Dual Health Insurance Coverage for Married Couples

When health insurance is available to both spouses, is it wise for each to sign up for coverage?

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Sometimes in two-income families both husband and wife will purchase employee-sponsored medical insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents, thinking that they have twice the coverage and therefore have gained some type of advantage. That may not be the case. Medical insurance has what is called “coordination of benefits.” For example, consider a two-earner family with both spouses covered by insurance. If a child breaks his arm, only one insurance company may pay; it is wise to check with both plans. If one spouse has a good health insurance policy covering dependents through their company, our advice would be for the other spouse to save the money he or she is paying for dependent coverage.

That said, we should probably add a few general thoughts on the importance of health insurance. With little reservation, we can say that health insurance is the most important insurance policy you can have. The likelihood that you or a family member will need care is almost certain, and the cost of that care is extremely high. Even a minor outpatient surgery can result in expensive bills from many different sources. For example, the broken arm referenced above could easily cost $5,000.00. Another reason health insurance is almost a necessity is that insurers have arranged for discounts from health care providers, so that the actual cost of a procedure, after applying the contractual adjustment with the insurance carrier, is less than the cost to someone without insurance.

From a tax standpoint, too, medical insurance is an outstanding benefit. The premium that your employer pays for medical, dental and vision coverage for you and your family is not considered taxable income, so it’s better than an increase in salary from a tax viewpoint. In addition, any portion of the health care insurance premium that you pay may be taken from pre-tax dollars.

Being part of a large group – your fellow employees – allows you to purchase a better medical insurance policy at cheaper rates than you could purchase on your own. With medical expenses at an all-time high, the risk of even an intermediate-term illness is too great for any individual or family to assume. Even though you may pay for a portion of your own insurance, your employer is probably doing the best job it can to provide you the best coverage at a reasonable cost. Also note that if you leave your present employer, you may be able to continue with your current insurance company for up to eighteen months (though in most cases you’re responsible for the entire premium) until you find employment at another company that offers medical insurance as part of the COBRA provisions.

All to say that we’re pleased to know you’re taking advantage of the health care benefits offered by your employer. In light of the question you’ve raised, however, we want to urge you to be wise and knowledgeable in the way you avail yourself of those benefits. Stay informed. Take time to educate yourself about the details of your company’s plan. Review your beneficiary choices frequently – they don’t change automatically when you have another child or when other family circumstances change. And don’t assume that your HR Department will take care of everything for you. As a matter of fact, the trend is toward more and more choice (and the burden of making the choice) to fall upon the employee. So be proactive.

For additional help and information on this topic, we’d encourage you to consult the resources and referrals highlighted below. Or if you have relationship concerns and challenges associated with this situation, please don’t hesitate to give our Counseling department a call.

 

Resources
If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

Complete Guide to Faith-Based Family Finances

Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study on Personal Finances

The Treasure Principle

Family and Personal Finances (resource list)

Referrals
Crown Financial Ministries

Dave Ramsey

Debt-Proof Living

Kingdom Advisors

Articles

God’s Big Idea About Finances

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.