As you prepare your nursery, don’t forget to talk with your insurance agent to make sure your coverage reflects the change in your growing family. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Before your baby is born, review your health insurance coverage to make sure you understand how your plan covers your new family member and how it will cover the mother’s needs during the pregnancy. Often, insurance will cover things such as prenatal vitamins, prenatal screenings and neonatal tests, delivery of your baby, and pediatric care for your newborn.
The birth of a baby is considered a life event, which means you immediately can enroll your baby for insurance instead of waiting for open enrollment to begin. Generally, health insurance carriers ask that a newborn be added to a policy within 30 days of birth.
If your family has multiple benefit options, compare health insurance choices to see which provides the best match for the needs of your family, and make sure to review the copays and coverages for both children and parents. Depending upon your specific plan, you may have access to health savings accounts, which can provide tax advantages.
When planning for your revised life insurance needs, take the expenses of a new child into consideration, including housing, daycare costs, medical needs and education. Both spouses should be covered, even if one is a stay-at-home parent, and remember to keep your policy current. It’s advisable to name a trustee to handle the policy benefits if your child or children are under 18 years old.
It’s also important to understand the types of life insurance available and to consider their pros and cons:
- Whole life insurance builds cash value and also pays a death benefit, but it has a more expensive cost.
- Term life insurance is less expensive than whole life insurance in premiums in younger years, has stable premiums, and covers your entire life, but it offers death benefit protection for only a specific time, and premiums grow as you age.
- Universal life insurance includes features of both term life insurance and whole life insurance. Typically, premium payments cover the actual cost of the insurance, and the balance of the premium payment is invested to cover the increasing cost of insurance as you age. It also tends to be more complicated than term or whole life, so it’s important to work with your agent to understand the finer points.
Auto and Homeowners Insurance
With the birth of a child, some families like to buy bigger vehicles, install various backyard items for kids, and build additions onto their homes. It’s important to talk with your agent to see how these additions may affect your premiums or to learn if you need to add to your insurance plan for extra protection.