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The Complete Guide to Baby Health Insurance

The Complete Guide to Baby Health Insurance

Having a baby is one of the most momentous occasions in anyone’s life, and it’s easy to forget about some of the details that need to be taken care of when a new little life enters yours.  Baby health insurance needs to be at the top of your to do list, as your baby’s health is always your primary concern.  Your baby will need regular check ups for the first year of his or her life, starting shortly after birth.  This will be very expensive without baby health insurance, so make sure you get your baby covered as soon as possible after birth.

If you have an existing health plan that you intend to add your baby to, then you should find out prior to your child’s birth what the process is for obtaining baby health insurance with that company.  Many companies have a policy that limits the amount of time you have to add a new baby to your existing plan, often that time limit is 30 days.  This means that if you do not immediately add baby health insurance to your plan, you could find yourself out of luck until you reach your yearly open enrollment.  This could mean you will spend a lot of money on baby health care until then.  Make sure you are aware of the rules your health insurance plan follows with regards to baby health insurance.  In most cases, it is one of the few events that will allow you to make a change to your health plan at a time other than open enrollment.

If you do not have health insurance or don’t plan to add your baby to a current plan, it will be more complicated to obtain baby health insurance.  It is a process you should begin well before your baby is born, because the processing of policy paperwork and information takes a long time.  Most insurance companies will not offer a policy that is just for the baby; it is most likely that you will need to purchase a family plan.  Shopping around for health insurance is difficult enough without a newborn at home, so do this well before your baby arrives.  The best idea is to obtain a health plan for yourself and then add the baby after the birth.  Remember that in most cases, while adding baby health insurance to your plan is usually possible at any time, you will likely not have coverage for the pregnancy or the birth if you obtain the policy when already pregnant.

Many states offer a government run health plan for children that is available to those who cannot afford to pay for baby health insurance.  If you can’t find a plan that you can afford and don’t have a plan you can add your baby to, then you should consider looking into your state run baby health insurance program.  These plans exist to ensure that all children have access to baby check ups and the care that they need during their early years.  While they may in some cases restrict your access to certain doctors and hospitals, it is certainly a better option than leaving your baby without any health insurance at all.

When you add baby health insurance to an existing plan, you can expect to pay a higher premium that you did prior to becoming a parent.  The good news is that for most plans, there is a flat family rate that will be the same amount you pay no matter how many children you have.  This means that the increase you see on your first child should be the only increase you see, even if you have several more children afterwards.

Bear in mind that if you miss the deadline to add your baby to the policy, you will likely find yourself responsible not only for future health care costs, but also for every cost incurred since birth.  This includes any charges from the hospital where the baby was born as well as early pediatrician visits.

Obtaining baby health insurance is good for both your baby and for your budget.  Even with a healthy baby, the amount of money spent on health care during the first two years of life can be astronomical.  Don’t get caught uninsured!

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