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Can you be covered under two health insurance plans?

“To sum it up…”

  • When maintaining two health insurance policies, one of them will act as the primary that comes into effect anytime medical services are rendered. The other policy will only be used when the other one has been fully exhausted in any given area. The policy holder does not get to determine which of the two policies is the primary
  • Have two different health insurance plans is commonly referred to as being a dual policy holder
  • The primary policy will typically be the one that is held through an employer
  • Individuals who do not have an employer-sponsored yet still have two health insurance polices will find that the designation of the primary is usually left up to the insurance companies involved

The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, with the individual mandate remaining in full effect. Even so, it is apparent that many people have opted to exceed that requirement and maintain coverage under two separate health insurance policies.

Having two health insurance policies is a way of having additonal benefits. Supplemental health insurance

There are various reasons why some people choose to have two health insurance policies in effect at the same time. Read on to learn more about dual health insurance coverage and get help deciding whether it’s the right choice for you.

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Reasons People Choose to Subscribe to Two Health Insurance Plans


When considering the possibility of having two different health insurance policies in effect at the same time, it is important to first consider the rationale behind doing so. Many people actually wonder why a person would want to have two different health plans.

While doing so may very well make sense in a few different and specific situations, the reality is that one comprehensive policy is usually all a person needs to safeguard their health and well being.

To be fair, there are certain situations where an individual might benefit from having two different health insurance policies. An example might be when protecting against or treating a serious disease or illness.

Even given the possibility of needing to cover the treatment of a serious disease or grave injury, one policy typically provides all of the benefits that one will need to effectively receive the medical services necessary.

There are also cases where life situations make it possible to have two policies with minimal effort on the part of the insured. This includes when a young adult under the age of 26 remains on his or her parent’s insurance while simultaneously obtaining coverage through an employer.

The Affordable Care Act makes this possible, and many young people have taken advantage of it until they are sure they will remain with a new employer. It is a hedge of protection that provides them with a certain level of peace of mind that makes having two different health insurance plans pay off in the end.

Factors Leading to Dual Health Insurance Coverage


As you begin comparing the available health insurance plans in your area, it is important to look at your own personal station in life. Upon doing so, you might very well find out that there are factors that make having two different health insurance plans a viable option for you.

It is still a startling reality that roughly 15 percent of the American population is without any type of medical insurance, yet more and more people are choosing to retain two separate polices at the same time. Some do so because it is convenient, while others do it to feel better protected against the rising costs of medical treatment today.

Today, there are three different categories of individuals who choose to purchase two different health insurance policies. They are summarized as follows:

  • Individuals under the age of 26 who are currently working can be a candidate for dual health insurance coverage. They can remain on their parent’s existing policy, thanks to a provision under the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, they may choose to subscribe to a plan that is offered by their employer. That plan will be the primary, while the parent’s policy would only be used when all other benefits on the employer’s plan has been exhausted.
  • Some married individuals will elect to remain on their spouse’s employer sponsored health insurance plan even after gaining employment on their own.
  • There are other individuals that have subscribed to their own private health insurance plan for years, and they feel comfortable with it. While they appreciate being offered a plan by their employer, they might be reluctant to give up the private plan until they feel entirely confident in their security of their new job.

When considering the possibility of having two different health insurance policies in effect at the same time, it is important to remember that this does not mean you will be rewarded with twice the benefits.

The insured still has to meet all existing deductibles before a secondary health insurance plan can even be used. This, in reality, renders a secondary policy ineffective in many cases.

The Potential Pitfalls of Having Two Different Health Insurance Policies


If you are thinking about purchasing and keeping both a primary and secondary health insurance policy, you will want to consider some of the potential pitfalls to doing so.

  • Maintaining two separate health insurance policies can get quite expensive. You, or someone close to you, will need to pay for the premiums on both policies. This is in spite of the fact that both policies carry pretty much the same overall benefits.
  • Any benefit that you realize medically will go directly to the primary policy first. You then need to use all of those benefits prior to the secondary medical plan becoming activated. This rarely happens, rendering the secondary policy pretty much useless.
  • While it may be true that a secondary health insurance policy can provide for medical expenses not covered by the primary policy, all deductibles would have to first be covered in order for them to kick in.
  • If you were to decide to retain two different health insurance policies at the same time, you will still have to pay all applicable deductibles before any benefits can be used.

These facts lead to the conclusion that dual medical coverage does not necessarily increase the amount of benefits that an insured receives. The primary policy that is held largely determines the extent to which, if any, a secondary policy becomes useful.

Concluding Thoughts


Before deciding to retain two separate health insurance policies at the same time, you will want to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. There might be a few situations where doing so might be to your benefit, but those will need to be considered on a case by base basis.

The bottom line is to get the best medical coverage available in your area, so conduct your comparison thoughtfully and choose the plan that is best for you.

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  1. http://www.connectedbenefits.com/blog/how-does-dual-insurance-coverage-work
  2. http://www.insure.com/health-insurance/primary-health-plans.html
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/coordination-of-benefits-2645754
  4. https://www.zenefits.com/answers/how-does-dual-insurance-coverage-work/
  5. http://www.bankrate.com/financing/insurance/2-health-insurance-policies-1-headache/