Looks like wedding season is here! The bride and groom have many things to worry about pre-wedding, but the post-wedding stuff is just as important. After the honeymoon the happy couple may need to move into their new home together, apply for name changes, merge finances, and shop for health insurance!
You have 60 days…
Getting married qualifies you to enroll for new health insurance under the Special Enrollment period; this means you don’t need to wait for open enrollment season at the end of the year to change plans. You have 60 days to enroll in a new plan after the date of marriage. If your forget to change health plans within 60 days you will need to wait until the next open enrollment period.
It is estimated that 88% of Americans purchase the wrong health plan costing them an extra $533 a year. That’s a good chunk of money a newlywed couple could put towards something else.
Let’s discuss three options anyone tying the knot should consider.
- Add your spouse to your company’s group health plan. Ask your HR department what the cost is for employee+ spouse. Sometimes organizations cover a portion of the dependents’ coverage but increasingly organizations are now choosing not to extend discounted coverage for dependents. You will want to figure out costs and determine if this coverage is a good fit for your needs.
- Look for a new plan together. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act you have greater health insurance options. It is a good idea to investigate different options on the individual market to see if you can get a better rate or a better plan. There are many options available to you, from big insurance companies like Aetna or Blue Cross Blue Shield, or smaller faith-based plans called Medi-share.
- Get separate plans. We know, you just tied the knot and are probably busy figuring out how to combine your names, bank accounts, and the rest of your lives. But you don’t have to with insurance! In fact, there is no real advantage or savings from getting on a plan together. If one of you needs more or a different type of care, you may be better off getting plans that each fit you and your needs. This also kind of fits with point #1…if one of you gets coverage from work, but work doesn’t pay much for spouse coverage, you’ll likely be better off getting individual plans.
So how can you quickly compare your options?
Take Command Health can help you navigate through the health insurance scene. With an easy to use online tool, you can quickly compare over 8,000 plans that are available both on and off the exchange as well as faith-based plans. Rather than just sort by deductible and premium, we’ll help you find plans that include your doctor, prescriptions, and coverage for your unique needs. In five minutes you can narrow down your best choice and see if you qualify for any tax credits. It’s free and easy to use!
Take a look today and enjoy married life!
I wrote this blog because I love helping people decode confusing insurance jargon and understand the fine print. I'm a licensed health insurance professional and specialize in simplifying health insurance for individuals and small businesses. My QSEHRA articles have been featured regularly on Accounting Today, Accounting Web, HRWeb, and other industry publications. I'm also a member of Take Command Health's client success team and a full-time mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!