Saturday, April 5, 2014

Health Insurance Coverage for your Adopted Child

Once you arrive home from your adoption travels, you will still have TONS of paperwork to deal with. One of those pieces of paper is about adding your new addition to your insurance. Since I work at a doctor's office and working with insurance I have a tiny nugget of knowledge.

Individual Health Plan

If you have an individual health insurance plan, you can NOT add your newest addition to your policy. Unless it is during your enrollment period when you arrive home with your child. That is the only time you can add anyone to that particular plan. I can already hear the question "ok, so what do I do for health insurance for my newly adopted child?" Great question! Take out another individual plan for your child. Your child will be the subscriber on the policy. Now, this is where things can get complicated. Some insurance plans require that the subscriber has a social security number. And we both know that you just got home with your child and haven't even received the Certificate of Citizenship yet, which is needed to get a social security number. Our family was in this boat in November 2013 when we arrived home with our daughter. We called all sorts of health insurance plans to see if they required social security numbers. BCBS was one of the few that did not need a social security number. Or if you did not want to go that route, you could get a new individual health insurance plan for your whole family, but the rate may not be cheaper than taking out an individual policy just for your child.

If you have taken out an individual policy for your child, now you wait for your enrollment period for your policy. That is when you can add your adopted child to your individual policy and then drop your child's current individual policy.

Group Health Plan

If you have a group health insurance plan you should be able to add your newly adopted child to your policy without any fuss. The adoption, like giving birth to a newborn, is a qualifying event to add the child to the policy. Most group health insurances are from employers, so check with your HR department before you leave to go get your child. You could probably fill out some paperwork on your child beforehand to make the process easier when you arrive home. But be careful, some group insurances require that you add them within 30 days of the child being home (U.S. soil).

Here are some websites that might be helpful on this topic:

Has anybody experienced difficulties with adding their newly adopted child to their health insurance policy? What hoops did you have to go through to get your child added to your health insurance or an individual policy? 

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