How Do You Get Health Insurance for Newborns?
If you’re about to become a parent or recently became one, making sure you have baby health insurance is important. Below are a few ways to get health insurance for babies.
Get Coverage Through Your Employer
If you or the other parent have health insurance through an employer, by law, the insurance plan has to cover children up to age 26. In Wisconsin, the plan is also required to provide health insurance for newborns from the moment of birth. It’s important to note that if the policy requires that you notify your employer of the birth and pay a specific premium or fee for the coverage, you should do so. You have 60 days to make the notification and pay the fee. If this is not done within 60 days, the insurer may refuse to continue to provide baby health insurance after the 60 days have passed.
What if you decide you want to have coverage for your baby after the 60 days are up, but you haven’t paid the premium? You can pay all the past-due fees with an annual interest of 5.5 percent up to one year after the baby is born. In that case, you will have baby health insurance retroactive from the moment of birth.
If you don’t pay the required premium, your baby will be uninsured after 60 days and you may also be fined for not having health insurance for your baby.
Get Coverage on Your Own from an Insurer
Having a baby is a qualifying event for health insurance. This means that within 60 days of the baby’s birth, you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period and can buy baby health insurance, or even a plan for the whole family if you choose. You may also be eligible for subsidies as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
If it has been more than 60 days since your baby was born, check to see if you qualify for BadgerCare Plus. If you’re eligible, you can enroll any time of the year.
What If Health Insurance for Newborns Is Too Expensive?
Consider purchasing a plan with a high deductible, such as a bronze plan. These plans feature the lowest premiums. All ACA-compliant policies cover many services for babies at no cost to you. These include –
- Behavioral assessments
- Blood pressure screenings
- Developmental screenings
- Hearing screenings for newborns
- Height, weight and body mass index measurements
- Hematocrit or hemoglobin screening
- Hemoglobinopathies or sickle cell screening for newborns
- Hypothyroidism screening for newborns
- Immunization vaccines
- Lead screening for children at risk
- Oral health screenings
- Tuberculin testing for babies at higher risk
- Vision screening