Congratulations, you have just welcomed a new family member into the world! Having a baby is an exciting time, but those early days can be overwhelming, too. With everything else on your mind, updating your insurance may not be at the top of your list.
The good news is that if you have a comprehensive health insurance plan, your baby is covered by your insurance from the moment of birth. But be aware, this coverage is limited to 30 to 60 days depending on your policy.
There are two options to consider that will ensure coverage for your baby: adding the child to your health plan or switching to a new policy. Remember, having a baby is a qualifying life event and it allows you to change your health care plan if necessary. Here’s what new parents need to know…
How to Add Your Newborn to Your Health Plan
When adding your baby to your health insurance plan, have his/her birth certificate and Social Security number ready before calling your insurance provider. Tell them that you want to add your newborn to your coverage. If you have coverage through your job, you should notify your HR department or whoever oversees benefits about your baby’s birth. In both cases, it is a good idea to inquire about costs because your monthly premiums could increase.
When your child is enrolled in a health plan, it will cover him retroactively. From the moment of birth, the policy covers all checkups, procedures, and medical costs regardless of when he was signed up during the special enrollment period.
Your newborn also will have his own deductible, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximum. If he is healthy, the hospital typically will bill his care under you, but if he is sick, they likely will bill all the extra hospital care under his deductible.
Unsure? Let’s look at another option to get your baby covered by insurance.
Switching Health Plans
Having a baby is a special qualifying event that allows you to change your health plan, so it is wise to compare the addition to your current policy or obtaining a different health plan altogether. You could save money, find better coverage, or both.
Your baby cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
Before you start looking into new health plans, here are some questions to consider:
How much do I want to pay for monthly premiums?
What doctors or hospitals are most important to me?
What kind of prescriptions do I take?
How much do I spend annually on health care?
Do I prefer copays for visits or prescriptions, or an HSA to pay for health care?
What do I like or dislike about my current plan?
After answering these questions, you will be prepared to compare new health care plans to your current policy.
Keep in mind: Just like the 30- to 60-day window to add your baby to your current plan, you have 30 to 60 days after birth to enroll in a new plan. This coverage also will be retroactive to cover him from birth.
Confused about which health care option is right for you? Don’t let it overshadow this special time with your newborn. If you need help comparing health plans, contact McKnight & McKnight Insurance. As a family-run business, we’d be happy to help with yours! Call us today at (866) 525-0368 for an individualized quote!
Other Infant Policy Options
If you do not carry health insurance, there are child-only plans that you can consider. Further, it can be expensive to add newborn insurance to some plans. In this case, you might save money by either switching plans or choosing a child-only policy.
The main obstacle parents face is the timeline to get insurance. Far too many parents do not enroll their new baby until the 30- to60-day window ends and they are left with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Avoid this situation by shopping early for coverage and purchase insurance as soon as your little one is born.
Having a baby is a qualifying life event that is eligible for the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). It is important to check with us for the best plan/price when your baby is born. Click hereor call (813) 792-2301 to schedule your phone appointment.
If you are pregnant, you also should know how to apply for health coverage for your unborn baby. This is generally referred to as maternity coverage and will cover prenatal and postnatal doctor visits, lab studies, newborn care, and more.
Maternity coverage is a mandatory benefit under the Affordable Care Act, so you are covered if you become pregnant.
Having a baby is one of the most exciting life events you can experience. But planning is key to ensure you are not stuck with expensive hospital bills. Contact our friendly insurance agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions for a quote to either add your baby to your insurance or get a new plan altogether.
Protect your growing family and call our Tampa, FL insurance agents today at (813) 792-2301!