When you’re a newlywed, you have a lot on your plate already. But it’s important that you figure out your health care insurance needs quickly after saying, “I do.” You typically have 30 days following your nuptials to switch to a spouse’s plan. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for the next open enrollment period. Ideally, you’ll come to a decision about how you’d like your health care needs met before you ever tie the knot.
It’s highly likely that you will enter into marriage with your own health insurance plans. In most cases, this means you’ll need to make a decision on whose plan to keep. You will need to weigh your options to pick the right plan to stick with. What follows are some key questions to mull over:
1. What Services Are Essential to You?
One thing you must consider is what type of coverage you want — and how extensive you’d like it to be. Do you want a plan that includes dental? Vision? What about prescription drug coverage? Perhaps you’d like to keep visiting your chiropractor. Does your spouse’s plan cover these services?
2. What is Your Budget?
Ideally, money wouldn’t be an issue but just about everyone lives on a budget so you will need to think about your out-of-pocket expenses when weighing different health insurance plans. What amount would you feel comfortable paying for your monthly premiums? What can you afford for copayments? What deductible works for you? What about emergency care? Make sure you know the cost of each of these things before deciding on a plan.
3. Are Both of Your Doctors Covered?
If you’re currently happy with your doctors, it’s important for you to keep them. Better doctor-patient relationships lead to overall improved health. You should make sure they are covered under your spouse’s or any new plan you consider switching to. Sometimes, it is worth paying a slightly higher premium, for instance, if it means sticking with a care provider you know and trust. This is especially the case if you’re currently undergoing treatment.
4. Do You Need Maternity Coverage?
Some women opt out of maternity coverage if they don’t plan on having children. This is something you’ll need to discuss with your partner before coming to a decision. Many women choose to pay for the maternity coverage as a “just in case” precaution but that decision is ultimately up to you.