Welcoming a new child can be one of the most exciting times of a parent’s life. It can also be a time filled with stress and uncertainty. Luckily, health insurance companies in California have plenty of resources to support you during your pregnancy or adoption process.

California health insurance companies have articles that include tips on how to take care of your health and outline services that they offer to ensure that you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Health Tips During Pregnancy

The criteria to add an adopted child to your health plan is the same as adding a newborn child.

All the information above is helpful, but you may be asking yourself “What happens after the baby is born?” As your broker of record, Benefits Cafe can help make the process of enrolling your newborn child onto your health plan as smooth as possible. We’ve also compiled some frequently asked questions so you can know what to expect after your child has been born.

Adding a Newborn, Child, or Adoptive Child to Your Health Plan FAQ:

When can I enroll my newborn in health coverage?

While many people would prefer completing all the steps of enrolling a child before they deliver, the insurance companies require that you wait until after the child is born to add them to the plan. Most insurance companies will automatically cover the first month of a child’s life under the mother’s health insurance plan. You must then elect to enroll the newborn, effective on their date of birth.  It is important to remember that you must enroll a newborn child or adopted child within 60 days from the date of birth or date of adoption.

How do I enroll my newborn in health coverage?

To enroll your child, you must fill out and submit an enrollment change form to the insurance company. Some insurance companies may require proof of the child’s birth, such as letter from the hospital.

Is there a deadline to enroll my newborn or adopted child?

Yes, you must enroll a newborn or adopted child within 60 days of the date of birth or date of adoption. If you miss this enrollment deadline, you may be required to wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll your child.  The insurance companies put this time restriction on to prevent people from waiting until a newborn needs medical care to enroll. It is similar to an open enrollment period for adults. It prevents people from gaming the system and only buying insurance when health problems appear.

How much does it cost to add my newborn?

For small business health coverage, insurance companies determine the monthly cost or “premium” based on the age of the enrollee and that person’s specific.  Depending on how your company administers your plan, you will be able to determine the cost of adding your newborn or adopted child either through an online benefits administration portal, or by a worksheet that your broker/agent prepares.

Can I change my plan selection when I enroll my newborn?

Yes, your child’s birth is considered a “qualifying life event” which allows you to make changes to your plan selection outside of the open enrollment period.  However, your child must be enrolled on the same plan as the adult employee.  So, for example, if the employee enrolls on a Gold PPO $250 deductible plan, then the dependent child can only enroll on that plan.

Can I enroll my newborn in a different health plan than my own?

No, any family members that you choose to enroll as a dependent must enroll in the same plan as the employee.

One of the perks of having Benefits Cafe as the agent/broker of record on your group health insurance plan is that we can help. We assist our clients with mid-year plan changes, such as enrolling a newborn. There is no additional cost for our services.  If you’re interested in making us your broker of record, give us a call at 800-746-0045.