Plan ahead for inevitable surprises
Whatever the path, the excitement of bringing a child into your home is like no other. The joys of parenthood also come with new responsibilities – and uncertainty. Proper planning can help ease the anxiety.
- For expectant couples, the not-so-pleasant fact is that birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States. Babies who survive and live with birth defects may have lifelong challenges. When reviewing health plans, pay attention to coverage limits related to pre-natal and neo-natal screenings, emergency delivery procedures and extended in-hospital pediatric care.
- Be aware that most health plans have a deadline for registering your newborn.
- Some health insurance policies may not fully cover such childhood expenses as allergy tests, braces, replacement eyeglasses, contacts or retainers. Consider contributing to a flexible spending account to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover such costs.
- If you’re considering adopting or becoming a step-parent, consult your current health insurance provider about adding a child to your coverage before you accept legal guardianship.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 200,000 children are injured annually on playgrounds. Before you install swing sets, trampolines or other play equipment, consider purchasing an umbrella policy in case someone is injured while on your property.
Custodial grandparents have special considerations as well:
- A grandparent can apply for grandchild coverage under Medicaid or State Children’s Insurance Program in any state. Check with your state insurance department to find out if your grandchildren qualify.
- Note that most government-sponsored benefits including health care, emergency care, financial assistance and social security benefits require proof of a legal relationship.
- If your custodial grandchild is a licensed driver, you will likely want to acknowledge him or her on your auto policy. Consider listing your grandchild as an insured, versus a listed driver. An insured has more rights under a typical auto policy.