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Coordination of Benefits: The Best of Both Worlds?

By Caroline Jacobson on September 27, 2016 in Insurance


Do you and your spouse qualify for a COB? Learn how that can help save you money.

If you're on two insurance plans, coordination of benefits (COB) can help you get the best of both worlds. A COB notice integrates benefits for one person under more than one plan. Proper coordination ensures plans do not duplicate or make unnecessary payments.

If both of your plans have COB provisions, the plan in which you are enrolled as the main policyholder is primary. The plan in which you are enrolled as a dependent serves as the secondary. Knowing how to manage the coordination of benefits can lower out-of-pocket costs for your dental care.

For example:

Let's say you and your spouse have two separate dental plans through your employers. When you take your child to the dentist for sealants, the office will send the bill to your primary dental plan first. If that plan covers preventive at 80%, and it was a $100 procedure, the plan will pay your dentist $80. If you only had one dental plan, you would then owe $20. ($100 charge – $80 paid by insurance = $20.)

If you have two plans, you could send the remaining $20 dentist bill to your secondary plan. Then, the secondary company may cover the remaining claim balance.

To find out if your Delta Dental plan has COB provisions, sign in and review your plan.