When a person is eligible for benefits under two health insurance plans, it is called Coordination of Benefits. Suppose you start a new job, but do not want to necessarily leave your parent’s or spouse’s health insurance plan. Well the good news is you can do both! However, every case is different. It is totally legal to have 2 plans, as long as you are within certain circumstances.
Circumstances Of 2 Plans
There are several different reasons why you might have 2 health plans:
- You are 26 years old or under, and are still on your parent’s health insurance plan, while also enrolling in your employer’s health insurance plan.
- You are a child with 2 parents that have health insurance and have you as a dependent under both plans.
- You are married, and both you and your spouse get health insurance from your own employer’s.
How It All Works
When you have 2 health insurance plans, one plan will take a primary role, while the other a secondary role. For example, let’s say you have a procedure done. Whichever health insurance you have listed as your primary plan will pay out first, then the secondary will pick up the rest of the bill that the primary plan did not cover.
It is important to note that if you are a child with two parents who insure them under their respective family plans, your primary is decided by something called “the birthday rule”. Your primary insurance plan will come from whichever parent whose birthday comes first in the calendar year.
Should You Keep 2 Health Plans?
Having 2 health insurance plans means that you will have 2 deductibles to pay. Your secondary plan will not pay towards your primary’s deductible. But if you can afford the monthly premiums and deductibles, then having 2 health plans is beneficial. It is a great way to maximize benefits, while saving money. There is also peace of mind knowing that if something happened (such as losing your job), then you will always have another health insurance plan to fall back on.
Consider outweighing the good and the bad when making a choice if having 2 health insurance plans is right for you. Take into consideration the costs, and if both are necessary to meet your health needs. If it is costing you more than you can pay, then consider waiving access to one of the plans, and stick to just one plan. This is done by signing a health insurance waiver to give up the second plan.