Ever since The Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, came to power in 2010, Americans have been presented with many options regarding their healthcare coverage. However, it has added a new layer of complexity to the area that was already very complicated. Or, as President Trump put it “Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
Spouse health insurance laws
Have made it possible for marriage partners to obtain coverage for their significant others, regardless of orientation. It is possible for either of them to join the other one’s health plan, regardless of the time of the year and the open enrollment period, which usually lasts one month in the year.
However, with marriage classified as a “qualifying event”, you now have 30 days after the marriage to make changes to the health plan, making it possible to add your partner immediately after the wedding.
You should check with your Human Resources Department and find out whether your employer has a different deadline. If you miss this window, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period, which can make things like pregnancy or any other emergency medical issue very complicated, not to mention expensive.
Before making this decision
Both of you should sit down and do some math. If both partners have individual health plans at their respective places of employment, it may cost more to join, because of something called spousal surcharge, which insurance companies may add to your bill.
However, if only one of you is insured through work and the other one is covered by private insurance, it will most likely be cheaper to get one plan, instead of two individual ones.
One thing to remember is that in order to get a family plan, you have to file your taxes jointly.
If you don’t have a marriage certificate, you may have to jump through some more hoops, depending on the state you are living in. Each state has its own definition of a domestic partnership and health care companies may require further proofs.
These can be letters from family members, stating that you are in fact living together, or utility bills with your names on them, proving that you are sharing household expenses. The time frame will also most likely be different since some companies impose a waiting period before approving such plans.