How to add your newborn baby to your health insurance plan

When you have a baby you’ve obviously got a lot to do and a lot going on in your life! And it’s not surprising that insurance isn’t at the forefront of your mind. That’s why, far too often, we often talk to individual or group health insurance clients who have forgotten to add their baby to their health insurance policy… and that can be a real problem!
With most health insurance policies, you will have 30 days from your child’s birth to add him or her to your health insurance coverage. That typically happens by filling out a form to change your coverage to include your new baby. As long as you submit this form in the first 30 days, you’ll have coverage from birth.
But what happens if you forget? Oy.

  • Well, the first thing you do is ask them to do it anyway! If your baby is healthy, you may have a chance at this (depending on the company). We have had occasions where we have successfully gotten an insurance company to make an exception for one of our clients. But we need to stress the word “exception” here – this is not the norm and technically, once 30 days have past, so has your window to add the baby to your policy.
  • If you can’t get your child covered on your health insurance policy after 30 days, you’ll have to wait until the annual open enrollment in most cases. With some companies (like small business plans with Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, for example), you may have to wait up to one year to add your child.
  • In the meantime, you’ll want to consider a short-term health insurance plan for your baby. One of the unintended consequences of the PPACA law (popularly referred to as “Obamacare”) is that there are no child-only individual health insurance plans available in the individual health insurance market. Many short-term health insurance plans similarly can’t be written for children (or, in one case, children under 2). For that reason, we suggest you enroll your baby in a short-term health insurance plan with Assurant Health.

The short-term health insurance plan is not ideal, but it will be a useful way to give your bundle of joy some health insurance protection until you can get him or her onto your policy. Let us know if we can help you in this process.