Michigan Association of Health Plans

How and when to add your child to your health insurance

This article was posted on the McLaren Health Plan blog. Read more here


Adding a Child to Your Health Insurance After Birth


Whether you’re expecting or adopting a baby, you’re in the midst of an exciting time! You may be prepping the baby room and getting ready to meet your newest family member. Along with all these other tasks, don’t forget about your child’s health insurance.

When to Add Your Child to Your Health Insurance

The search for the right health insurance plan should start before your baby is born. Having a baby qualifies you and your family for a Special Enrollment Period. If you have employer insurance, you’ll have 30 days to add your newborn to your plan. If you have a Marketplace plan, your special enrollment period is 60 days from the day of your baby’s birth. This gives you enough time to research new plans and enroll in a plan that’s perfect for your whole family.

Adding Your Child to Your Employer Health Insurance

If you’re happy with your current health insurance plan, you don’t have to change plans when your baby is born. Most employer plans give you 30 days to officially add your newborn to your health insurance policy. You can keep the same benefits as well as get health insurance coverage for your child.

How to Add a Child to Health Insurance

Adding a child to health insurance after birth doesn’t have to be complicated. If you decide to add your newborn to your current plan, all you need to do is call your insurance provider. You will need:

  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Your child’s Social Security Number
  • You may even be able to add your child to your healthcare plan by contacting your employer’s HR department.

When Does Coverage Start?

When you enroll your newborn in your healthcare plan, coverage will apply retroactively. As long as you apply during your Special Enrollment Period, your child’s coverage will start the day they were born. If you accessed covered healthcare services in the first few weeks after your baby’s birth, these services will be covered by your new plan.

How Does Getting Health Insurance for Your Baby After Birth Affect Cost?

When you add a child to your health insurance plan, your monthly premiums will go up. However, if you have a big family, adding more children might not impact your monthly premiums. If you have more than three children under 21, you only pay a premium for your three oldest children. When you add your fourth baby to your plan, your monthly premium will not change.

Your out-of-pocket maximum and yearly deductible may also change when you add your newborn to your plan. In most family plans, you will pay an individual deductible for each family member, as well as a plan deductible that applies to the whole family.

Applying for Medicaid or CHIP

Medicaid offers health insurance coverage to low-income Americans. When you have a baby, your income level and household size may qualify you for Medicaid. If your income doesn’t qualify your family for Medicaid, your child could still be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that offers basic healthcare coverage to children. You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP anytime during the year, even if you’re not in a Special Enrollment Period.

Find The Right Health Insurance Coverage

Take some time to celebrate your new family, then enroll your child in the right healthcare plan to give them the best start in life.

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