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NatashaB Nov 13th 2010 9:18 pm

'Doubling up' on medical insurance
Currently my husband has a family policy to cover us all for medical and dental. When i start work (if I ever get the EAD through...:unsure:) i will have the option to take out an additional family policy with the same provider. As i understand it this will effectively double everything up, eg $5million maximum lifetime payout will become $10 million, number of allowed visits per year to chiropractor, physio etc will double, and all we need to do is let the insurance company know about the additional policy so that they can split the billing between the 2. Periodically they send out forms asking if we have any additional insurance or if they are the sole insurer. Obviously the deductibles will also be twice as much on 2 policies. Is this correct (seems fairly simple), or is there any issues I haven't thought of? Do many people do this? (5 million sounds a lot but i can see that a prolonged period of treatment and slow recovery from an illness could cost this much in the US :(:()

Michael Nov 13th 2010 9:41 pm

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
Some articles concerning that.

It doesn't have to be the same provider. I think the most important thing is that both plans are PPO plans (not HMO plans). I don't believe that your deductable is doubled. However, if you use the same provider and they are both the same HMO plan, they probably treat it similar to the way PPO plans are treated. In my opinion, the 100% reimbursement for all doctors visits/procedures is the primary benefit but most plans have a maximum out of pocket expense so even that benefit is limited by the maximum out of pocket expense defined in the policy.

Rete Nov 13th 2010 10:53 pm

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
It can also be that it will not be a doubling up of medical insurance. If you are working and your employer offers medical insurance and you take them up on it, then you have to use your insurance first before you can even contemplate using your husbands. Then there is the doubled cost of insurance premiums, yours and his. It might not pay to have two policies. Why do you think you need so much coverage? $10M for what disease?

NatashaB Nov 13th 2010 11:48 pm

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
Thanks both - interesting links. It will be the same provider as my husband and I will both be working for the same company. I don't really foresee us needing $10 million worth of coverage (maximum lifetime payout is $5 million) but was just curious to see what other people did and whether most people rely on just one policy or whether it was fairly standard to maintain more than one health insurance.

taffie77 Nov 13th 2010 11:55 pm

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
Hmm, interesting. I hadn't even considered doubling up policies, but will now read those links.

NatashaB Nov 14th 2010 12:24 am

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
Interesting that you can use a second policy to cover the deductible from the first policy, it might be worth doing if that is definitely the case.

SanDiegogirl Nov 14th 2010 12:46 am

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
The way that it worked with my hubby and me when we were both working was that we were both on each other's policy. So I was the primary subscriber on my policy with him as dependent and visa versa.

If I went to the doctors then the bill had to be presented to my insurer first; they would pay what they were liable for and then I would send the bill with the remaining amount to my husbands insurance company and they would pay the remainder. If my husband went to the doctor he would present bills firstly to his insurance company etc etc.

This was some time ago but I do remember having to send all relevant correspondence from my company insurer (e.g. EOB's for proof of what they had paid) to hubby's insurer and he had to do the same for mine.

This process usually meant we did not pay the deductibles/copays. We did of course, have the cost of paying for both him and me on both policies.

I can't remember it saving us that much, but I think we did it for the additional coverage.

We were new to the country and rather fearful of the medical system here. I really don't think we would do it again - the lifetime amounts are quite adequate on one policy.

Jscl Nov 14th 2010 3:40 am

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
I think you have to look at the cost of the premiums, the general health of your family and how "good" your company's plan is to get any idea whether this is actually going to help you or just cost you more.

A lot of young healthy families don't even receive medical benefits equal to the premiums they pay, so in doubling up on plans, and therefore premiums, you're more than doubling the profit the insurance company is making off of you.

After all, the insurance industry runs on the money they make for charging premiums that MORE than cover the cost of treatment for most people for most years.

Jscl Nov 14th 2010 3:47 am

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
By the way, some insurers charge an extra fee if you have secondary insurance. It's probably not much, but would add to the cost you'd have to pay.

Kaffy Mintcake Nov 14th 2010 3:50 am

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance

Originally Posted by NatashaB (Post 8979995)
It will be the same provider as my husband and I will both be working for the same company.

My husband and I both work for the same company. In our case it makes sense financially for me to sign up for insurance for one, and for him to do the same. (We don't have kids.)

It's even cheaper to sign up as one adult + kids (on one plan) + one adult (on the other plan) than for us to sign up for a family plan. Weird.

I don't think I'd bother to double up, but that's just me. I figure you select your benefits every year (we do anyway) and if need be you could decide to double-up at that time if someone became quite ill, etc.

Picnic Nov 14th 2010 12:32 pm

Re: 'Doubling up' on medical insurance
You may want to consider in future planning the Healthcare Reform 2011 changes affecting benefits as of January 1, 2011: plans may not impose maximum lifetime benefit limits and the ability to impose annual limits is restricted.

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