Health Insurance Options for New Babies
Having a new baby is a very exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. Those first weeks and months of life bring a lot of surprises, but medical bills should not be one of them. Ensuring that your new baby is covered under your health insurance plan is key for avoiding hefty medical expenses.
Every parent’s hope is for a healthy baby. However, even without complications, your baby’s medical bills can be surprisingly high. In fact, a 2016 study shows that in the first year of life, a healthy infant’s medical bills average $4,879. If you do not ensure that your baby has health insurance, then you will have to pay these bills out of pocket.
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Does My Health Insurance Automatically Cover My Baby?
The good news is that for the first 30 days after a baby’s birth, their medical expenses are covered by the mother’s health insurance as an extension of maternity care. However, on day 31, this coverage ends. In order to avoid a lapse in coverage and potentially end up with exam and vaccination bills, you need to add the baby to your insurance policy. Most insurance companies will add the baby to your policy back to your baby’s birth if added within the first 30 days. Otherwise, your baby may go a month without coverage if you have not called to have your baby added before the 60th day after the birth of the baby. If you wait more than 60 days to call and add your baby, you will be out of luck, you no longer have a “life event”. You’ll need to wait until the next open enrollment period. Please call us, or check with your HR for details.
What If I am Uninsured?
If you do not have health insurance, then you will have to pay for all the medical expenses, including prenatal care, the birth, post-natal care and your baby’s check-ups, out of pocket. Fortunately, there are options available that can help you avoid medical debt.
If you are not eligible for an employer-sponsored health insurance plan and you meet income qualifications, you and your baby may be eligible for Nevada Medicaid. If your income disqualifies you for Medicaid, then your baby may be eligible for health insurance through Nevada Check Up, which is Nevada’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or Obamacare, due to the birth of the baby being a “life event”. You’ll need to act quickly to get the baby insured, time is of the essence.
When Can I Get Health Insurance for My Baby?
In most cases, you can only enroll in or make changes to your health insurance plan during the annual open enrollment period. However, there are some qualifying life events, including the birth of a baby, that make you eligible for a special enrollment period. After the qualifying life event, you have a 60-day window in which you can make changes to your health insurance policy. During this time, you can either enroll in a health insurance plan or expand your existing coverage to include your child. If you are signing up for Medicaid or Nevada Check Up, you can apply any time.
How Nevada Insurance Enrollment Can Help Get Health Insurance for Your New Baby
The first weeks of your new baby’s life pass by quickly, and while 30 days sounds like plenty of time to sign them up for health insurance, that time will pass before you know it. The best time to begin looking into health insurance for your baby is before they are born. At Nevada Insurance Enrollment, our health insurance agents can help you determine the best coverage option for you and your new baby get affordable health insurance, and avoid a gap in coverage.