How Do I Get Health Insurance for my Child?

people, family, love and harmony concept - happy mother and daugOne question that I get asked periodically is, “How do I get health insurance for my kids?” This particularly comes up during pregnancy when parents start thinking ahead to the birth of their baby.

Getting health insurance for your kids doesn’t need to be complicated. You will usually go to your own health insurance company and add them to your plan.

If you receive your health insurance through your employer, you can go to your human resources department and add the child to the health plan when the child is born. If you are receiving health insurance from another carrier, you will contact the company directly to add your child to your health plan.

If you don’t have insurance (remember: under current regulations, everyone should) or can’t insure your child on your plan, the next place to look is Medicaid. Medicaid offers a Children’s Health Insurance Program, aptly named CHIP. It offers early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment, just as other health plans do.

There are income restrictions for CHIP, however, so if your income doesn’t qualify you, then you’ll want to go through the health exchange (that is, Obamacare) to get your kids insured.

One standard that Obamacare brought with it, which now applies to most health plans, is that parents can keep their children on their health plan until the age of 26, as long as the child is enrolled in school.

This has made it easier to ensure that children have health insurance.

As you would for your own health plan, shop around to find the best solution for your family. Make sure your children have a health plan that covers their specific needs.

Want to know more about choosing health plans? Get my ebook set Easy Healthcare: Set Two. It included Choosing Your Health Insurance, and Obamacare, as wells as What You Need First. It is available in all major ebook formats. Get it here.

What to Do With Your Children When You Have a Health Emergency

Mom Overwhelmed While Kids Fight.You’ve been hit with the flu. Or you need to go to the hospital right away (either for yourself or to take a loved one). You can’t just hide under the covers or fly out the door because you have kids at home. So what do you do with your children when you have an unexpected health emergency?

In most cases you are going to want to have someone watch the kids. It may be your spouse or an older child who can responsibly keep an eye on the younger ones. Extended family—parents and in-laws—can be great emergency support if they live nearby. If family isn’t an option, try the babysitter, a friend, or a trusted neighbor. Maybe another parent from your child’s school or scout troop or sports team can watch your children while you take care of the health emergency.

You may even want to plan your list of who to call before a health problem strikes. The less you have to think about or track down while you are sick or in a rush to care for someone else, the easier you’ll get through it.

If there is simply no one else who can take them, do the best you can with what you have. If you are home sick, let it be a movie marathon day for the kids. A day of television won’t melt their minds. Make sure the room is safe and they have plenty of quiet toys to play with. Then you take over the most comfortable spot where you can keep an eye on them while also being out of the way. The couch or a chair in the corner work well.

Let your kids know that, “Mommy isn’t feeling well,” and that you are going to need them to play quietly and not ask any questions. Will this work perfectly? Definitely not. But with a few reminders and some entertainment, your day may be a bit more restful than usual.

If you have to go to a doctor’s office or the hospital and you must bring your children, pack an activity bag with quiet toys—coloring books and crayons, notebook and stickers, stuffed friends, or even electronics with headsets—and clean, easy snacks and bottled water. Snacks and drinks are helpful in taming hungry tummies, which often turn into behavior meltdowns. Choose things that are easily cleaned up if they spill (because accidents happen). Think water or clear juice and fruit snacks, raisins, or dry cereal.