Life is beautiful and filled with so many decisions when people are newly married. Basking in the glow of love and renewed commitment isn’t the most romantic setting to discuss health insurance options but it needs to be done. When people get married, they have to make decisions to consolidate many things in their life and one of the most expensive of those decisions is healthcare.
Most couples don’t always think about their health insurance when they are discussing their new lives together. Many just operate under the assumption they won’t have to make a decision until their current insurance ends. That’s not true. Most insurance providers allow their policy holders to add members or end their coverage when they have life events. Marriage is one of the life events that insurance providers allow changes to be made.
The Dirty Talk about Insurance
Insurance can be a huge expense for some couples. Most couples have jobs that offer health insurance and they are often enrolled into individual plans. These plans have separate deductibles and premiums that have to be paid. Over the course of a year, these expenses can take a huge bite out of a couple’s budget. In many instances, it’s best that one spouse provides insurance for the family.
When a couple is married, they have the option of having only one insurance provider. There are many thoughts that go into consolidating health insurance coverage but it can be a practical way to manage expenses.
As spouses begin to talk about consolidating health insurance, there are things that should be considered.
· What are the benefits of each health insurance package? Is medical, health, dental and vision a part of the package?
· How much will it cost? Couples should think about the new cost of their premiums and deductibles? How much are the copayments and coinsurance?
· What is the healthcare status of each person? If the couple has a chronic illness that requires treatment, that should be considered.
· Is investing in a health savings account an option? Some couples find that a high deductible healthcare plan is acceptable if they can invest in a healthcare savings account.
There are many things that can be discussed but those are some of the most important things that should be acknowledged and discussed.
Once these questions have been discussed, the choice of healthcare insurance should be easy to decide. After the decision has been made, the spouse that will provide the insurance should contact their human resources department immediately to make the necessary changes. When the changes have been accepted, the other spouse can contact their human resources department and drop their coverage.
Combining health insurance is often a smart decision to make because there are huge financial benefits. While it can seem like the burden is only carried by one person, the money that is saved actually increases money that is brought into the home. Insurance companies often have cheaper rates and premiums for those that are married rather than single. Although the premiums may be a little higher, some couples may qualify for a better deductible and a better benefits package overall.
It’s important that couples discuss health insurance before they get married. There is often a limited amount of time after the big day that changes can be made. Talk about health insurance before so changes can be made upon the return to work.