Health insurance considerations for couples considering marriage

Consumers should consider current and future healthcare needs before picking a plan.

Couples considering marriage may also want to take another look at their health insurance costs, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. They can evaluate their needs depending on the size of their new family.

When it comes to covering their spouse, consumers should contact their insurance agency to learn about enrollment requirements. Marriage is a qualifying major life event for those hoping to add their significant other to a group plan, while consumers with individual coverage will have to provide proof of their spouse's insurability.

Similar rules may apply for couples interested in covering their children. Parents with individual health insurance plans should review any limitations that may prevent coverage for certain medical conditions.

"You will need social security numbers to add dependents to your individual or group health insurance coverage," the report said. "And be aware that the insurance company may require you to provide documentation proving the relationship between you and the child before providing coverage."

Consumers can reduce health care costs by increasing their deductible. This will result in higher out-of-pocket expenses, but lower costs for the insurer. Purchasing a "Basic and Essential" health plan, which protects against catastrophic medical costs, is also less expensive than more comprehensive coverage.ADNFCR-2378-ID-19636999-ADNFCR

Posted: February 25, 2010

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