As a single parent, what can I do to make sure my child's health insurance needs are covered?

By Insurance.com Posted : 09/16/2009

As a single parent, you'll probably find that the most cost-effective way to provide health insurance for your child is to add him or her to an existing employer-sponsored health insurance plan. The cost of this option will vary, depending on the type of coverage the employer offers and whether the employer pays all or part of the cost. Find out if your employer offers employee child coverage; typically, this type of coverage is significantly less expensive than family coverage.

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In some cases, you may be better off seeking out an individual health insurance policy for your child. Some insurers offer specialized policies designed just for kids. This coverage may be somewhat expensive for infants (because they require so many doctor's visits for immunizations, checkups, etc.), but the cost generally drops after the child's first year.

Health insurance coverage for your child becomes a bit more complicated when you are a single parent who is divorced. You'll need to figure out whether your health plan or your ex-spouse's health plan is responsible for paying your child's health-care claims. If your child is covered by both health plans, generally the plan of the parent who has custody pays the child's health-care claims first, while the plan of the parent who does not have custody pays second. However, if a divorce court has stipulated which parent is responsible for the health-care expenses of the child, the responsible parent's health plan pays the child's health-care claims first.

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