Which Plan Is Primary for Your Children?
Here are some guidelines to help you determine which plan is primary for your children:
  • A plan without a coordination of benefits provision will pay benefits before a plan with such a provision.
  • Where each plan has coordination of benefits, the following rules apply:
For Married Parents or Registered Domestic Partners
In general, the primary plan for your children is determined using the "birthday rule." This means the plan covering the parent whose birthday occurs first in the year is primary and will pay benefits first. For example, if your birthday is on January 15th and your spouse's/registered domestic partner's birthday is on June 10th, your plan pays benefits for your children first.
For Separated or Divorced Parents
Follow the rules outlined here, unless the court has specified which parent is responsible for coverage. If a child's parents are divorced or legally separated, claims should be submitted first to the plan of the parent who has custody, provided the dependent is eligible under that plan. If that parent has remarried, claims should be submitted next to the plan covering the stepparent — the spouse of the parent with custody — provided the dependent is eligible under the plan. Claims should be submitted last to the plan covering the parent without custody, provided the dependent is eligible under that plan.
If none of these rules applies, in most cases the plan that has covered your dependent(s) the longest will pay benefits first.