May 18, 2007, Newsletter Issue #77: Married: Together Or Separately?

Tip of the Week

Many married couples maintain separate health insurance coverage even though it may not be cost-effective to do so. Examine both your coverage and your spouse's coverage to see if it makes sense for either of you to join the other's plan. Keep in mind that most plans allow you to add a spouse to your plan within a certain time period after you get married (e.g. 30 days). Otherwise, you may have to wait for the plans' annual open enrollment period. Often it is less expensive to obtain a family policy (2 adults and up to 3 children) than it is to insure two adults individually.
You may also be able to coordinate both plans for maximum coverage. In some cases, it may be cheaper to have separate insurances such as if one spouse has a chronic, preexisting condition which may cause your insurance to double in price if he/she joins. There may also be a limit as to how much an insurance company will pay for your claim if both you and your spouse file under two different insurance plans. A coordination of benefits clause usually limits benefits under two plans to no more than 100 percent of the claim.

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