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.
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Every parents’ hope is for a healthy baby. However, even without complications, your baby’s medical bills can be very 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.
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 or father’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 at work 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. Another option is Obamacare. Due to the birth of the baby being a “life event”, you CAN get health insurance for your baby, even if you didn’t have health insurance prior to the birth of the baby. This insurance will be backdated to the birthdate of your baby. 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 or to insure your baby. During this time, you can either enroll in a health insurance plan, or expand your existing coverage to include your child. You may only have 30 days to back date the plan to the birth of the baby, you’ll have 60 days from the birth, to add the baby for the start of the next upcoming 1st of the month to start coverage for the baby. Please check with your agent for rules for addition of baby depending if you are shopping ON Exchange (with a subsidy) or OFF Exchange (no subsidy). 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 60 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 to get affordable health insurance and avoid a gap in coverage.
Read More: Health Insurance in Las Vegas, Nevada
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