How to Get Health Insurance for Your Kids

One question I am often asked is, “How do I get health insurance for my kids?” Usually this comes up with the pending arrival of a newborn.

Getting health insurance for your kids isn’t too complicated. Usually, the answer is to talk to your own health insurance company to find out how to add a child to your plan.

If you receive your health insurance through your employer, go to your human resources department. They will be able to tell you how to add a child to your health plan and can give you the forms to fill out.

If you receive health insurance from another carrier, contact that 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.

CHIP has income restrictions, however, so if your income doesn’t qualify you, then you’ll want to go through the health exchange to insure your kids.

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 if the child is enrolled in school. With the health care discussions happening in the government, check for the latest information about current rules.

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. If you know your child will have particular health care needs, review your coverage to make sure it suits those 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.

Divorced? How your kids get health insurance

Sad little girl listening her parents having an argument in a kiHow do your kids get health insurance after your divorce?

This is a question that every parent asks when going through a divorce.  The answer is it depends. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

As many of you know, I got divorced when my daughters were 18 months and 3 1/2-years-old. Of course, it was a very frustrating time with many things to worry about. Where will we live? How will I pay the bills? But one of the things I didn’t think about was how my children would continue to have health insurance.

In my case, I was lucky. I worked at a hospital and my employer provided me with health coverage for my children so my girls could continue on my current health plan.

However, if your children are currently covered by their father’s health plan, how will they continue to get their insurance coverage? In most states, the answer will be in your divorce decree. The Judgement of Divorce states who must provide the health insurance for the children and who will pay for any health costs. This includes any deductibles or co-pays. Also, the Divorce Judgement will state how much each spouse will have to pay for any healthcare services that aren’t covered by insurance.

It might be a good idea to request that your spouse pay a certain amount of healthcare costs every month so you do not have to keep fighting over repayment. This is especially true since most doctors will require that any healthcare costs not covered by your insurance plan be paid at the time of the service. It is rare for doctors to agree to bill for those services later.

It is always best to try and come to a reasonable agreement about who will be responsible for the health coverage in advance. It is also important to specify what will happen if the spouse who is currently covering the children’s health insurance loses their job or their health coverage.

Have you had any problems getting your children health coverage after a divorce? How did you resolve it? We’d love to hear from you!

Check out how more information on insurance in our new book, Easy Healthcare: Choose Your Health Insurance.

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