Having a baby is an exciting time in your life, full of many changes. Not only does your daily schedule alter, but you also have an opportunity to choose new health insurance options for your growing family.
Having a baby or adopting a child is a qualifying life event for a Special Enrollment Period, meaning you can enroll in or change Marketplace coverage even if it’s outside the official Open Enrollment period (November 1 – January 31 for 2016 coverage). When you do enroll in the new plan, your coverage becomes effective from the day your baby is born.
So what are your health insurance options? We’ve outlined some of them now that you have a new family member to insure:
If you already have a plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can do one of two things when your baby is born. You can keep your current plan and add your child to your coverage. Or you can change to a different Marketplace plan that better suits your new family. Either way, make sure to update the Marketplace when you have your baby because if you receive assistance to pay for your monthly premium, it could change with the additional household member. Special Enrollment Periods are limited to 60 days after your qualifying life event.
If you have a private health plan, the services provided before and after your child is born are considered essential health benefits, meaning all qualified health plans inside and outside the Marketplace must cover them. Update your status with your employer or insurance carrier to ensure your new member is covered. Special Enrollment Periods are limited to 60 days after your qualifying life event.
Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are also an option. You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP any time during the year in two ways: Directly through your state Medicaid agency or by filling out a Marketplace application.
And of course, TurboTax Health is here to help with any questions you may have as you expand your family. Our Open Enrollment Guide can even help you sort out your options and your costs to help you pick health insurance for you and your family.