Whether you’re expecting a child or you’re already a parent, you want to make sure that your baby has medical insurance. But there are a lot of ways to get coverage, and you should shop around to find the best plan for you and your family.
Some state programs can cover essential health services for infants, including newborn screenings. These programs are a good place to start. These include the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid. They may also provide additional benefits, such as newborn car seats. However, you will have to pay for some of these services out-of-pocket, and you may have to wait for a period of time.
If you’re already covered under your employer’s health plan, you can add your newborn to your policy. Most employers will automatically cover your child for the first 14 days after he or she is born. You can also call your employer’s HR department to learn more about your options.
If you don’t have an employer-provided health plan, you’ll have to buy a separate policy for your baby. Some companies will require you to fill out an enrollment form. You’ll need to give your baby’s full name and date of birth, and your healthcare provider will need your hospital records and birth certificate. Other plans will let you add your baby to your policy by phone.
Many large insurers will offer special maternity and newborn care programs, which may be available in your area. Some of these will cover your child even if he or she has a preexisting condition. Others will offer additional benefits, such as a free prenatal class. If you’re considering a new family plan, you can look for a policy that will help you cover other costs, such as the cost of prescription drugs.
You can also choose to enroll your child in the federal or state Health Insurance Marketplace. If you have a plan through the marketplace, you’ll have a 60-day waiting period before you can enroll your baby. There are also special enrollment periods for qualifying life events. For instance, if your baby is adopted, you can enroll him or her in your insurance plan within 30 days. You can also enroll your child in a child-only health plan through the marketplace.
If you don’t have health insurance, you can apply for a Medicaid program, which covers pregnant women and infants. If you qualify for the program, you can apply at any time of the year. In addition, there are subsidies available for people with lower incomes.
If you don’t have a health plan through work, you can enroll your baby in a low-cost or free plan through the Marketplace. Some states also offer low-cost government-funded plans for babies. In the case of a national public health emergency, you can qualify for a waiver that extends the coverage to 60 days after the end of the crisis.
In addition to the eHealth marketplace, you can look into other options, such as state-specific Medicaid and CHIP programs. There are several health insurance providers in your area, and you can ask your doctor or a friend about their primary care physicians.