While getting married is a happy event, most newly-formed families tend not to give joint health insurance options much thought or consideration. In rare cases, young couples might compare plans and costs at the early stages of their married lives and select the best-looking option at that moment. But can a joint couple health insurance policy be as cost-effective as an individual coverage?
Marriage does not necessarily mean that one of the spouses has to give up their healthcare plan; there is much to consider before reaching a decision. Mutual insurance for spouses in a two-income household can be tricky. It is common for working spouses to choose employer-sponsored insurance coverage.
In reality, it does not mean that they are appropriately covered. For instance, if both policies cover dependents and a child gets hurt, only one of the policies will kick in. In this case, it would be wise for one of the partners to give up the dependent coverage and save this potion of money instead.
Naturally, spouses tend to feel that sharing health insurance is the right option since they already chose to share a home and a life. But health insurance for married couples requires more consideration than one might think.
Considering Your Medical Needs
Married couples often ask themselves this question: Can my spouse and I both have insurance? If you torment yourself with this question, the answer is – yes. But before you make a choice, you need to assess your financial situation and review the existing health plans.
When it comes to combined plans, one of the upsides is that both spouses can add their partners as beneficiaries under their insurance plans. It means that they will pay lower premiums compared to individual insurance policies. In some cases, there is also a chance that a combined policy will turn out to be more affordable and provide better coverage. Since families and their medical needs differ, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. To make sure that the policy fits your needs, assess them carefully. Here is a shortlist of essential steps you should take before choosing your health insurance plan:
- Estimate your medical costs carefully. One of the straightforward approaches is to list the medical services you often require. To make a list, count the approximate number of primary caregiver visits and specialist visits per year. Do not forget to include a drug prescription if you or your partner already have one or might need it in the future.
- Make a rough estimate of individual and joint medical costs. This step will help you determine whether you should opt for combined or individual plans. If you have children, consider the extra insurance costs even if they do not have a propensity to require extensive medical care.
- Assess the offered plans. At this point, you need to check the sums you will have to pay under available health insurance plans. But bear in mind that premiums differ from plan to plan, and you might need to spend some time identifying the most affordable option for your family budget.
- Consider the deductibles. Meeting your deductible is one of the essential steps you should pay attention to when selecting your insurance policy. Take your time to estimate whether your insurance plan or your spouse’s plan has a deductible fitting your current financial situation.
- Use insurance comparison tools. With professional insurance comparison tools, you can request insurance coverage quotes instantly. Besides, it will help you save significant amounts of time on manual research and comparison.
What To Expect From Healthcare Plans For Couples
As mentioned before, one of the most common offers married couples receive is to carry a combined insurance plan. If you choose to stick with health insurance coverage provided by your employer, it is crucial to understand that its terms might differ. In other words, some of the employer-based coverages might not extend to your life partners, let alone children. Therefore, you need to double-check the specific terms of this insurance package to understand whether you can use it as a combined option.
As for freelancers, they cannot receive this type of benefit. They can either get insurance through their spouse’s employer or take out an individual policy. The latter can result in substantial costs. But what if both of you are freelancers? There is no need to panic because some individual plans are specifically designed for married couples and come with discounts. In this case, combining your insurance can prove beneficial and cost-effective in reaching your deductible, for instance.
While it might be popular, it is not suitable for every family. Some couples select plans with higher deductibles. Why? These plans require substantial out-of-pocket payments, so you and your family can rest assured you will be covered.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of the insurance options you consider, it is crucial to determine your medical needs first. Naturally, every couple draws on its unique experience, potential treatment requirements, costs, and benefits they deem worthy. And while there is no universal solution to choosing the best insurance plan, married couples have multiple options to consider. Ultimately, staying informed and knowledgeable is a solid foundation for selecting the right coverage for your family.
Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to American REIA. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At American REIA, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.