The cost of raising a child is going up every year. The latest figures show that parents are likely to be paying out nearly $240,000 in total. The price of diapers, food, clothes, and toys soon adds up but there are ways of cutting those costs a little bit. Unfortunately, there are some costs that just can’t be avoided. Health insurance is the big one. Obviously, you’ll need insurance that’s going to cover the pregnancy and the birth itself, but once your new baby is born you’ll have to sort them out their own health insurance plan. Health insurance is an absolute minefield these days because there are so many variables and difficult terms to deal with but when it comes to your child, you need to make sure that you get it right. If you’re struggling, here are the basics.
Your Child Might Be Covered Already
In some cases, your child might already be covered by a public health program so there’s no need to pay extra for insurance. If you are a low income family then your child is probably eligible for Medicaid which is paid for by a mixture of state and federal funding. Families that earn slightly too much to qualify for Medicaid but are still struggling are often eligible for CHIP. It’s a similar system to Medicaid so it’s worth applying for both. If your application is successful, your costs will be covered but you will only be able to use certain facilities because not all of them accept patients on Medicare or CHIP.
What To Cover
If your application for assisted insurance was denied you need to start looking into private medical insurance. When you’re looking over all of the available policies, the first thing you need to decide is what cover you want to pay for. There are some things like general hospitalization cover that you absolutely need to have, but when it comes to extras, you’ve got a bit more wiggle room.
Things like dental care aren’t vital because paying the costs outright isn’t too expensive when they’re just going for the occasional check up. It’ll usually work out cheaper to just pay it than to add it to your insurance payment every month. However, if your child develops a long term problem it’ll be cheaper to get it on insurance so it’s a bit of a gamble.
Catastrophic health insurance sounds more drastic than it is, and it’s probably something you should get. It covers any major illness or injury that an otherwise healthy person might get. The costs for serious injuries can go into the tens or even hundreds of thousands so if you don’t have insurance for it and the worst does happen, it could land you in serious financial trouble for the rest of your life.
Once your application has been approved you need to pay the first month’s premium as soon as possible because you won’t be able to use the policy until you have. If your child has to visit the hospital before you’ve paid, you’ll be landed with that bill even if you pay it the next day.
Adding Them To Your Plan
The cheapest way to get health insurance for your child is to add them to your existing plan. If you’ve got an employee plan through work, speak to your boss and see whether it will cover your newborn baby. A lot of big employers do offer plans for the whole family, in which case you won’t have to cover the costs at all.
Some people aren’t so lucky and they’ll have to pay the extra costs, but it’ll still be way cheaper. You need to get in touch with your insurance company right away because the majority of them insist that you have to add them to the policy within the first 30 days after they’re born. Even though it’s an incredibly busy time, you’ve got to find a few minutes to call the insurance company. It’s actually a legal requirement that you sign your baby up for insurance otherwise you’re eligible for a fine of $47.50 as well as the insurance costs themselves.
You can often update the plan easily through an app or over the phone, but if you find that you can’t easily add your new baby to your existing plan, you might need to just switch to a new family plan instead.
Kids are prone to getting hurt all the time so if you don’t want to get saddled with a massive bill, get them some insurance straight away.