Rivermate | Product owner - Andrew Simon

Global Work Glossary

What is secondary insurance and its importance?

Secondary insurance refers to additional coverage that supplements a primary insurance policy. When an individual has more than one health insurance plan, the additional coverage beyond the primary plan is designated as secondary insurance. Its purpose is to provide extra protection and fill gaps left by the primary insurance.

Types of Secondary Insurance Coverage

  • Disability Insurance: This covers a portion of the loss of income due to a disability for a certain period. Qualification standards for private disability insurers are less strict compared to government benefits.
  • Accident Insurance: Provides additional medical coverage for accident-related expenses not covered by the primary health insurance plan. It may also offer lump-sum benefits for certain damages.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D): Pays benefits if the insured suffers dismemberment or death due to an accident, excluding natural causes.
  • Dental Insurance: Covers various dental procedures not typically included in primary health insurance plans.
  • Vision Insurance: Addresses vision care needs such as eye exams, corrective eyewear, and possibly LASIK surgery.
  • Life Insurance: Offers additional coverage beyond what is provided in the employee benefits package.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Covers long-term care needs when individuals are unable to meet them independently.

Who Qualifies for Secondary Health Insurance?

  • Married Adults or Domestic Partners: Partners can be added as dependents, allowing for dual coverage.
  • Children or Insured Parents: Children may be covered under both parents' plans, with one designated as primary and the other as secondary.
  • Certain Age Groups: In some countries, individuals under a certain age may be covered under their parents' insurance plans.

Enrolling Employees in Secondary Insurance

HR departments assist in enrolling employees in both primary and secondary insurance plans. They provide guidance, comparative charts, and support with claims processing.

Next Steps

  • Understanding Coordination: Ensure secondary insurance coordinates efficiently with primary coverage.
  • Identifying Coverage Areas: Know what secondary insurance covers, including deductibles and co-payments.
  • Familiarizing with Claim Procedures: Understand claim filing procedures to ensure timely submissions.
  • Communicating Benefits: Clearly communicate the benefits of secondary insurance to employees to help them make informed decisions.
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