Just Married? Here's how to buy health insurance together
Congratulations! You found your perfect match. The next step? Find your perfectly matched health plan!
Okay, that's maybe not as romantic, but it’s definitely important— buying the right health insurance for you and your spouse can save a lot of money. It’ll cover your different medical needs, avoid massive, unaffordable bills, and let you skip the government’s annual penalty for going uninsured (at least $325 or 2% of your household income). Marriage counts as a “qualifying event,” which allows you to buy new health insurance during Special Enrollment.
Buying health insurance for two? Here’s what you need to know:
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 sign up.
Once you are married (civil union, domestic partnership or otherwise), you can purchase new insurance or change your health plan up to 60 days after you are legally wed, regardless of the time of year.
Pro tip: Before signing up for a new plan, scan or snap a photo of your marriage or civil union certificate. Many insurers require Qualifying Event Documentation to prove you got married!
Tip 3: If one spouse is covered, you can bring the other onboard.
If you or your partner already has a plan, call your insurance company and see if that plan will cover both of you. Don’t like hold music? Just let us know, and we’ll make the call for you.
Pro tip: Adding someone to your plan means that your premiums (monthly payments) will increase. It’s probably easiest to enroll together in a new plan that fits your needs.
Tip 4: Consider individual plans.
If you and your spouse do not have children, you might find that purchasing separate plans is cheaper, especially if you have different health needs and preferences. For example, if you’re managing an illness and need a “richer” plan (one with more benefits and a larger network) than your spouse, you can purchase that type of plan while your spouse goes with a more basic option. Take some time to comparison shop on Stride. You can compare family plans against individual plans to determine your best match.
Tip 5: Find ways to save.
Not sure how to afford health insurance? Here are a few resources:
- Government subsidies: Many middle to low-income adults qualify for government discounted plans. In fact, Stride members who qualify typically save $304 month. If you’d like to calculate your government subsidy, search for a health plan on Stride and make sure to answer “yes” to this question: The government might pay for some of your health insurance. Do you want to see if you qualify?
- Catastrophic Plans: Don’t let the name scare you! Catastrophic plans are plans with low monthly payments and very high deductibles (the amount you pay before insurance covers the bill). These are a good fit if you’re young, healthy, and rarely get sick. If either of you are under 30, you or your spouse qualify to buy one.
Still confused? Don't sweat it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call: 415-886-1966. We've got your back!