When it comes to health insurance, it turns out that more can be better. In some cases, people are eligible for multiple health insurance policies through their parents, workplace, or spouse’s insurance company. Having dual coverage can be extremely beneficial for obtaining more health insurance coverage, in addition to potentially saving you money.
In certain situations, individuals are eligible for two or more health insurance policies that work together to create a broader network of coverage. Individuals who are covered by their employer’s insurance, people under the age of 26 who are still covered by their parents’ insurance, and married couples have the opportunity to take advantage of dual health insurance coverage in some cases.
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How Does Dual Coverage Work?
Dual health insurance coverage works when there are two or more health insurance policies that you qualify for. One of these is considered your primary insurance policy, and the other is your secondary insurance. If you have health insurance through your job, and so does your spouse, your primary insurance policy comes from your job, and you could be eligible for coverage under your spouse’s insurance policy, too. Their policy would be your secondary health insurance policy.
Your primary health insurance policy has deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and percentages of medical care they will pay for. Your primary insurance will take your medical bill and take care of the qualifying costs without worrying about if you have secondary health insurance or not. Then, your secondary insurance will kick in to cover what is left of the bill, if applicable.
Ultimately, with a primary and secondary health insurance policy working for you, you could see your out-of-pocket medical costs decrease or go away altogether. However, your secondary policy won’t change your deductible from your primary insurance policy; it will only help with the remainder of a medical bill.
Can I Have Health Insurance Coverage from Two Different Plans?
In short, yes, you can have health insurance coverage from two different plans. Here are a few situations in which someone might find that having two health insurance policies is both helpful and applicable:
- Adults with insurance from their job who are under the age of 26: In this case, your employer’s insurance is your primary policy, with your parent’s insurance coverage you as a secondary policy. If your parents are insured, their health insurance will cover you until the age of 26.
- Adults with insurance from their job and who are covered by their spouse’s job insurance: Your work insurance will be your primary policy, while your spouse’s insurance is your secondary policy.
- Kids can be insured through their parents: in this case, the parent with the earliest birthday in a calendar year is considered the primary insurance. In contrast, the other parent’s insurance is secondary.
- Adults age 65 years or older: if you are employed at a company with 20 people or more, your employer’s insurance will be your primary policy, and Medicare will be secondary. If you work at a company of 20 people or less or are not employed, then Medicare is often your primary insurance. There are exceptions to the rule, so always check with your insurance company or companies before assuming coverage.
The Benefits of Dual Insurance
Different insurance companies can offer various amounts of coverage for the same procedure. For instance, Insurance Company A might cover 30% of a medical procedure, while Insurance Company B might allot 80%. This means that between the two companies, as your primary and secondary insurers, your medical visit could be entirely covered by your health insurance.
Additionally, if you qualify for coverage under your spouse’s insurance, you may be able to file a claim under their insurance if you are unemployed and no longer receive insurance from your job.
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