Is it illegal to have two health insurance policies at the same time?

Question: I’ve paid for my own health insurance since 1993. Recently, I was hired by a company that offers health insurance. I signed up for the company health insurance policy, but also kept my own. My reasoning ties somewhat with your recent newsletter regarding COBRA in’s and out’s. As happy as I am to be employed, I realize that my good fortune may be temporary due to the economy. Your thoughts?

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Answer: I am not fully familiar with the laws of Minnesota, but I have never heard of any law or rule that prevents people from having more than one health insurance policy at the same time.

Some of my clients have held on to their “old” policies because it had unusually good coverage for certain medical issues they or their love ones suffered from. Some of my clients have held on to two health insurance policies so that any health expenses not covered by the primary carrier can be submitted to the secondary carrier.

I checked with clients in the health insurance industry on this, and they agree it is common and often smart to do. In fact, some highly recommend it. They did advise, though, that it is improper, and may be illegal to make two claims for the same expense, one to each insurance company.

Whatever you do, I do hope you’ll live in good health.

Best, Al Sklover

© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

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