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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Coordination of Benefits Rules for Double-Covered Dependents

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Question: Why can’t i choose to be the primary health insurance for my children if my coverage is better than my husband’s?

Answer: It’s not up to you to decide which plan is primary. When dependents are covered on both parents health insurance, Coordination of Benefits (COB) rules come into play. Most states have adopted these rules though they can vary some from state to state. In general, when deciding which parent’s health insurance coverage is primary on claims for double-covered dependents, the “birthday rule” applies. That is, the plan covering the parent whose birthday falls earlier in the year pays first, and the plan of the parent whose birthday falls later in the year is secondary. And if these parents have the same birthday, the plan covering the parent the longer period of time is primary.

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