With marriage comes a long list of changes that may need to be made: your name, your address, your bank accounts, your tax filing status, your insurance… the list goes on and on. Although you may not need to make all of these changes, you do need to think about them and make decisions as a couple.
Many of these decisions can be confusing and raise a lot of questions. For example, health insurance. What should you do when you get married? Should you keep the insurance you have? Get insured under your spouse? Or get new insurance coverage for the both of you? And what about the Affordable Care Act? Do you need to do anything with that?
Health insurance considerations for newlyweds
Once you are married, you have 60 days to enroll in an insurance plan through healthcare.gov if it is outside the Open Enrollment period (this year: November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016). Most employers will give you about the same amount of time to make changes in health insurance after marriage, so make sure to sit down and discuss this with your new spouse soon. If you have any questions along the way, make sure to visit TurboTax health to get them answered. TurboTax can help you make the most informed decision regarding your healthcare options. Here are some things to discuss with your spouse:
This is what most people think about when they start to consider health insurance. You and your spouse should sit down and work out a complete budget. Include your health insurance coverage as part of this budget. Things to consider:
- How much will it cost to be covered under only one of your employee health insurance plans?
- How much have you each spent on health care in the past?
- How much do you feel comfortable spending on health insurance as a couple?
Your preferred providers
If you are happy with your current doctors, you may want to continue with them in the future. Things to consider:
- Are your doctors part of your health insurance network?
- If not, how expensive will it be to see these out of network doctors?
Your doctor visit frequency
You should both look at past visits to doctors and specialists. If you have frequent visits, copay amounts may be very important to you. Things to consider:
- Do you visit a doctor only for checkups, or do you go to the doctor more often?
- Do you need to see a specialist often?
- How about mental health visits?
You should also discuss the medications you and your spouse take regularly. Prescription drug coverage can vary widely from plan to plan. Things to consider:
- Do you take a lot of medications?
- Are your medications expensive?
- Are your medications covered by your health insurance?
At this point, you should know if you and your spouse would like to start a family together. You need to think about this when choosing health insurance. Things to consider:
- Does your healthcare cover your maternity needs?
- What about newborn coverage?
Once you take these things into consideration, finding the right health insurance option shouldn’t be too difficult. Keep in mind that TurboTax also offers free tools to help you understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect your taxes. Plus, they don’t charge any extra fees for the forms needed to comply with the ACA.
What did you and your spouse do about health insurance when you got married? Did you feel you made an informed decision, or would the TurboTax free tools have been helpful?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.