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Consider Life Events


Consider Life Events

Your health and wellness coverage needs may change depending on your age, employment, family situation and health care needs. As you decide which health plan is right for you and your family, keep big life events in mind, like getting married or switching jobs.

Changing employers?
Having a baby?
Getting married?
Losing your insurance?
Planning major surgery?
Eligible for Medicare?

Changing employers?

A job change for you can mean a change to your family's health and wellness coverage. Be sure to consider the health and wellness benefits of potential employers before accepting a new job. For example:

  • Will you have to switch doctors with the new plan?
  • If you have a health savings account, does your new employer offer a high-deductible plan option so that you can continue using the account to save and pay for medical expenses?
  • Will you need temporary coverage between jobs?

Having a baby?

Having or adopting a child allows you to make changes to your health and wellness coverage outside of an employer's open enrollment period. If you are bringing a child into your family, it's a good time to take another look at your health and wellness coverage. For example, you might want to explore additional ways to save for health care costs. Here are some other considerations:

  • If you and your spouse or partner have separate health insurance through your employers, which plan is best for your child?
  • What do you need to do to add your child to an existing health care policy?
  • Should you increase your contributions to your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to help with health care and daycare costs for you and your child?
  • If you're pregnant, does your current plan pay for prenatal care?
  • What maternity costs are covered under your plan?

Getting married?

Getting married is another life event that allows you to make changes to your health and wellness coverage outside of open enrollment. Should you stay on your plan, enroll in your spouse's or add your spouse to your plan? It depends. Questions to ask include:

  • What's the cost difference between keeping your plan, joining your spouse's plan or adding your spouse to your plan?
  • How do the coverage options and benefits differ?
  • Will either of you have to change doctors if you enroll in the other's plan?
  • How much time do I have to make changes to health care coverage after I get married?
  • If you've been contributing to an FSA, how much money will you lose by switching plans?

Losing your insurance?

You could lose your insurance for several reasons, including the end of a relationship or the death of your spouse or partner. In these unfortunate circumstances, you'll need to look into options to secure your own health coverage. Things to consider include:

  • What kind of coverage do you need?
  • Is health insurance available through your employer?
  • When can you enroll in your employer's insurance if it's available?
  • Do you need a temporary policy?

Planning major surgery?

If you or someone in your family has a chronic condition or existing injury that may require surgery, take that into consideration when choosing health and wellness coverage. Evaluate each plan and consider asking questions, like:

  • Are there exclusions for pre-existing conditions?
  • Does the plan cover the surgery and post-surgery care?
  • Will you need additional prescription coverage?
  • Can you put aside money to pay for out-of-pocket costs with an FSA or HSA?

Eligible for Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance program offered by the Federal government and is available to people 65 and older or people with certain disabilities. If you or someone you know is eligible for Medicare, now is the time to get the information you need to make an informed decision on your options. Choosing Medicare coverage doesn't have to be hard, but it's important to review your health care needs and finances to be sure you choose the plan that is right for you.

Questions to ask yourself or a loved one:

  • Are you in good health?
  • Do you have any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart failure or asthma?
  • What prescription drugs do you take? How much do you spend on a 30-day supply of your prescriptions?
  • Which doctors and hospitals do you use? Do they accept the plan you are considering?
  • Are you eligible for any health care coverage other than Medicare, such as employer or retiree coverage through you or your spouse's employer?
  • How much did you spend on your medical and hospital care last year (not including your prescriptions)?
  • Do you expect your medical and hospital costs will be similar costs this year?

Learn more about Medicare choices. See our Medicare Made Clear guide and helpful videos.

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