can make things faster. Because they don't work for a parent company, independent agents can collect a few quotes for you to compare before you buy, which can save a lot of time and money.
  3. Make apples-to-apples comparisons. When you're looking at similar coverage in each rate quote, you'll make sure you're not overpaying for coverage that you don't need, or that the inexpensive policies are that way because they don't offer enough protection.

With these steps, you can find a great insurance agency to work with, and a comprehensive policy that will meet your needs.

Use our independent agent matching system to find the best insurance plan in your area. You tell us what you’re looking for, and our technology will recommend the best agents for your needs. Any information you give us will only be sent to the agents you pick.

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