Looking to change your health plan, post-marriage? 5 Things to Consider
Published on 24th Aug 2020 EST Read time 4 Mins
Marriage is one of the happiest occasions in an individual’s life. Committing to spend one’s life with the person one loves entails more than just caring. It means being responsible and looking after the health and wellbeing of the individual you’re committing your life to. This is where your individual health plan needs to adapt into family health plans. Buying a health insurance policy as a family is a smart decision because it is the beginning of a journey of a healthy life together.
Even before you plan to change your health insurance policy, you need to know the type of cover you have. Do you have an individual insurance policy or are you wholly dependent on your company’s group insurance policy? Once you have ascertained the type of cover, you will be in a better position to decide whether to increase or decrease the coverage. When you are doing this, you may want to check on your spouse's insurance cover as well. Family health plans are essential, but if either your workplace or your wife’s can extend cover to you as well, the amount of individual family coverage can be brought down significantly.
5 things to consider when changing your health insurance policy after marriage
What are you and your spouse health conditions?
Before choosing to port your partner into your existing family health plan, you will need to understand her health requirements. Questions like whether you are looking to have kids, in the long run are important, if she’s going to need maternity cover under health insurance. What pre-existing health conditions do you and she already have? For instance, if either of you is diabetic, has hypertension, or any pre-existing condition, it could make a significant difference to your health insurance premiums, as against if you didn’t have these conditions to consider. Age is also a factor, as couples who get married younger, pay a lesser premium, as against couples who get married later on in life.
Can another beneficiary be accommodated?
This is really a subjective consideration because if your existing family health plans are robust enough to include your spouse, then a separate health insurance policy is unnecessary. However certain factors will have to be considered before taking that decision. For starters, how many people are on your family health plan? Do your dependents, like your parents, have any medical conditions like cardiac issues, high blood pressure, or at risk of stroke, etc.? These kinds of indicators can cost you a significant amount in terms of hospital and insurance premiums, depleting your original family health plan. In such an event, you should avoid family floater plans and buy new family health plans , with maternity cover as well.
Are you planning to have children?
A family is never complete without children, and motherhood is a beautiful time in the life of a woman. However, when starting new family health plans, maternity cover should be applied for at the earliest, as it may take some time (anywhere between 0 & 4 years, since application) and depending upon the individual insurance company, to grant the same. This exists because it is thought to be prudent to wait for a few years before having or planning to have kids. Maternity cover under health insurance is extremely important during and even after pregnancy, as hospitalisation and other ancillary expenses are rising sharply with every passing year.
Are your spouse’s preferred physicians or hospitals in the network list?
This is an important consideration, especially for women, who have certain physicians, polyclinics and hospitals they prefer on account of their experience with each of them. Checking to see if your spouse’s preferred physicians or hospitals are in the network list, therefore, should be one of the considerations while choosing your new health insurance policy.
Which is the right insurance provider for your family?
The market is currently full of insurance companies, all making claims to being the right provider for you. How then should you decide, when wanting to buy a new health insurance policy for your new family? A number of factors ought to influence your decision. Does the company you are considering to buy family health plans from offer comprehensive coverage for the entire family? What is the reputation of the company? Are all your medical needs being covered? How simple is the procedure? And of course how flexible are the premium payments, do they offer simple monthly instalments rather than a yearly lump sum payment?
3 ways to update/port your family health plans
Family floater plans:
Family floater plans are ones in which an entire family is covered under a single insurance premium payment. It is a popular method of changing insurance after marriage, as with minimal paperwork, the newly-wed woman can be included in the man’s existing family health plan. We have individual health insurance plans as well where husband wife can get cover.
Purchasing new family health plans:
This is relatively simple. It is a completely new health insurance policy in which the husband and wife are covered under a single premium. Remember, however, that younger married couples pay a lower premium than older newlyweds. In many cases, it is also considered prudent to buy a new plan, even if amily floater plans are also in effect. As the old saying goes, “better to have and not want than to want and not have”.
Porting the husband into the wife’s existing health plan or vice versa:
If the wife has a robust health insurance policy that also gives varied benefits at reasonable rates, she could choose to port her husband into her existing health plan. This is done with one’s marriage documentation and various procedures including a medical test, etc. Depending on things like income status and other factors, the couple can then choose to pay the premiums equally, lessening each one’s fiscal liability in the process.
So, these are the most important considerations and the broad ways in which changes in your insurance after marriage can occur. We hope these answer any questions that you may have had and that you choose your health insurance policy wisely.
This blog is written by Dr. Kavita Ganesh
Asst. Vice President, Health & Accident Product Underwriting
About The Expert : Dr. Kavita Ganesh holds over 15 years of work experience in health insurance industry. She highly recommends buying health insurance for securing finances in case of a medical emergency. Looking at the current pandemic situation, she enforces the idea of having a higher sum insured for covering the entire family.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.