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Getting married is a special time for couples — and with your new relationship status also comes the benefit of qualifying for your partner’s health insurance plan.  

If you are newly married, it is considered a qualifying life event, which starts a special enrollment period where you can add a spouse immediately if your health plan allows it. During a special enrollment period, you can make changes to your health insurance plan.

However, this varies by company and policy type, so be sure to confirm with your benefits administrator when making any adjustments to your coverage. 

Special enrollment periods often last only 30 or 60 days from the qualifying life event, so you only have a month or two to add your spouse to your coverage after the wedding. If you don’t adjust your coverage within this time frame, you’ll have to wait until open enrollment to make any changes. 

When can I add a spouse to my health insurance plan?

You can add your spouse to your health insurance plan after a qualifying event, such as marriage or if your spouse loses their job. You will need to fill out the required paperwork and provide proof, such as a marriage certificate or termination letter from your partner’s employer.

If you need to, you can change insurance companies during a special enrollment period, so make sure to compare insurance plans and costs. You may find another health plan’s benefits and costs is a better fit for your family.

If you miss the special enrollment period, you can wait to add your spouse to your health insurance period during open enrollment.

Can I add my spouse to my health insurance at any time?

No, you can’t add a spouse to your health insurance at any time.

You can only add your spouse to your health insurance during open enrollment or if you have a qualifying event, which triggers a special enrollment period. 

Qualifying life events that allow for a special enrollment period include having or adopting a child or being terminated from your job.

You’ll also need to show proof to take advantage of a special enrollment period. So, if you recently got married and want to add your spouse to a health plan, you’ll have to show your marriage certificate.

When the coverage becomes active varies depending on the insurance company’s guidelines. Some will start coverage on the date listed on the marriage certificate, while others may begin coverage on the first day of the following month. 

Can I add my spouse to my health insurance after open enrollment?

No. You can only add your spouse after open enrollment if you experience a qualifying event. If you’re not newly married and don’t have a life event that qualifies for a special enrollment period — such as your spouse being terminated — you’ll have to wait until the open enrollment period to add your spouse to your health insurance plan. 

Employers have their own open enrollment period. Check with your company’s benefits department for the dates.

Be sure to review your policy carefully and pay attention to deadlines to make sure you and your family are fully covered.

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