Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Spouses discuss switching health insurance while holding hands.

Switching to your spouse’s health insurance can be done during the open enrollment period declared by your spouse’s employer. During this time, a spouse can be added to an existing health insurance plan.

Once the change has been made, the previous health insurance plan can be cancelled. To compare your current policy with other, get online insurance rates for free by entering your zip code now!

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Not all employers offer a health insurance plan to workers, but this is an important benefit for current employees and job seekers alike. The employer may pay a portion of the premiums for the group health insurance or the participants may cover the entire cost themselves.

An advantage of enrolling in a group health insurance plan is that everyone is accepted, regardless of their current health status. In some cases, there is a waiting period before the coverage starts. If that is the case, the plan administrator will inform the applicant. Once the waiting period has been served, the insurer provides coverage as long as the premiums continue to be paid.

A person who loses his or her job can still keep their health insurance benefits for a time. This falls under the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). As long as the former employee continues to pay the premiums, he or she can participate in the health insurance plan.

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Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

When two married people each have access to a health insurance plan, they will need to consider the level of coverage they have access to and the cost before deciding to switch to a spouse’s health insurance. They also need to look at the types of healthcare services they need as part of this process.

Not all healthcare plans are the same, and no plan will provide coverage for every event. In the case of a young, relatively healthy person who has only needed to see a doctor for a checkup, a plan that focuses mainly on major medical expenses that would be incurred as the result of a serious injury or illness is probably be a good choice.

When one person has ongoing medical needs from a chronic condition and/or needs to take prescription medications regularly then they need a plan that is structured differently.

Cost is another major consideration when it comes to deciding which spousal health insurance plan should remain in place and which one should be dropped. Making a decision on this matter solely on the basis of cost may not give either spouse the right level of coverage for their health insurance. There may be some flexibility in medical coverage offered by an employer, and it’s worthwhile to ask the plan administrator about all available options.

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Changing Coverage Options

Once a decision has been made about which spousal health plan offers the best coverage, the employer’s Human Resources Department or manager should be approached to find out when the open enrollment period is. This may be allowed in the fall for a change that starts as of January 1st the following calendar year. During the open enrollment period, changes may be made to the health insurance plan. Not only can an employee add his or her spouse to their health insurance plan, but other changes can be made during this time. The deductible level can be adjusted to a higher or lower dollar amount, for example. People who are prepared to take on more of the day-to-day expenses associated with their health care can get lower premium health insurance rates for major medical coverage.

To make the change, the employee will need to fill out a form indicating that he or she would like to add his or her spouse to the plan. The insurance company will need some basic information to process the request, such as the spouse’s full name and date of birth to do so. The completed form is sent to the health insurance company for processing.

Once the employee receives confirmation that his or her spouse has been added to the plan, the other health insurance can be cancelled. Each insurance company has its own procedures for doing so, but the company will probably need to be notified in writing to process the cancellation. When canceling the existing health insurance plan, the spouse should ask about whether he or she is entitled to a refund of any portion of the premiums paid.

Don’t cancel the existing spousal health insurance plan until the switch has been completed. Doing so will mean one person is left without any coverage, which can be disastrous for the uninsured person and financially devastating for the whole family. If the employer options are not appropriate then you can use an insurance rates quote tool to get estimates on the costs and benefits of private health insurance policies. Just click on the box above right now!