5 Health Insurance Tips for New Parents
In between purchasing the stroller and making space in your home for a new member of the family, it’s worth taking a second to think about health insurance. Whether you are pregnant or just had a new baby, check out these tips to make sure you and your little one receive the right coverage:
Tip 1: Learn the basics.
Don’t know how health insurance works? Not sure what “deductible” means? Check out this quick guide. In just a few minutes, you’ll be an expert on basic health insurance features, how doctor networks function, and more.
Tip 2: You have 60 days to purchase.
Having a baby is a “qualifying event,” so you have 60 days after your child’s birth to purchase or switch insurance. If you have insurance already, be sure to add your baby to your plan (or switch to a better plan) as soon as possible. This insurance will cover any of your child’s health needs during the first few critical years of their life when trips to the doctor are frequent.
Pro tip: When you sign up for a new plan, make sure you have your child’s birth certificate or a letter from your medical center showing proof of birth. Many insurers require Qualifying Event Documentation to prove you really had a baby!
Tip 3: Pick a network with the doctors you want.
Different health plans cover different doctors (learn more about doctor networks here). Ask your friends and family for pediatrician recommendations and make sure one or two great doctors are included in your plan’s network. Stride can help you pick a plan that includes the doctors you want.
Tip 4: Consider your newborn’s special medical needs.
If you know your child will require medical attention for a condition, focus on reducing the cost of specific treatments and doctors’ visits. This might mean choosing a plan with higher monthly payments, but richer benefits that will save you lots of money in the long run. If your child needs to see various specialists because of an illness they are born with, you might want to consider a “Preferred Provider Organization” (PPO) plan that allows more flexibility when visiting specialists and doctors.
Tip 5: Take advantage of maternity and newborn coverage.
There are generous benefits for expecting parents. Some of these services are even free!
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling: free!
- Screenings for the more serious diseases related to pregnancy: free!
- Prenatal care like screenings, health history and assessments, and fetal evaluations: covered by all health plans
- Ultrasounds and diagnostics: covered by all health plans
- Prenatal and postpartum counseling and assessments: covered by all health plans