Five key facts about secondary health insurance

Some people have two types of health insurance, either commercial and Medicaid/Medicare or two different commercial plans (usually when each parent has health insurance through work). While this can help ease financial burdens, knowing the rules will help prevent hassles and headaches down the road.

  1. The primary insurance is billed first and the secondary insurance picks up what’s left (under the terms of their policy).
  2. Always present both insurance cards and make sure the staff knows which is your primary insurance.
  3. Medicaid is ALWAYS the secondary insurance (frequently called the “carrier of last resort”). ┬áMany preemies are eligible for Medicaid at birth based on birth weight.
  4. If you have 2 commercial insurances, you don’t get to pick which is your baby’s primary insurance. Primary insurance is determined by the parent whose birthday falls earlier in the calendar year (how’s that for crazy?).
  5. Having 2 commercial insurance plans is not like having 2 cars, you don’t get to pick chose which one you use. You must satisfy ALL the requirements of the primary insurance before the secondary kicks in. So, if your primary denies a service or medication, your secondary insurance will only cover it if you have a denial letter from the primary (so it doesn’t prevent any hoop jumping).
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3 Responses to Five key facts about secondary health insurance

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Five key facts about secondary health insurance | The Preemie Primer Guide from Dr. Jen Gunter -- Topsy.com

  2. Marianne Lonsdale says:

    Another thing to keep in mind is that most secondary commercial plans do not pick up what is not paid by the primary commercial plan. In the old days, they did but now most plans only pay what they would have paid if they had been primary. So if your primary plan pays 80% and your secondary plan would have paid 80%, the secondary plan pays nothing. Often not worth paying premiums for 2 plans.

  3. Cynthia Braslow says:

    I WILL BE ON MEDICARE A & B ON FEB 2012, I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT ABOUT SECONDARY INSURANCE. I AM HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME , I GUESS BECAUSE OF MY AGE. I WILL BE 62 IN FEBRUARY, AND I AM ON DISABILITY. IF YOU COULD POSSIBLY RECOMMEND SOME SECONDARY WEBSITES I WOULD BE ABLE TO GO TO FOR QUOTES. I DO NOT WANT AGENTS CALLING ME 24 HOURS A DAY.

    THANK YOU

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