Dropping your health care coverage to join your new husband's plan is an option you can exercise immediately after your wedding. A marriage counts as a life event that lets your husband sign you up on his plan without waiting for the open enrollment period that occurs annually. You are able to enroll for the first time, add a new spouse/be added as a new spouse or change from one plan to another.
Enrollment Eligibility Period
Your enrollment eligibility period begins on the date of marriage and ends 30 to 60 days later. Your husband should contact his benefits coordinator or his superior or the specific time frame to ensure you don't miss the deadline. If you miss the deadline, you must wait until the annual open enrollment period to be added to his health plan.
Health Plan Election
Your new husband must complete and submit an election form to his employer to add you to his health plan. He will also provide a copy of the marriage certificate at that time. You must also complete an election form to cancel your coverage. To ensure there is no lapse in coverage, coordinate your election form submissions. Since it will take some time to get a new identification card, keep a copy of the form. It will act as verification of coverage if you need health care.
Health plan changes are effective anywhere from the first full pay period after the election form is received to a month after, depending on the employer. Coordinating your cancellation of health coverage and your addition as a family member is vital. Your new husband should submit his election form first so you know the effective date of coverage. You can then submit a form to cancel your own insurance coverage with your employer. Once you receive your new identification card, be sure to update the records with your physician and pharmacy.
Existing Self and Family Coverage
It is possible that your new husband has an existing family health plan that covers him and his children. If this is the case, as a new family member you should be covered automatically effective on the date of marriage. Some employers prefer you contact your health benefits carrier directly. Other agencies require an election form for all changes.