How to Add A Baby To Your Health Insurance Policy
Dan Levenson August 18, 2015
There’s no getting around it. Health insurance can be complicated, and it might seem like a nightmare to add a new dependent to your existing policy. The good news is that adding your new baby to your health insurance policy is not as difficult as it might seem.
Here are the steps you need to take to make sure your baby is covered under your health insurance policy:
This step only pertains to you if you have not yet delivered your baby. You know you are going to have a baby, and you know you need that baby to be on your insurance policy, so do some grunt work now before the baby is born to see what your insurance company will require.
Also look into rates to see how much your insurance premium will increase, and see if there are other, better options available to you and your family. If switching isn’t an option at this point, you can at least budget accordingly with the knowledge of your increased rate.
Assign Someone To Contact Your Insurance Provider
Having a baby is exciting, but it’s a whirlwind of chaos and sleepless nights. Before the baby arrives, talk to your partner about who will take care of the insurance and what steps need to be taken. You don’t want to have the unpleasant surprise of finding out that neither of you took care of the baby’s insurance because you each assumed the other person had it figured out.
Call Your Insurance Immediately (Within 30 Days Of Birth)
This is the most important step. Your insurance company won’t know you’ve had a baby unless you tell them. Insurance companies give you 30 days to contact them, but it’s a good bet to do this part as soon after the birth as possible so that your baby can be covered under your insurance without any added headaches or paperwork.
Your insurance company will need your baby’s:
- Social security number (which is given to you in the hospital)
- Full name
- Date of birth
In general, having a baby is considered a “qualifying life event,” so you can add your baby immediately after birth rather than waiting until the next open enrollment period. The insurance company will make your baby’s insurance retroactive and cover the costs from birth as long as you call them within the 30-day window. Failing to take this first step will result in you being responsible for all of your baby’s hospital medical costs.
Turn In Any And All Required Paperwork
Have your notebook handy when you start this process to make sure you know exactly what paperwork is required from your insurance company. Every insurance company is different, so follow your particular insurance company’s instructions. Because of this step, it’s a good idea to do step 1 as soon as possible so you have time to track down any paperwork you need.
Inquire About Government Options
If you can’t afford insurance for your baby or if your employer doesn’t provide group health insurance, find out about any and all government options that are available at the state and federal level. If you can’t do this ahead of time, your hospital should have a social worker who can walk you through the process to make sure your baby is covered so you don’t need to pay out of pocket for his/her medical expenses now or in the future. The social worker from the hospital will be able to help you fill out paperwork and expedite the process so your baby can be covered as soon after his/her birth as possible.
Having a baby is an exciting life event, but with it comes a lot of added stress. Adding your new baby to your insurance policy is relatively simple, as long as you do it in a timely manner. Making sure your child is covered from day one will give you peace of mind, and one less thing to worry about during this amazing time in your life!