Yes, you can have multiple health insurance plans from different employers. But you have to decide whether having dual coverage is worth it.

Dual coverage can mean higher upfront health insurance costs but may save out-of-pocket costs for members, including those who receive many health care services. But having dual plans can also present headaches.

Two health plans will likely mean two insurance premiums and deductibles. That can be pricey. If you have two health insurance plans and deductibles with each plan, you’re responsible for paying both when you receive medical services.

You will also need to make sure you go to in-network providers for both health plans — especially if you have HMOs. Members additionally need to understand the benefits of multiple plans and coordinate with two different health plans when they have dual plans.

Having two policies could make things complicated. When people have dual health plans, one is considered primary and the other secondary. Health insurance companies decide on primary and secondary plans through a process called coordination of benefits.

The primary insurance company pays the first portion of the claim up to your coverage limits before it’s sent to the secondary insurance, which handles its share of the costs. After the insurance companies make their payments, the member gets billed for the remaining money, such as coinsurance.

Coordination of benefits isn’t always standard. Instead, which plan is primary may vary depending on the state or situation. However, your health insurance plan is typically considered primary if you and your spouse are on a health plan. Meanwhile, if you have dual plans and a child covered by both, the parent with the earlier birthday in a calendar year is considered the primary health plan.

Find out more about primary and secondary health insurance.

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