I am 24, single, no dependents, and provided with a co-terminus health insurance policy by my employer.

I understand that if I have multiple health insurance policies, I can only make claim from only one of them if ever I incur medical expenses (I'm from the Philippines).

What good will I get if I take another health insurance policy on my own accord? Here are some of my assumptions. Please correct me if I'm wrong:

  1. I'll pay a lower premium (due to younger age).
  2. If I'm no longer employed, I have another health insurance policy to fall back on, and I'll still be paying the same lower premium (because I started younger).

3 Answers 3


Most of the points by MrChrister are valid. I can't say much for Philippines, however there is a reason for one to go with individual insurance from my experience in India.

  1. Most of the insurance require you to stay with them for a period of 3 yrs before some of the other illness are covered under insurance. In this case it makes sense to continue for a single insurance with an insurer of your choice. Sometimes group insurance waive off or reduce the minimum period for some critical illness, you may need to check if there is any such clause in your employees insurance.
  2. Most of the company insurance is for a small amount. With rising medical costs this amount may not be sufficeint.Having your own insurance adds to a higher level of cover. For example if your employer has covered you for 100,000 and you have additional 100,000 on your own, and if you get hospitalized for an amount of 150,000 you can still get this covered as your overall limit is now 200,000.
  3. Continuity Clause: Most of the insurance require you to prove that the illness is contracted during the priod of coverage and in certain cases this would be difficult to prove and one could be denied. For example my friend had a fall and a ligament tear, which he ignored for sometime. During this time he also changed jobs and was on other companies Medical Insurance policy. He had to later undergo a surgery to rectify this, but wasn't paid because the doctor mentioned that this was pre-existing and could'nt date this. Having a continious personal insurance will ensure these cases are avoided.
  4. Altough one can buy insurance when one is out of job, most of the time one is averse to spending / investing and one ends up not buying an insurance and the risk of this can turn out to be high.

While I can't say how it is in the Philippines, my wife the insurance broker leads me to believe that individual insurance is more expensive than group coverages in the US almost always. So much so that people will go to great extents to form any sort of business just to insure themselves.

If however it is cheaper, can't you simply opt out of your employer's plan? If you can opt out, will your employer give you any of the money they aren't paying for your insurance?

If you can't opt out, or if you paycheck doesn't grow, I can't see why you would want additional coverage especially at such a young age. Should you lose your job in the near future and you worry about, go get the insurance then.

EDIT One big advantage is if you get personal insurance, you might need to get an exam to qualify, and it is likely the younger you are the better you will qualify.

But again, you already have insurance that covers you so I would advise keeping the group policy is probably better.

  • the monthly premium in my employer's plan is really cheap--a lot less than my daily expenses. So, I take it that "I'll pay a lower premium for starting early" is not necessarily a strong argument?
    – Kit
    Commented Oct 26, 2010 at 0:48
  • 1
    @Kit - I would assume your premium will go up as you age. Again, this is US based which I don't know how that compares to you.
    – MrChrister
    Commented Oct 26, 2010 at 2:29

I understand that if I have multiple health insurance policies, I can only make claim from only one of them if ever I incur medical expenses (I'm from the Philippines).

In the US, you cannot simultaneously submit a claim for payment of a medical bill, or request reimbursement for a bill already paid, to multiple insurance companies, but if you are covered by more than one policy, then any part of a claim not paid by one company can be submitted to another company that is also covering you. In fact, if you have employer-paid or employer-provided coverage, most insurance companies will want your employer-provided insurance company to be billed first, and will cover whatever is not paid by the employer coverage. For example, if the employer coverage pays 80% of your doctor's bill, the private insurance will pay the remaining 20%. But, the private insurance policies are also quite expensive.

Some professional groups in the US offer major medical coverage to their US members, and might be offering this to non-US members as well (though I suspect not). These policies have large deductibles so that coverage kicks in only when the total medical expenses in that year (whether wholly or partially reimbursed, or not reimbursed at all) exceed the large deductible. These types of policies actually pay out to only a few people - if you have more than, say, $20,000 of medical expenses in a year, you have been quite ill, and thus the premiums are usually much smaller than full-fledged coverage insurance policies which pay out much more frequently because of much smaller deductibles.

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