The complete guide to getting coverage for you and your partner

You may be newlyweds or longtime partners, but what do you do if you or your S.O. is uninsured? Whether two’s company or you have some kids running around, here are some important tips to keep in mind while searching for insurance as a couple.

  1. Make sure your partner is covered: Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Just because you are covered does not mean your partner is free of financial risk. Protect both you and your spouse by finding the right health insurance to help you pay for medical expenses and avoid financial troubles down the road. You will also get to skip paying the government’s annual penalty for being uninsured ($325 or 2% of your household income). Beyond your finances, quality health coverage also keeps you happy and healthy, providing you with free preventive care and new benefits. You will have access to the doctors you need and the services that matter most: flu shots, screenings, yearly check-ups and more, all for free or at a low-cost.
  2. If one spouse is covered, bring the other onboard: If you or your partner already purchased a plan, check and see if that plan will cover both of you. This might be an employer-coverage option or a family plan that accommodates two adults and any children you might have.
  3. Uninsured or looking to switch? Save money and consider individual plans: If you and your partner do not have kids, you might find that purchasing separate plans is cheaper, especially if you have different health needs and preferences. Take some time to comparison shop on You can compare family plans against individual plans to determine your best match. 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. Make sure to check the value of one family plan against two individual plans so you get the best deal possible.
  4. Cash in on subsidies, tax credits and low-cost plans: Many middle to low-income adults qualify for subsidies. Make sure to enter your income while shopping on Stride, and we'll calculate your subsidy. Are either of you under 30? You or your spouse might qualify for low-cost Catastrophic plans. These could be a good fit if you are you are young, healthy, and rarely get sick.
  5. Explore your options: When you are married, you are in it for the long haul. Over time, you and your spouse will experience changes in your health status. You may want to switch your insurance plans to improve your access to doctors or find a more affordable plan. Open Enrollment lasts until February 15, which means you have a little under 2 months to comparison shop and pick a health plan.
  6. Newlyweds have 30 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. This will give you a chance to coordinate your insurance with your partner or make the decision to pay for separate plans.

Photo cred: Flickr user faungg

Hack, HealthNoah LangComment