Getting Insurance as Newlyweds
Planning a wedding, getting married and going on a honeymoon are unforgettable milestones. As you begin your new life with your spouse, plan for post-wedding needs like managing your finances and health insurance. You have several options and decisions regarding your health insurance after getting married. Will you join your spouse’s plan, keep your coverage separate or get a new plan altogether?
Understanding what considerations to make will allow you and your spouse to make the best and most cost-effective decision for your new family.
How Long Does It Take to Get Insurance After Marriage?
Outside a qualifying life event, you can typically only enroll in a new health plan during the open enrollment period, which often runs over the fall and winter months each year. However, marriage qualifies for a special enrollment period that allows you to sign up for coverage at other times of the year. The SEP allows you to change your health plan within 60 days after your wedding.
Getting health insurance for newlyweds can happen relatively quickly if you’re ready to change your plan or find a new one. If you have your marriage license on hand and take advantage of the SEP, you can get your insurance figured out within the first couple of months of your marriage.
What Options Are Available?
In California, newlyweds have a few choices.
- Join your spouse’s plan: If one of your existing plans has better coverage, is more cost-effective or is otherwise a wiser option, both of you may choose to get on that plan. For example, if your spouse currently has coverage you could see using as a couple, you could join their plan.
- Stay on your parents’ plan: If you’re under 26, you can legally remain on your parents’ insurance plan, even after getting married. If you get married young, staying on your parents’ insurance can be a cost-effective way to stay covered until you age out of it.
- Use job-based insurance: Many employers offer insurance plans for employees and their spouses to join. If you or your spouse has insurance through work, you can typically join whichever plan benefits you more as a couple. If both of you have job-based insurance plans, you can keep your insurance separate.
- Enroll in a new individual or family plan: You can also enroll in a new individual or family health insurance plan through Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange. Explore various health insurance plans from brand-name providers to determine the best plan for you and your spouse.
In addition to your health insurance options, you should consider your life, disability, auto and homeowners insurance plans. In many cases, being on the same insurance plan as your spouse for auto or homeowners insurance is more cost-effective. However, everyone’s situation is different, so take some time to compare and understand your choices.
Health Coverage Considerations
Making decisions regarding your insurance coverage can be difficult. With so many plans and choices, how do you know what to look for? As you compare different health insurance options, be sure to keep the following considerations in mind:
- You and your spouse’s health status
- Both sides of the family’s medical history
- Current coverage plans
- Monthly premiums and deductibles
- Vision and dental
- How often you visit the doctor
- Whether you want to keep or change your health provider
These factors can help you determine the best plan for you and your new spouse. For example, if you’re both in good health, you may consider choosing a plan with lower monthly premiums and a higher deductible because you’re less likely to become severely ill or disabled if you’re both young and healthy. On the other hand, if you or your spouse frequently visits the doctor, you may want a plan with a lower deductible or that accounts for multiple annual visits.
With all this in mind, consider whether it makes more sense to keep your coverage separate or get on a family plan. In some cases, having separate plans makes more sense for a couple. For example, if you both have excellent coverage through your employers, you may want to keep it. For others, sharing a family health plan is more cost-effective.
How Much Is Health Insurance for a Married Couple?
The average cost of health insurance in California is $541 per month. The price of health insurance for a married couple can vary significantly depending on the carrier and plan you choose, in addition to other factors like your age, household size, ZIP code and annual income. That’s why it’s crucial to compare insurance plans before enrolling in one.
When comparing various cost aspects of insurance, be sure to consider these factors to determine the most cost-effective option for you:
- Annual deductibles
- Monthly premiums
- Maximum out-of-pocket expenses
- Additional fees
Health insurance prices have increased, so you may be looking for ways to save money as a newlywed couple. You might qualify for subsidized coverage if your income is below the federal poverty level. Subsidies allow you to pay less for the same amount of coverage. The Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid are popular subsidized plans, though you may also qualify for subsidies through insurance carriers.
Factors like residence, family size and shared income can impact subsidy qualifications, so don’t forget to update your insurance information. These factors can also affect your premium rate. Some subsidies only apply to health plans in some tiers, while others are applicable to any plan. For example, Silver plans allow various cost-sharing reductions that may not apply to other tiers.
Apply for Insurance Through Health for California
Finding and applying for insurance can be fast and easy with Health for California. Whether you have an idea of what you’re looking for or need help narrowing down your options, you can use our services to compare quotes and speak with an agent for free. You can use Health for CA to shop around for the best coverage and prices from leading insurance companies without any obligation to buy. Finding affordable health insurance for young married couples is as easy as filling out our confidential quote form.
Do you still need help finding a health insurance plan? Contact one of our representatives to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.
Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.
Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.
Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.