How Does Secondary Health Insurance Work?

Health insurance is a necessary part of life, and most of the time, the primary health insurance plan takes care of all the medical expenses. But what happens when those medical costs exceed your primary health insurance coverage? That’s where secondary health insurance comes in.

Secondary health insurance can be a great way to supplement your primary health plan in order to cover any gaps or additional expenses that may arise. In this blog post, we will discuss how secondary health insurance works and why it might be beneficial for you.

What is secondary health insurance?

Secondary health insurance is a type of insurance that helps cover costs that your primary health insurance doesn’t. It can help pay for things like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Secondary health insurance can also help cover expenses if you need to see a specialist or get care outside of your primary health plan’s network.

There are a few different types of secondary health insurance plans, including supplemental plans, gap plans, and wrap-around plans. Supplemental plans are designed to cover specific types of costs that your primary plan doesn’t, like dental or vision care. Gap plans help cover the “gap” between what your primary health insurance covers and what you owe out-of-pocket for things like deductibles and coinsurance. Wrap-around plans provide coverage for services that aren’t covered by your primary plan but are covered by another plan, like Medicare.

If you’re considering getting secondary health insurance, it’s important to compare different plans and find one that fits your needs and budget. You should also make sure that the plan you choose is compatible with your primary health insurance plan.

How does secondary health insurance work?

If you have both primary and secondary health insurance, your primary insurer is always responsible for paying your medical bills first. If there are any remaining costs after your primary insurer has paid their portion, your secondary insurer will then step in to cover the rest. In some cases, your secondary insurer may only cover a percentage of the remaining costs, so it’s important to understand how your particular policy works.

It’s also worth noting that you may have to pay out-of-pocket costs even if you have both primary and secondary health insurance. This can happen if you visit a doctor who is not in your insurance network, or if you have a deductible that hasn’t been met yet. In these cases, you would be responsible for paying the entire bill yourself, and then submitting it to your insurers for reimbursement.

Who needs secondary health insurance?

There are a few different groups of people who may need to purchase secondary health insurance. The first group is people who have primary health insurance through their employer, but also want to purchase additional coverage on their own. This could be because their employer’s plan has high deductibles or they simply want more comprehensive coverage.

The second group of people who may need secondary health insurance are those who have primary health insurance through a government program like Medicare or Medicaid. These programs typically have lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs, but they also cover less than private plans. So, if you have Medicare or Medicaid and want more coverage, you may need to supplement it with a private secondary health insurance policy.

Lastly, some people may choose to purchase a standalone secondary health insurance policy even if they already have primary health insurance. This is often done to get additional coverage for things like prescription drugs, dental care, or vision care that may not be covered by the primary policy.

Pros and cons of secondary health insurance

When you have both a primary and a secondary health insurance policy, each policy pays for a portion of your covered medical expenses. In general, your primary health insurance will pay for preventive care, routine doctor visits, and prescriptions. Your secondary health insurance will kick in to help cover the costs of more expensive treatments and procedures, such as surgery or hospitalization.

There are some advantages to having secondary health insurance. For one thing, it can help you avoid reaching your primary insurer’s maximum payout limit – meaning that your secondary insurer will cover the remaining costs of your treatment. Secondary health insurance can also provide coverage for services that your primary policy doesn’t cover, such as dental or vision care.

On the downside, having two separate health insurance policies can be costly and confusing. You’ll need to keep track of two sets of deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance rates, which can be difficult to keep straight. And because each insurer has its own network of doctors and hospitals, you may need to coordinate care between the two in order to make sure you’re getting the best possible coverage.

How to get secondary health insurance

If you’re like most people, you have health insurance through your job. But what happens if you lose your job or change jobs? You may be able to get secondary health insurance to help fill in the gaps.

There are a few ways to get secondary health insurance:

1. COBRA: If you have lost your job, you may be eligible for COBRA coverage. This allows you to continue your employer-sponsored health insurance for a limited time.

2. Individual health plans: If you’re self-employed or working part-time, you can buy an individual health insurance plan. These plans are available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

3. Medicare: If you’re 65 or older, you’re eligible for Medicare. This is a government-sponsored health insurance program that covers hospitalization, doctor visits, and prescription drugs.

4. Medicaid: If you have a low income, you may be eligible for Medicaid. This is a government-sponsored health insurance program that covers hospitalization, doctor visits, and prescription drugs.


Secondary health insurance is an important and valuable financial resource that can help you cover some of the costs associated with your medical care. It works by covering any expenses left unpaid by your primary insurer, so you don’t have to worry about having a huge bill that won’t be covered.

Before making any decisions, it’s important to review both types of insurance coverage and make sure they are compatible with one another. With careful research and planning, secondary health insurance can provide great benefits for those looking for additional coverage.