May 18, 2017
With Spring in full swing and summer inching closer by the day, many soon-to-be-newlywed couples are scrambling to make the final preparations for their big day. Almost ironically, one of the most often overlooked aspects of wedding planning has very little to do with the big day, itself... though it will affect life in many ways going forward.
Marriage changes the legal status of both bride and groom—frequently resulting in the formation of merged families, and this can have a profound impact on the health insurance needs of all those affected. Let's review a few of the things to be mindful of when switching from separate plans to coverage that's more suitable, affordable, and uniquely tailored to your collective health needs.
Evaluate and Understand Your Current Coverage
Since there are many scenarios in which a newly married couple need to consider possible health insurance changes, it's important to look closely at the full scope of your current coverage. In cases where you're both covered under an employer's plan, some choose to leave things uncomplicated and exactly as they are. If one party is enrolled in a group plan and the other has individual coverage, it may be more economical to add a spouse (and children, if applicable) to the company sponsored plan.
Switching from Individual to Family Health Plans
If the decision has been made to merge two plans together, you'll want to work directly with either your company's HR department (if on multiple group plans), or with a local health insurance agent if you're both coming into the marriage with plans purchased separately on your own. Most agents don't charge to provide a quote on merging multiple individual and/or dependent plans. If you find a plan that works on all levels, they can also get things set up quickly—leaving you free to continue planning the big day.
Combined Incomes and Healthcare Subsidies
Here's one of the more complex situations we've seen: A couple is getting married, both work full-time, and both have active health insurance on their wedding day. One was covered under their company plan, while the other was receiving a healthcare subsidy to help with premiums.
Since marriage results in combined income, the subsidy-receiving newlywed may end up in an income tier that does not qualify for assistance. This may be new to many HR departments, and we recommend contacting an agency to streamline the process and prevent any hard-to-correct mistakes.
Learn More on How a Wedding Can Affect Health Insurance
The marriage-related health insurance situations we've reviewed here are, of course, but a fraction of the unique circumstances that can present themselves. If you're dealing with a more vexing scenario or just curious about how the whole process works, Premier Financial Insurance in Lisle can help. We've been serving Chicago area and the entire state of Illinois since 2003, and there are no fees for our consultation or special enrollment services.
Learn more or speak with one of our agents by calling our Lisle office at 800-369-0287, or drop us a line by e-mail through our website's secure contact page.