Family health insurance protects against significant financial loss in the event that someone in the family gets hurt or becomes ill. Applying for a family plan is much like applying for individual coverage. In fact, sometimes acquiring a family plan can be as simple as adding family members to an existing policy. Shopping around for quotes is a great starting point when trying to purchase a family health insurance policy. The following steps will guide you through the process of getting family health insurance.
Step 1: Shop around for Quotes
When establishing a family health insurance policy, a great way to begin is to shop around for the best rates. There are many online resources available for consumers to receive quotes from more than one company at a time. As a result, this is a great way to simplify comparing companies and their rates. Another way to save time and acquire expertise is to request the help of an insurance broker. Brokers can often quote multiple companies as well and they are familiar with the requirements and underwriting guidelines for the insurance companies they represent.
Step 2: Apply for Family Health Insurance
The application for family health insurance is much like any other application for coverage, only magnified. Health insurance applications are typically extensive and usually require health history going back ten years. When submitting an application for family health insurance, the questions pertain to everyone applying and all “yes” answers require detailed explanations. As a result, this is another occasion where it is advantageous to work with an insurance broker; many times, they will do the paperwork for the applicant.
Step 3: Add Family to Existing Policies
In some cases, one member of the family may already have an individual health insurance policy. Many insurance companies across the states require that an individual policy be allowed to be converted to include family upon request. A typical situation where family may need to be added to a policy is if the policyholder gets married. Additionally, a qualifying event would be if the policyholder has a baby or adopts a child. Adding family members to existing policies still requires an application for coverage.
Step 4: Add Family to Group Coverage
Adding family to group coverage is usually considerably easier than adding family to individual policies. However, with group health insurance be aware of the time constraints. If the policies are not updated when allowed, then the family members may miss the opportunity to be added and covered. Generally, family members can be added to group health insurance for qualifying events, such as childbirth or marriage and during open enrollment. Open enrollment is the time of year that the employer allows changes to be made to group health insurance.
Getting family health insurance is much like obtaining individual insurance. The application for coverage requests coverage for more people, so make a point to shop around to find the best rates for family coverage. Adding family members to an individual policy requires an application, while adding family members to group insurance is typically much simpler. Either way, when adding family to an existing policy, keep track of the amount of time available to make the changes.