How to Add a Step Child to a Health Insurance Plan

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Given the costs of medical care, you should be timely in enrolling your stepchild for health insurance. (Image: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The addition of a stepchild to your family brings a variety of rewards and challenges. The task of adding your stepchild to your health insurance should be a relatively easy process. The addition of the stepchild might have occurred after a marriage or with a change in custody. According to Insurance Lawyers, most health insurance carriers have special enrollment periods, during which you can enroll your stepchild after a change in custodial status. In light of the costs of health care, enroll your stepchild for health insurance promptly after any status change, or you might have to wait until the next enrollment period.

Step 1

Get the child’s Social Security number. Many insurance companies do not require this immediately, but you will need it soon.

Step 2

Call the insurance company to ascertain their procedures for enrolling your stepchild. As of March 21, 2010, as noted at the Democratic Policy Committee website, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) mandates that insurance companies provide health coverage to children up to age 27, per their parent’s choice.

Step 3

Ask about documentation your insurance carrier might require. For example, you probably will have to fill out a form to enroll the child, and you might need to provide documentation regarding your marriage or the child’s status change. Your insurance company might direct you to a website, where you will be able to print copies of any required forms.

Step 4

Get details about the coverage provided by the plan. Ask about how to find providers that will be covered. Inquire about deductibles and co-payments, and get an estimate of how much additional premium you will have to pay to add your stepchild. The PPACA of 2010 prohibits insurers from excluding children because of pre-existing conditions, or from excluding coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Step 5

Fill out the paperwork immediately. Don’t risk missing the special enrollment period.

Step 6

Call and confirm that your insurance company has received and processed the paperwork.

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