How do deductibles work if I have two health insurance plans?

UPDATED: Dec 3, 2014

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UPDATED: Dec 3, 2014Fact Checked

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Asked December 3, 2014

1 Answer

In insurance, a deductible is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay their portion of the claim. Once you have paid your deductible on the policy, you will not have to pay another deductible until the policy renews. If you have two health policies, each policy has its own deductible that you are responsible for paying out of pocket.

Deductibles are sometimes confused with copays, but the two are completely different. With a copay, you have to pay the specified amount each time you get the same treatment, while the deductible is only paid once per enrollment period. Deductibles are set at a specific annual dollar amount, but copays are a percentage of the cost of the treatment.

With two health plans, you have to pay the deductible on each, but there are other considerations as well. Be careful not to purchase policies with overlapping coverage, because that opens a path for insurance companies to deny coverage on the grounds that the other company is responsible. Instead, shop for coverage plans that complement each other, with the secondary plan covering gaps in the first plan's coverage.

If you have two health insurance plans, you can be certain that the companies communicate with each other. Never try to file the same claim with companies because it could incur serious legal problems. However, you should also coordinate your coverages with both companies to make sure that you are getting the most coverage without spending more for less.

Answered December 3, 2014 by Anonymous

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