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How much time do I have to add my baby to my group health insurance plan?

Many group health insurance plans require you to add a baby within 30 days of birth. If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period.

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Contact your employer's health plan administrator before your child’s birth to learn how and when to add your infant to the plan. Knowing those details ahead of time will make the process easier once the baby has arrived.

In addition, check the plan for the types of health services it covers for children. Does the plan cover immunizations and well-baby visits? How much are copayments and what is the deductible? Consult a list of local pediatricians who are part of the plan's network to begin searching for a doctor.

Other insurance needs change, too. Do you have life insurance? Your little one will depend on your income. Life insurance provides money for your family to continue to pay expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, as well as school tuition in later years, if you die. Term life provides coverage if you die within a certain period, such as 10, 15 or 20 years. Permanent insurance provides coverage for your entire lifetime as well, as a cash account that accumulates over time. Term life is less expensive than permanent insurance because the benefits are less rich.

Which type of life insurance to choose depends entirely on your situation. To get started, use Insure.com's life insurance calculator, which analyzes your needs and recommends term or permanent insurance or both and the amount of insurance to buy.

For more, see top insurance mistakes made when having a baby.

Last updated: Dec. 20, 2010
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