His and Hers: Does Double Coverage Make Sense?
In today's busy society, there are many households where both spouses work. If they both have full-time jobs, they generally both have health insurance. It can. He's covered on his plan, but he may be also covered by her plan. The reverse may be true, as well, where she's covered on her own plan but also covered on his plan. Is this double coverage really necessary, or is money just being wasted by having two insurance plans, both covering both people?
Generally, it would seem like a waste of money to have double covered, but that's not always the case. It depends on what each plan offers and how much it's costing. However, couples that really want to save money should take a careful look at their insurance plans and consider consolidation, so less money is going out in insurance premiums each month.
In order to make a decision, they should first consider what both plans have to offer. Each insurance plan is a little bit different, so it's important to look through them and determine which one has the best coverage. That can take time, since what's best might not be the most coverage, but the coverage that is most likely to get used. If one plan is much larger and more comprehensive, but it's also three or four times as much as the smaller plan, it might not be worth it to a couple who are young and healthy.
Older people, or people with health problems like preexisting conditions, have to be more careful with plans that don't offer as much coverage. If one spouse has a preexisting problem or a family history of serious health problems, a comprehensive plan that offers more coverage may be a better and safer choice in the long run, even if it's more expensive. But, does that mean the other spouse can get rid of his or her health insurance plan? Not necessarily.
If one spouse is covering both people on his or her insurance plan, what happens if that spouse loses his or her job, or even passes away? Suddenly, the other spouse also has no coverage. He or she could get back on the health insurance through his or her employer, but there's often a waiting period, and open enrollment to re-join the plan might not be for months. That's something to carefully consider.
For most couples who have double coverage, the best choice is for each spouse to cover only themselves on their plan. That's often the least expensive option, because covering an employee costs less than covering an employee and spouse - at least from the standpoint of the employee who's paying the premiums. When each spouse covers himself or herself through an employer, the amount going out for insurance is lessened.
If one spouse was to lose his or her job, he or she could be added to the other spouse's insurance, and would not have to be uninsured for a long period of time. There are always risks and benefits to any insurance arrangement, but minimizing how much you're spending and maximizing what you're getting for that money is usually the best way to protect your health and your financial future.