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Secondary Health Insurance Plans - Your Supplemental Coverage

Agnus Smith Published: June 14, 2018 Updated: September 21, 2018

Putting cog into place

Updated: September 21, 2018

If you’re having a difficult time finding a health insurance plan that gives you the coverage you want, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Everybody’s financial and medical situations are different, which can make it difficult to find health coverage the meets all of your needs. Luckily, there are secondary health insurance plans that can help, so here’s everything you need to know.

What Are Secondary Health Insurance Plans?

Secondary health insurance plans are designed to complement your primary health insurance policy. Getting an additional health coverage can be extremely beneficial, for example, you can use your secondary health plan to help cover the cost of your deductible. Secondary health benefits don’t just stop with deductibles either, they can also be useful for illness, disability, copayments, dental, and even vision.

Who Is Eligible For Secondary Insurance?

Anyone who currently has primary health insurance is eligible for an additional, secondary health insurance plan. Unfortunately, secondary health insurance cannot be used to replace primary health insurance, because they are not considered qualified coverage by the Affordable Care Act, which requires everyone’s health insurance coverage to meet a set of standards known as minimum essential coverage, or pay a tax penalty.

Secondary health insurance plans can be incredibly useful for individuals with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, disabilities, or other critical illnesses. It can also be used to provide financial relief for anyone who requires long-term health care. Secondary health insurance coverage may become especially important in future years, considering President Trump’s healthcare reform and the possibility of health insurance costs rising for those with one of many pre-existing conditions.

Reasons To Enroll

Enrolling in a secondary health insurance plan can reduce your out-of pocket-costs your primary health policy doesn’t cover by billing your secondary plan rather instead of billing you. This can be very helpful in the case of dental or vision care. Regular dental and vision checkups are necessary in order to detect and prevent illnesses such as periodontitis, cancer, and cataracts.

Secondary insurance can also increase the number of providers you’re able to get medical care from. Primary health insurance can have a strict list of in-network providers that they will cover, or have lower coverage for out-of-network doctors.

Another benefit of enrolling in a secondary medical insurance plan is that you will experience a reduced number of denials by your health insurance companies. Having a secondary company that provides health insurance to you will make it more likely that your claim for coverage of a bill will be accepted. This will provide you with more financial security, especially if your primary health insurance is deductible-based. When you’re selecting a secondary plan, it’s a good idea to check the plans you are considering against your main health insurance plan, in order to figure out the best plan for you so that you can fill gaps in insurance that are not covered by your primary health insurance. This creates something called coordination of benefits.

Using Secondary Insurance To Cover Deductibles

When it comes to out-of-pocket expenses, your deductible is often the most expensive. That’s why the most common reason purchase secondary insurance coverage is to help cover high deductibles. However, it’s important to make sure your secondary medical insurance covers deductibles and that it doesn’t have a high deductible of its own.

What many people tend to do to ensure their deductibles are covered by their secondary or supplemental insurance coverage is find plans that offer cash benefits. The reason being, cash benefits can be used for a variety of costs, including living expenses such as utilities or rent.

How Does Secondary Medical Insurance Work?

When you have two health insurance plans, something called the coordination of benefits takes place. Essentially, your two health policies will work together to cover you.

When you file a claim, or your medical provider files a claim, the primary insurance plan will get billed first. Your secondary health insurance benefits won’t become available or kick in until after your primary benefits do. For example, if you stay at the hospital overnight, your primary health insurance will pay out benefits first, and then your secondary health insurance benefits will pay out towards the remaining balance. If your primary health insurance plan covers all the costs, then your secondary health insurance plan will not be needed.

What Does Secondary Health Insurance Cover?

Secondary health insurance can cover pretty much anything. They can provide money so that you can cover your dental or vision-related expenses, or provide accident insurance. Car crashes are an incredibly common problem that can be covered by secondary medical insurance, as there were 6,296,000 car crashes reported in 2016.

Accident insurance can also be important if your children play sports, where concussions and other accidents can be very common. It can also cover costs associated with chronic or terminal illness, for example, cancer. Serious illnesses are terrifying, and they also can cause thousands of dollars in medical bills, which makes everything more terrifying. Secondary health insurance plans can soothe some of this anxiety.

Rules Of Primary And Secondary Health Insurance

As previously stated, primary health insurance is required, but secondary plans can help cover expenses not paid for by primary health insurance. They provide a wonderful safety net for individuals who may have a primary health insurance plan that is deductible-based.

Pros And Cons Of Secondary Health Insurance

If you’re looking to maximize your health coverage, it’s a good idea to explore all your options. While secondary health insurance plans have tons of benefits, just like every other product or service, they may not be right for everyone. If you’re thinking about enrolling in a secondary health plan, here are some pros and cons to consider before making your decision.


  • Secondary health insurance plans are great for helping you save money.
  • Having a secondary form of insurance means that you can worry less about how you will cover your medical expenses.
  • Have a safety net: A secondary form of insurance provides a safety net in the case of accidents or sudden illness. Life is unpredictable, and especially if you have a kid who plays sports, accidents and injuries can happen fast.


  • Secondary plans can cause confusion about where to send bills. If you have two forms of health insurance, you’re more likely to mix up payment and claim submissions, which can result in a penalty or fee from your insurance or medical provider.
  • Your two health insurance companies may not have great communication, so having two forms of health insurance requires a lot more logistics-handling. You may have to pay out-of-pocket for care you had, and then have to wait to see if your costs will be reimbursed.

Find A Secondary Health Insurance Quote With First Quote Health

If you’re still wondering if a secondary health insurance plan is for you, it’s best to talk to a health insurance professional. Health insurance agents and brokers are a great tool and resource when it comes to shopping for a plan, or even just getting answers to your health insurance questions. First Quote Health makes finding a qualified agent easy. Simply enter your zip code here so we can locate someone licensed near you, and get started today.