adding baby to insurance

Adding Baby to Insurance

How exciting! You’ve just welcomed your new baby into the world and as you navigate spit up and sleep deprivation, you also get to figure out things like how to get your hands on copies of their birth certificate, social security card, and…you guessed it, how to add them to your health insurance. It seems like a lot of work and is probably a bit daunting when you’ve got that new tiny person to care for, but rest assured we’re here to help. Adding a baby to your insurance plan isn’t as hectic as you may think. With a few simple steps you’ll be good to go, and all those postnatal costs will get billed correctly!

Adding Baby to Insurance – Where to Start

When it’s time to finally add your little one to your health insurance plan, you may think that your insurance company would just automatically do that. This is untrue however. Despite seeing your appointments and billing for prenatal care, you have to personally call your insurance company to add your new baby to your plan. 

If you have private  insurance through your workplace, it’s important that you notify either your Health Insurance Plan Director at work, or the HR representative that handles any policy processing. You have a very limited window to successfully enroll your child on your new plan. It’s a 30-day window after their date of birth, so be sure to contact the appropriate people within that window. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) having a baby is considered a “qualifying life event”, which means you can add them immediately to your plan regardless of the time of year, or if it’s outside open enrollment. If you get your health coverage through the open marketplace you have a 60-day window after the baby is born. 

What if I Wait too Long to Enroll?

The 30 and 60 day grace period to enroll babies in their parents insurance plans is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it allows parents time to receive their baby’s social security card in the mail, and it gives them the opportunity to obtain their infant’s new birth certificate. To obtain your baby’s birth certificate, you’ll either need to order securely online through a site like VitalChek, or you’ll need to head into the vital records office in the location of your child’s birth

Another reason why parents are given a grace period to enroll their new baby on their insurance plans is because that first month or two can be pretty overwhelming. By offering the grace period, it allows parents to organize things and as long as the child is enrolled within that window, all prenatal and postnatal appointments and care are retroactively covered by the plan. It also gives parents the opportunity to look at other plans available to them and decide if they would like to upgrade or change their current insurance plan. This is again permitted due to the ACA as it’s considered a life changing event. It’s a good idea to revisit the terms of your current plan and determine if your family should upgrade to a better plan or not. 

So What Documents do I Need on Hand to Enroll my Baby on My Insurance?

While you really only need one document on hand when speaking to your insurance rep or HR rep, it’s best if you have two. First, in order to enroll your child, you must have their social security number which you will receive when their actual social security card arrives. Chances are good that when you gave birth at your birth facility, they gave you the proper forms and they submitted them on your behalf. If you aren’t sure whether you filled out the paperwork, contact the facility where you gave birth to be sure the paperwork was submitted. Once you receive your child’s social security card, you should be able to enroll with just that. 

adding a newborn to insurance
Adding a newborn to insurance can be easy if you’ve got the right documents on hand. A social security number is a must, but you may want to have a birth certificate on hand as well.

It’s wise though to ensure you have a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate on hand. You typically only need the social security number to enroll, but in the event you don’t have that yet, having birth records from your doctor or birthing facility to prove your baby’s identity will be necessary. 

When it comes down to it, it’s not an overly complicated process. But having the proper identification on hand when you make the call will make things much easier. Hopefully enrolling your child seems a bit easier now, and we want to congratulate you on your new family member!


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