How to Add a Newborn to Insurance Coverage

If you just have or are planning to have a baby in the United States, there are plenty of things to take care of. Besides the actual pregnancy and birth and getting all things baby ready in the house, you also have to make sure that bureaucracy is sorted.

That means, for example, getting the baby a birth certificate, a social security number, and of course, ensuring that he/she has medical insurance coverage.

If you thought that babies got included in their parents’ insurance plan automatically, then think again. You need to actively request for coverage.

It may feel like a lot of work, and it is if you consider that new parents are often multitasking and sleep deprived. Take a deep breath and keep reading for easy-to-follow instructions on getting your baby insured.

Is My Baby Qualified for My Health Insurance?

The good news is Yes, if you have comprehensive health insurance, your baby can be covered by the moment he/she was born. This does not apply to short-term plans and catastrophic plans, though.

The process is not automatic, even though your insurance company has paid for your pregnancy-related visits and medical bills. You do have to seek them and actively ask for your baby to be included in the health insurance plan.

How to Add a Baby to Your Insurance Plan

Get in touch with the insurance company (a simple phone call is enough to start with) or contact your HR department at work if you got your health plan through your job. Let them know that you just had a baby and that you would like for them to be added to your plan and do not forget to ask about potential costs.

Remember: insurance covers your newborn retroactively from the moment they were born so all the procedures and checkups they have had until now are covered.

When to add a newborn to a health insurance policy>

The sooner the better. In fact, the window is pretty tight, ranging from 30 to 60 days from the birth depending on the health plan.

Having a baby is a qualifying life event: this means that you can apply for your baby to be added to the plan immediately, even if it is not open enrollment.

Can I Switch Health Plans when Having a Baby?

You can take advantage of this qualifying life event and decide to switch health insurance plans altogether if you think that a different deal would be better for you and your child, either because of better financial terms or because of more extensive coverage, for example.

Compare marketplace plans or check out the options with the employer. Either way, remember that you still have to make the switch within the window highlighted above and that your child will enjoy retroactive coverage.

Health Insurance for Babies: Documents Needed

Fortunately, it does not take a long time to get coverage for your newborn and you will only need a few documents:

Read More:How to Get a Birth Certificate for Babies Born Outside a Hospital

Many health insurance companies only request one but it is best to have both at hand when you call your provider or speak with your HR rep just in case.

You should have received your child’s social security card in the mail after giving birth. If you have not received it yet and a reasonable amount of time has passed, contact the facility where you gave birth. Normally, parents fill the relevant forms there and then the facility submits them.

Your health insurance provider usually has access to the newborn’s birth records as they need information such as the place and date of birth, full name, hospital records, etc. If they do not have this information, you may need to give them a copy of your baby’s birth certificate.

Please note: different providers will have different processes in place to add a baby to the health insurance plan. While many companies allow you to add your child by phone, for others, you may have to fill out an enrollment form online or else. Please contact your provider in advance so that you know exactly what steps you need to take.