I Have Health Coverage. Does that Mean that I Automatically Get Free Health Insurance for Newborns?
Generally not. But you can get free infant health insurance in certain cases –
- You have health insurance through your employer. The plan has no extra charge for adding dependents to your plan.
- Even if your employer doesn’t offer free health insurance for newborns, if the plan provides maternity benefits it must cover hospital stays for the delivery. This includes a stay for the mother and baby 48 hours after a regular delivery. For cesarean delivery, you can stay 96 hours.1
- You may have to notify your employer of the birth within 60 days. This is true even if there is no fee for the infant health insurance. If you don’t, they may not pay the costs for a normal delivery.2
- You have BadgerCare Plus and your income is below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL).
- You might have to pay copays for newborn care if your income is 150 to 300 percent of the FPL.3
Does My Insurance Company Have to Provide Health Insurance for Newborns?
In Wisconsin, yes. State law requires all health insurance policies must provide coverage from the moment of birth for a newborn child of the insured. Coverage for newborn children must include congenital defects and birth abnormalities as an injury or sickness under the policy. However, it’s important to note that if the insurance policy requires notification of the child’s birth and payment of a fee (premium for the dependent). If you don’t make the payments, your newborn health insurance may be cancelled after 60 days unless you pay all premiums, along with interest of 5.5 percent, within one year of the birth.
Does That Mean I Don’t Have to Get Infant Health Insurance?
Technically, no, if you define “infant” as a baby up to 60 days old. After that, you have to get health insurance for your baby or you may be liable for a fine. It’s important to note that if you (or your employer) bought your health insurance plan before March 23, 2010, it may not provide dependent coverage. Any new plan you buy does have to provide health insurance for newborns and older children.
If you need health insurance for newborns, have a look at our plans, or give one of Unity’s helpful and knowledgeable customer service representatives a call at 608.644.3430.