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3 “I Dos” for Adding Your Spouse to Your Health Plan including medical, dental and vision

Posted on May 29, 2024 in Healthy Living

Couple getting married on the water.

Newlywed life is bliss. But once you preserve the bouquet, and return from the honeymoon, one of the next stop should be is looking at your health benefits including your medical, dental and vision plans.

Doing so can offer financial and overall health benefits for both of you. However, couples can easily find themselves encountering mix-ups along the way. That’s why we wrote down three “I dos” to help you smoothly add your spouse to your health plan and making sure you understand the details of your family's overall health needs.

Tips to add your spouse to your health plan 

Before adding your spouse to your health plan, take the time to understand your current insurance plan(s). Review plan documents or contact your insurance provider to clarify any questions you may have regarding coverage, costs, and eligibility requirements for adding a spouse. Many insurance carriers offer this information online through their member portals.

Once you have a good understanding of your health plans, follow the tips below:

1. Your plan or mine?

If you and your partner have separate health plans, check the options from each employer or insurer. Find the best plan that serves both of your needs. Compare important parts of your plan such as premium costs, coverage for preventive services, coverage for major treatments, and in-network providers to make an informed decision.

Also, look to see if your health plans have coordination of benefits (COB) provisions. With a COB, your benefit carriers will “coordinate” your coverage and work together to make sure you get the most out of your benefits. In that case, you may want to keep both plans. 

2. RSVP on time

Outside of open enrollment, dependents can only be added to a plan during a special enrollment period. This period generally lasts from 30 to 60 days after you’re married. Contact your employer or insurance carrier to learn about policy specifics and details, like if your partner will be subjected to a waiting period.

Some plans have specific eligibility criteria, such as providing marriage certificates or proof of domestic partnership, so be sure to gather any necessary documentation beforehand.

3. For richer or poorer

When adding a partner, there may be potential rate increases. Be aware that adding your spouse to your health plan may result in changes to premiums, deductibles, or copayments. Review any adjustments to the financial aspects of your plan and budget accordingly to accommodate these changes in your household expenses.

Here’s to many more years of healthy smiles

Adding your spouse to your health plan can be a straightforward process with proper planning and communication. By following these tips and staying informed about your plan's requirements and options, you can successfully navigate the enrollment process and provide comprehensive dental coverage for your spouse.