Ask a Zenefits Advisor: How Do I Add My Spouse to Health Insurance

Getting married? Congrat! Focus on your wedding plans, not your dependent coverage. Bud explains how to easily add your spouse to your health insurance.

Dear Bud,
I’m getting married next month, and my fiance and I are thinking about getting on the same health plan. I work full time and get my insurance through my employer. She is a freelance designer and gets her insurance through the Exchange. My employer covers my plan at 80%, including dependents. What do I need to do—and when do I need to do it—to get her onto my employer-sponsored plan?
Proactively Anticipating Coverage Options

Dear P.A.C.O.,

Congratulations! When it comes to health insurance, marriage is a qualifying life event. This means you don’t have to wait until open enrollment to add your new spouse to your plan—you can do it within 30 days of your marriage.
If your company uses Zenefits’ HRIS, adding your spouse to coverage is easy. You can do the whole thing yourself with 5 minutes and a photo or scan of your marriage certificate. Otherwise, you’ll need to bring a copy of your marriage license to your HR department and fill out dependent paperwork for each line of coverage (medical, dental, vision).
There are several advantages to being on the same plan as your spouse. Sharing the same network of providers can make it more convenient to access medical care. You won’t need to keep track of separate copays and coinsurance. And all your medical expenses will count toward one family deductible.
Also, when you coexist on the same plan with your spouse, you can access all of your family medical records through the same carrier portal. These sites exist to keep members informed of their benefits. Explanations of Benefits, account balances (if your plan has a Health Savings Account attached), and access to nurse hotlines and poison centers are all features of insurance company websites designed for insured members.
That said, you’ll want to do due diligence and make sure your employer-sponsored plan covers the benefits to which your fiance has become accustomed on her Exchange plan. Go ahead and compare premiums, too. Unless she’s been receiving a government subsidy, your plan will probably be a better deal all around—particularly, with the fact that your employer pays 80% of coverage for both you and your dependents. This is a very generous benefit, and it’s important today for your future spouse, and even more important if you choose to have future offspring.
Part of marriage means providing your family with shelter and protection from harm. Having a good health insurance plan is a part of keeping that promise of protection. You might say it’s an extension of your love and caring. Pretty appropriate for Valentine’s week I’d say. Best wishes on your upcoming wedding.

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The answers on Ask Bud serve as basic guidelines and are for informational purposes only. Bud is a treasure trove of knowledge, but is unable to provide legal, tax, or fact-specific human resources advice. Once a question is submitted, Bud and Zenefits reserve the right to accept, reject, edit, modify, or otherwise change it. All content on the Zenefits website, including questions received and answers provided by Ask Bud, are Zenefits property.


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