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Dual coverage: Is it for you?

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My partner — who has always needed coverage under my UC medical benefits — now has the option to enroll in employer health insurance, too. Will our benefits be better if we enroll in two plans?

Note: The answer below was revised on Sept. 18, 2019 for clarity.

Not necessarily. It may be hard to believe, but more medical coverage isn’t always better.

Depending on what medical plans you choose, you may end up with more hassles with two plans than you would have sticking to one.

As an example, you may be tempted to enroll in a plan through your partner’s employer and in UC’s CORE plan, which has no employee premium. This may seem like an easy choice, since you’re getting dual coverage without paying two premiums. But, because your UC coverage will be considered your “primary” coverage, your provider will have to bill it first. You’ll need to meet the CORE plan’s $3,000 deductible before it will start paying for your health care costs and you’ll need to understand how the deductible works for your secondary plan to know when it will start paying.

On the other hand, if you opt for one of UC’s plans with more comprehensive coverage, your partner may face the same problem. To understand their true out-of-pocket costs, they’ll need to understand how the deductible and coinsurance will work together for both plans.

And, in either scenario, you risk extra paperwork if you’re asked to submit claims to your secondary medical plan.

If you have questions about your personal situation, the health care facilitator (HCF) at your location may be able to help. HCFs help staff, faculty, retirees, survivors and their eligible family members better understand and maximize their UC benefits.

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