Whether you just walked down the aisle or your partner switched jobs and you need to make health insurance changes, you’ll have to follow stringent guidelines when you want to make changes in an insurance policy. Even something as basic as adding a spouse to health insurance requires the correct timing and procedure to make sure that the change goes through without a hitch.
Contact your employer to make sure that you can add a spouse or dependents to your health insurance coverage. Ask when open enrollment occurs for the current calendar year -- this is generally the simplest time to add a spouse to a policy. If open enrollment has already occurred or will not happen for a number of months, ask the procedure to add your spouse outside of the open enrollment.
Initiate the process of adding your spouse as quickly as possible if you just got married or if your spouse lost her health insurance coverage. Many policies consider these situations “qualifying life events” and will allow you to add a spouse within 60 days of marriage or coverage loss as a special open enrollment. Coverage will start on the first day of the month after the event – or on the day of the event if it happened on the first of the month.
Fill out required enrollment forms that you receive from your employer or from the health insurance company.
Prepare a copy of a verification document that you must submit with the enrollment form. This verification document might be page one of your most current federal married filing jointly or your spouse’s married filing separately income tax return, a marriage certificate for marriages within the last 60 days or a marriage certificate and utility bill as residence proof for longer duration marriages. Write your last name and the last four digits of your Social Security number on the document you submit to help ensure accurate processing.
Submit the enrollment forms and the verification document within the open enrollment period or within the special enrollment period. You will receive notification of the enrollment decision within about a week.
- Verify this enrollment process with the Human Resources department of your company as soon as possible to be sure you don't miss any deadlines.
- Black out your Social Security numbers and financial information from your income tax returns before submitting this document copy.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.