Understanding the Differences Between Primary, Secondary, and Supplemental Health

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Understanding the Differences Between Primary, Secondary, and Supplemental Health

It is perfectly acceptable to have more than one health insurance plan. You can choose to have health insurance plans from different insurance companies. However, having more than one health insurance does not equate to getting double benefits, neither does it mean your doctor is going to be paid more than once. When you have two insurance plans, one becomes designated as the primary plan, while the other becomes the secondary. To choose which plan falls into either category, insurance companies came up with a system known as Coordination of Benefits (COB). This system is made up of a set of rules that determine how your medical bills are split across your different insurance plans.

Differences Between Primary, Secondary and Supplemental Health Insurance

  1. Primary Health Insurance: Your primary health insurance is the first to pay its portion of your medical bill. It is usually the insurance sponsored by your employer. Even if you’re included on your spouse’s comprehensive health insurance, the one your employer pays for is still going to be your primary insurance. In the case of a child who is under the separate insurance plans of their parents, the insurance of the parent with the earliest birthday is the primary insurance.

  2. Secondary Health Insurance: After the primary health insurance has paid its portion of your medical claim, your secondary healthcare plan comes into effect. It pays the remainder of your medical bill that your primary health insurance plan did not cover, up to its limit. For instance, if you have a $1,000 medical bill and your primary insurance only covers 60% or $600 of the bill, the remaining $400 will be paid by your secondary insurance.

  3. Supplemental Health Insurance: Supplemental insurance is the type of insurance you buy on your own to cover medical claims that are not covered by your primary or secondary plan. Most people buy supplemental insurance to cover dental and vision care, as they are not generally included in the health insurance of adults in the United States. It also covers the cost of treating critical illnesses, such as cancer or strokes. Supplemental insurance will help you pay for any out-of-pocket costs that come with your main health insurance plans, such as deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having Multiple Health Insurance Plans

Having multiple health plans provides you with extended coverage. When your primary health insurance does not cover all your medical bills, you can submit a claim to the secondary insurance provider, and it will help to make up that difference.

The major disadvantage of having multiple health plans is the added cost that comes with it. Supplemental plans are purchased on your own so that money comes right out of your pocket. Also, you may have to pay multiple deductibles for your separate health plans.

Health care can be very expensive. The purpose of health insurance is to help cover costs that you may be unable to pay on your own. Do you need help evaluating your health insurance needs? Visit Abbate Insurance for your insurance policies in New Haven and neighboring cities in Connecticut.

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