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Can I Have Health Insurance Through Work and on My Own?


If you have group health insurance through your employer, it will not stop you from being able to purchase health insurance independently. The group health plan provided through your work may not meet the level of protection you want. You can also reject signing up for group health insurance and choose to buy only your own health insurance policy. Many people choose to have more than one health insurance policy, with group health insurance through work and private health insurance purchased separately.

Why Have Two Health Insurance Policies?

The group insurance plan provided through your work may not offer all the health benefits you want for your family. Some group health insurance plans are “bare bones” HMO plans (health maintenance organization) that offer fewer options than a PPO (preferred provider organization) or EPO (exclusive provider organization).

Should I Keep My Group Insurance Policy or Buy My Own?

Individual health insurance plans may be less costly than purchasing health insurance through work. If your employer offers group health insurance, speak with an insurance agent familiar with the market to discover whether you could get a better price than through work. With group health insurance, the type of insurance is selected by your employer, not you. 

You may have a specific medical provider you want to continue seeing that is out of the group plan’s network. You have the option of keeping both the group plan and your individual plan if you so choose. The percentage of the group plan insurance paid by your employer is a consideration. The minimum your employer must pay can vary from state to state but is generally in the range of 50 percent. Some employers pay 100 percent. In those cases, buying an individual policy and keeping your group health insurance is more affordable.

Does it Make Sense to Have Two Health Insurance Plans? 

For some people, it makes a lot of sense to have two health insurance plans. The scenarios that most could arise include:

  • You and your spouse each have health insurance through different employers, or you have private health insurance and are also covered under your spouse’s group policy from work.
  • You are under 26 years old and are covered under a policy offered by your employer or college and are also eligible to be covered under your parent’s group health insurance.
  • When both parents get health insurance through work, and both choose to cover a child or children. 


Even with two health insurance policies, you will be responsible for paying the deductible on your plans. Thankfully, an insurance agent can help you look at the actual bottom-line costs of maintaining two policies. If you need help determining the best way to ensure you have the best health insurance, speak with one of our knowledgeable agents. We are familiar with both group health insurance and private health insurance and can help you come to the best decision for you and your budget.

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