Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Your baby will mean many changes in your household. You may realize that you need to baby-proof your home and that you should probably get the nursery ready, but have you thought about how your bundle of joy will affect your health insurance? Your family’s health care needs will change with the addition of a little one. Finding just the right health plan will help keep you and your family healthy and happy.

Unique Healthcare Needs for Newborns

Having healthcare is important for your baby because he or she will need access to:

  • Regular checkups (several per year during the first few years)
  • Vaccinations
  • Emergency medical care
  • Consistent growth and development monitoring
  • Testing for diseases or developmental conditions and disabilities

In fact, your baby may end up seeing the doctor more in their first year of life than they do as adults! With all of these checkups and appointments, having the right health plan is extremely important.
Timing: Meeting Your Baby’s Health Insurance Needs
While you are pregnant, your baby’s needs are taken care of through your health insurance. Most plans also cover the newborn for an additional 30 days after birth as well. After that, however, your baby will need his or her own doctor and health care plan. That means that your baby should have his or her own healthcare set up by the time he or she is one month old.

Is My Existing Plan Right for My Baby?

You may be able to add your child to the health care plan that you already use for the rest of your family. Most healthcare plans allow you to add your newborn to your plan either immediately or when the doctor releases your child from hospital care. You will need to inform your health insurance company of the new addition to your plan.

Chances are, however, that when you picked out your existing healthcare plan, you did not choose it with a new baby in mind. For example, individuals or couples who do not have children often choose lower premium plans that have higher co-pays. With the frequent trips that your baby will be making to the hospital, these co-pays can add up quickly. You may save money in the long run by switching to a higher premium plan that offers lower co-pays.

Take a close look at the benefits available for babies in relation to their unique health needs. Most insurance companies will allow you to make changes to your plan for a limited time after your bundle of joy arrives and you may be surprised to find that your existing plan has great coverage for newborns. However, you may also find that it just doesn’t meet your new family needs and thanks to the ACA you will qualify for a 60 day Special Enrollment Period to allow you to find suitable Obamacare approved coverage.

Factors to Consider When Switching Health Plans

If you have taken a hard look at your existing insurance plan and determined that it just isn’t going to work for your baby, then you need a plan that will. It can be difficult to decide where to start, however. Finding just the right plan for you and your baby is a very personalized decision that will depend on factors like:

  • Your personal health
  • Whether your baby has any serious health conditions
  • Whether anyone else will be on the plan
  • Your personal prescription medication requirements
  • Your financial situation
  • Your preferences for health care (specific doctors, facilities, locations, etc.)
  • Your family’s need for particular specialists

It may help to itemize everything that is important to you regarding your healthcare, your baby’s healthcare, and anyone else who is on your health plan as well.

Sought-After Health Plan Features for New Parents

New parents often cite the following factors as the most important aspects of their child’s healthcare plan.

Lower Co-Pays and Lower Deductibles. Having a baby is obviously going to add some additional costs to your budget, so you may need to engage in some in-depth analysis of your personal budget. Can you afford to pay co-pays every time you go to the doctor or would paying a slightly higher premium to have lower co-pays work better for you and your family? Keep in mind how often children have regularly scheduled checkups, even if they do not have any serious health conditions or accidents.
In relation to this factor, you may also want to consider how much the health plan’s out-of-pocket limit is for a given year. Having a lower limit could mean that your insurance company will pay more in healthcare costs as you reach the end of the year.

In-Network Treatment. One of the most important factors for many new parents is whether the in-network doctors and hospitals specialize in infant care. Perhaps you want your child to see a specific pediatrician that a family member recommended. You should be sure that this doctor is in your new insurance plan’s network.

Preventative care. For children, preventative care is going to be extremely important. Engaging in preventative care will help keep your children healthy for years to come. Many insurers are now required to offer preventative services for children at no cost to you. Having a health care plan that meets or exceeds these requirements is often important for new parents.

Other Health Plan Options

Another option might be to set up a health insurance savings plan. This type of savings plan is often used in combination with your regular health plan to help pay for the cost of co-pays or other out-of-pocket expenses.

Find the Right Health Plan for Your Family

The right health plan for you and your family may not be the same as your neighbor’s or co-worker’s plan. The right plan fits your necessities based on your values and individual healthcare needs. If your due date is soon or you have recently given birth, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan today. It’s easy to compare your options with HealthMatchup, request a quote today to get personalized plan quotes from the top insurers in your area so you can find the best plan that will help you and your family stay healthy for years to come.

300x250-v2

The team at HealthMatchup.com is passionate about helping people find the best health insurance for their needs. We believe that finding the right health insurance plan shouldn’t be hard. In fact, we think it should be easy. We work with trusted partners to bring you all of the information you need to choose an insurance plan that fits both your health needs and your budget. Getting healthcare quotes is quick and easy, giving you free access to all of the best health plans available in your area.