When to Join Your Spouse's Health Insurance Policy

Health insurance is an important investment. You may be able to save money and enjoy better coverage when you switch to your spouse's policy. When is making this move a good idea?

When You Get Married

After you get married, you have a grace period in which you may enroll in your spouse's health insurance plan. Check the coverage and prices to see if this option meets your needs and budget. Be sure to finish the paperwork before the grace period ends.

When Your Family Expands

Adopting or giving birth to a new child is cause for celebration. Add your new child to your spouse's insurance coverage within the grace period if it's affordable.

When you Lose Your Job

COBRA insurance is an option when you lose your job, but it's often expensive since your employer no longer subsidizes your insurance premiums. Shop for your own coverage or join your spouse's policy to save money on the health insurance you need.  

When You Need a Different Doctor

Physicians regularly retire, change practices or choose not to participate with certain health care programs, and you may decide that you want a different doctor for personal reasons. Check into your spouse's health insurance plan to find a different physician that meets your needs better.

When Your Health Changes

Your current insurance plan may not cover the health treatment you need. Consider switching to your spouse's plan if it covers pre-existing conditions and the specialists you need

When You Move

If your move takes you to a new community and requires you to find new doctors, investigate your spouse's insurance plan covers. You may be able to switch doctors and insurance coverage.

When Your Deductible or Premiums Increase

Deductibles and premiums do occasionally increase. Investigate your options to see if your spouse's insurance is cheaper than keeping your existing coverage.

When you Need to Save Money

In some cases, your spouse may have more affordable insurance coverage than you do. Read the policy carefully. Premiums and even deductibles can increase when you add someone to your policy.

Wait for Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is the time frame in which you may change your insurance options at work. It usually falls at the end of the calendar year, but check with your Human Resources department for the exact dates.

Your spouse's insurance coverage may be more affordable, convenient or better than the policy you have now. Do your homework as you decide when and if you should be added to your spouse's health insurance policy.
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