Navigating Benefits

Updating Insurance Coverage Based on Life Milestones

  • Updating insurance coverage is vital to having healthy and happy employees
  • Make sure workers consider how their health insurance needs change as they hit certain milestones
  • Such milestones might include marriage, having a baby or paying for children's college
Posted by December 1, 2017

Life changes mean different health care needs. Accordingly, your employees may need help updating insurance coverage as they encounter new life milestones.

As open enrollment season is now underway, it’s a good time to sit down and talk with employees about any changes in coverage they may need as they hit certain life milestones. Here are some significant events to remind employees about:

Getting Married

If they’re getting married this year, will they want to add their spouse to your insurance plan? Or will they want to go on their spouse’s insurance? Many plans only allow individuals to add a spouse if the spouse has no insurance available through his or her employment, so double check if that’s part of your plan. Don’t let your employees turn down coverage because it’s cheaper to be added to their new spouse’s plan, only to find out that it’s not allowed.

Having a Baby

Have any members of your workforce told you they’re planning on having a baby? Even if they’re not taking steps toward conceiving—but think it could be a possibility in the next year—they need to plan for that with your company’s insurance.

Under the Affordable Care Act, all plans have to cover pregnancy and birth. However, they don’t have to cover the swanky new maternity hospital an expectant employee might have their eye on. Make sure your plan covers the doctor or midwife and hospital that your workers plan to use.

Kids Starting School

There aren’t huge changes here: kids are still kids, and they still get immunizations and bring home the creeping crud that goes around the neighborhood. But as kids grow older, they have some increased needs.

What if some of your employee’s children start needing glasses? Take a look at your current vision policy to see if it’s covered. What about braces? Those orthodontic wonders can strain a family’s finances if they don’t have the right insurance. Finally, what kind of child psychiatric care is available in the health plan? Make sure your employees think about these things when selecting a plan for their family.

College!

When kids start leaving home to go to college or move out on their own, they can still be on their parents’ insurance until they hit age 26. While this is a great safety net for your employees’ offspring, it also raises a few more questions.

If a team member’s child is moving away for college, does your plan have physicians there? Especially if they are moving out of state, what kind of coverage will they have? Make sure your employees take these considerations into account.

Mid-Life and Up

Everyone’s health care needs change as they get older. You’re entitled to preventive care—such as colonoscopies—but does your insurance cover the other things you might need as the number of candles on your birthday cake grow?

Updating insurance coverage is vital to having healthy and happy employees. Make sure you go over these things with your staff so that they can make the right decisions regarding their families’ health insurance.

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