Primary vs Secondary Medical Insurance

Published by June 12, 2009

Most travel insurance plans provide emergency medical and dental coverage.  However, is important to identify whether a plan is primary or secondary coverage.  A plan that includes primary insurance will pay a covered claim even if the policyholder already has primary health insurance back home.  Secondary medical insurance will pay only the amount left over after claiming  from the primary insurance.   If the traveler has a travel insurance policy with secondary medical, and they have no other insurance, in most cases, the secondary then acts as the primary medical insurance.  Similarly, if the traveler does have primary health insurance, but it does not cover outside of the U.S., then a travel insurance plan with secondary coverage can act as the primary.  Always refer to the certificate of coverage for details.