Secondary health insurance plans provide additional coverage to families who have access to more than one insurance policy.
Take the example of a married couple who both have coverage available through their employers. They may each choose to have their primary coverage through their respective employers, with the policy from their spouse’s employer serving as secondary coverage.
Another option is for the both spouses to select one insurance policy as primary and the other one as secondary. In this case, they might choose the policy that offers better coverage or has been in effect longer to be the primary policy.
Why Buy Secondary Coverage?
Even with a secondary health insurance policy in place, you still usually have to pay co-payments and deductibles out of your own pocket. So why get a secondary policy?
Secondary coverage provides additional protection from medical emergencies and expenses. Through secondary plans, you can be reimbursed for additional medical expenses.
For example, if your primary insurer pays a lower percent of the cost than the secondary insurer would pay for the same service, you can submit the remaining amount to the secondary health insurance plan. In addition, if you exceed the annual or lifetime maximum benefits for your primary policy, you can turn to your secondary policy for additional benefits.
Finding Secondary Health Insurance
In order to buy a secondary plan, you must first have a primary policy that provides plus-one or family coverage.
A good way to find a policy is to go to an insurance comparison website and get quotes from several companies at the same time. Visitors to such sites simply enter their information and then A-rated companies will send them quotes.
Before selecting a quote to buy, be sure to check the certificate of coverage from the primary and secondary providers to see how they coordinate coverage.