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Author: MakingTrax One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121095  
Subject: Re: HSA plan? Date: 10/30/2012 12:05 PM
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vkg -

I understand now what you are trying to do with dual medical coverage plans. The arrangement that you describe would have you as the "primary" insured under each plan (i.e., the Blue Cross family (or self+spouse) plan through your work that includes DH, and the Kaiser individual plan purchased separately for only you).

The benefits coordination problem you identified is the point I mentioned earlier (primary/secondary). AFAIK, there is no restriction from owning two (or more) policies, but the carriers are under no obligation to coordinate the claims between the two. A carrier/provider can always assert that a claim was paid by the other, and the burden of proof ends up on you. Technically, if both policies are under your name as primary/insured (owner of the policy) they are both obligated to cover qualified claims, but there is usually a clause in the contract that states that they are not obligated to pay on claims that are otherwise covered under another carrier/policy (this avoids double-dipping so that the insured does not come out cash positive). If either of the carriers suggest that dual coverage is a problem (and thus may drop you), you might ask BC if there is a form that you can sign acknowledging that you voluntarily waive BC as your "primary" and subordinate claims to Kaiser. This would eliminate the conflict; BC would still be obligated for seconary coverage not otherwise paid by Kaiser. Because Kaiser requires use of their own network providers, there likely would not be much overlap between costs that BC would pick-up. But since your goal is not to address your coverage through BC, but rather your DH, that should not matter (to you). Again, folks on the insurance board may be able to better address the legalities of coordinating between dual providers. It may be easiest to not expect any coordination between providers and don't submit any claims for your care to BC except when you use non-Kaiser providers.

Since this is a tax board...tax considerations. As foo1bar points out, contributions to an HSA account would not be allowed for you if either of your plans is a non-HDHP (HSA compatible) plan. If both plans are HDHP/HSA compatible, then you could choose to contribute to an HSA account and take the tax deduction (as a gross income adjustment) for qualified contributions.

If your BC premium is paid through your employer (payroll deduction), then you should already be getting the tax advantage through use of pre-tax dollars. Unless your are self-employed, your Kaiser premium payments are not directly deductible as adjusted gross income, but they *MAY* be tax deductible if you itemize and include those premium payments under your medical expenses.

If you have a residual after-tax dollars payment for DH's portion of the BC policy, you *MAY* be able to pay those premiums from funds in the HSA account (if he meets the requirements). Under this scenario, you would establish the HSA account and make contributions (claiming the tax deduction) and then reimburse yourself for HIS porton of the premiums (thus effectively paying for his share of the premiums in pre-tax dollars). This is a little convuluted....others may weigh in as to the tax strategy credibility of it....but at least it would help reduce the financial burden of carrying two policies if you could do this.

MT
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