Top 5 Newborn Insurance Coverage Tips
It’s easy to assume that your insurance will cover pregnancy, childbirth, and pediatric care, but the truth is that this may not be the case. Some policies expressly deny maternity coverage while others make you jump through hoops in order to insure your newborn. The point is that you should not simply assume that your policy will extend to a child when you decide to start your family. You need to know exactly what you’re getting into in terms of medical costs, as well as what you can expect from your health insurance provider. Luckily, you’re not the first person to have a kid and need insurance coverage for dependents. In other words, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But you should go into the process prepared for the hurdles you’ll have to jump. Here are just a few tips that should make insuring your newborn a breeze.
- Talk to your employer about options. If you find out you’re in the family way (or your spouse is) you need to talk to your employer about coverage options, supposing that the healthcare package you pay for is a benefit of your job. Whoever handles the registration process, perhaps someone in the HR department, should be able to help you determine whether or not you’re eligible to add your newborn to your policy. This may depend on what your employer offers (as they pay for a portion of your coverage) as well as the rules and regulations set by the insurance company.
- Contact your insurance provider. Once you have spoken to your employer about adding a child to your benefits, you still need to contact your insurer to see how this change will affect your overall coverage. Adding a person to your policy could raise premiums, inflate your deductible, and even affect your co-pay, just for example. Of course, the impact may be minor, but it’s important that you understand all of the ramifications moving forward, and an agent from your insurance provider should be able to spell out any changes to your policy.
- Know deadlines for filing. Most insurers have no problem allowing you to add your children to your healthcare policy, but they will likely have strict guidelines pertaining to how the process works. As you probably know, you are granted a window each year in which to make changes to your policy. Since your baby is unlikely to stick to this schedule and the baby must be born before independent coverage can begin, you’ll want to make sure you know deadlines for filing for coverage (usually within 30 days of birth).
- Request coverage information. Coverage for you newborn could be finite in nature. For example, most babies are scheduled for several check-ups during the first year of life. But some insurance policies only cover, say, three such visits. Some only pay for vaccinations and immunizations. You need to know this before you get the bill.
- Watch for additional submission requests. While you’re busy watching your infant sleep in his crib, roll around his baby play yard, or delight in colorful toys, it’s all too easy to let paperwork slip through the cracks. But you need to stay on top of missives from your insurance provider. They may require specific information (such as the name of your child’s primary physician) in order to pay a claim, so you need to provide them with any data they request in a timely manner.