Find Recommendations On Health Insurance For The Baby And Each Transition Until They Are Teenagers
If you are a parent, or expect to become a parent one day, and living in the state of California then health insurance is certainly something that is likely to be on your mind. After all, you want to raise healthy children and part of that is making sure they have proper medical care which, of course, requires that we have adequate health insurance for them. Research shows that children who miss more than 10 days in school due to illness during a 90 day semester demonstrate difficulty staying at grade level. Aside from quality of life, what proper medical care does for your child is help them pursue their education, gain the skills they will need as adults and begin good health practices early in their lives. These are all major responsibilities for parents and what good health insurance does is make it easier for you to make sure your children enjoy all that these benefits will bring to them.
What we want to do now is explore how you can go about getting the right health insurance when your baby is born, and throughout the child’s life. This information will apply to you if you already have at least one young child, or are planning to begin your family. You will find that this process is easier to go through than you might think.
Why Starting Early Is The Best Idea
You don’t have to wait until your baby is born to check out health insurance and, in fact, it’s advisable to begin before this. Even before mom gets pregnant, having a good maternity plan in place for her and a good baby plan for dad is a smart idea. If you start before your child is conceived, then you can position yourselves to be ready to transition to better plans as the child grows and the families’ need for health insurance changes.
Check out our information on the best maternity insurance plans for moms here.
Some plans you might want to consider putting the father on, before the baby is born, and before the mother gets pregnant, are Health Net’s PPO Advantage 3500, Cigna’s Open Access Value 5000, or Blue Shield of California’s Shield Secure 6000. We recommend the first because it is the lowest cost option. The advantage for the plans we recommend from Cigna and Blue Shield of California is that you are entitled to unlimited office visits, so if it’s your first baby and you get nervous when the baby seems unusual, you can take the baby to see the doctor whenever you need to. While your baby is still very young, these are excellent plans well worth considering.
While you can have your baby on a Child Only health insurance plan, it will often cost less to have them on a parent’s plan. This is worth remembering during the earliest stages of your child’s life.
The Process of Picking the Right Plan is Really Simple
When you are deciding on the right plan, you’ll only need to go through a couple steps. The first thing you need to know is what stage of life your child is in. Transition periods start with the birth of your child, progressing to when they turn 5 or begin school. Next come the preteen years and after those, the child begins high school and progresses to adulthood. With each of these transitions’, different coverage may be needed depending on your family situation, the child’s personality and habits as well as their lifestyle.
It will be up to you to decide when it’s time to switch plans, but what we can do is show you the options for these different categories of children as well as discuss some of the specific plans that would be a good fit. There are Child Only stand-alone plans as well as options for parents who want to add their child onto their own health plan. The choice you make will likely be one based on personal preference and financial factors.
To Choose The Best Health Insurance, Baby Characteristics Are Important
Since SPF Insurance works with all of the major insurance companies in the state of California, we are uniquely qualified to offer you advice regarding the best plans for different types of children. Once you determine what category best describes your child, in the second step you will pick from the recommended plans to select the right plan for them. What we are going to do now is describe the four common categories that children fall into, and recommend the best plans for those who want a Child Only Policy, as well as options for those who want to add their child to their own insurance plan.
This is the first category and it is for children up to age 5. Well baby visits will be needed and there may be a cold from time to time that requires a doctor visit. Babies in this category are otherwise healthy, though. If you’re looking for low cost, child only, health insurance California parents have a couple of good options that will give you 2 office visits per year along with free preventive care. The Health Net CFB PPO Standard 4000 and the Anthem Blue Cross ClearProtection 3300 Plus plans are the low cost options, and the Blue Shield of California Shield Secure 6000 is a little bit higher in benefits with unlimited office visits, but also a higher deductible than the Health Net and Anthem plans.
For parents that want to add the baby onto their health plan, here are the better options. The Health Net PPO Advantage 3500 plan offers 2 office visits and free preventive care, while the Cigna Open Access Value 5000 or the Blue Shield of California Shield Secure 6000 both offer unlimited office visits, although at a noticeably higher monthly cost.
These six plans offer the best health insurance for the baby in your family.
Active or Athletic
This category is for kids who are active or even hyperactive. Perhaps they participate in sports or are just very physically active. They may get injured from time to time, but they are usually healthy, needing just yearly checkups for sports in many instances.
This child really should be on a Child Only plan by themselves to keep the deductible costs under control. If they’re added to a parent’s plan then the plan deductible will double, and potential out of pocket expenses from an injury could be too high.
For these kids, we recommend the Anthem Blue Cross Tonik plan if you want a low cost plan that allows up to 4 office visits, and has a low Out Of Pocket maximum. Another option is the Blue Shield of California Shield Secure 2000, with a low deductible and unlimited office visits. If your child is a little more injury prone, then Kaiser Permanente’s $50 Copayment plan is a solid choice, because it is an HMO plan with just a simple copayment to deal with. Health Net’s HMO Value 50 is also a low cost copay HMO plan that includes coinsurance for hospital care in case your child needs it.
When you have an active kid, and you want the best child health insurance, California parents should select one of the above four plans.
This category is for teenagers who have entered high school. While they may be engaged in typical social activities, they are not playing sports and so they rarely see the doctor beyond having their annual checkup. At this age it makes more sense to put the teenager onto the parent’s plan instead of giving the teenager a plan of their own. The reason is that we’re not as concerned about the plan deductible, and at this age the there is a premium discount when adding family members to the same health plan. We recommend Health Net’s PPO Advantage 3500 for those that want the plan that has the least cost, while still having the needed benefits. Anthem Blue Cross’s ClearProtection 3300 is similarly low cost and includes only the basic benefits, while Cigna’s Open Access Value 5000/100% has the lowest Out Of Pocket maximum for parents that have some deductible concerns, and is offered at a good price.
Sorry about the category name. Children in this category typically need more frequent care, due either to picking up something that is going around school, or from allergies and asthma. In addition to an annual physical they usually will need to see a doctor 3 to 4 times for various colds. The plans we recommend for parents with kids in these categories each allow unlimited office visits. If you want a lower deductible, you may want to choose a Child Only plan from Blue Shield of California’s Shield Secure 2000, Anthem Blue Cross’ Premier 3500 Plus or Health Net’s HMO Value 50. If you are more interested in keeping premium costs low and don’t mind a higher deductible, then parent plans you can add your child on to that we recommend are Cigna’s Open Access 5000 and their Open Access 5000/100% or Anthem Blue Cross’ Premier 6000 Plus plan.
Hopefully, as the child gets older, they will out-grow the germ magnet moniker and be able to transition to a lower cost health plan with less benefits.
Where You Live In California Determines Pricing & Plan Availability
As you can see, choosing a great plan that can work for you is not as difficult as it might seem at first. Do keep in mind, though, that plans and pricing will vary depending upon the part of California you live in. This is why it’s important to use these recommendations as a starting point, and get quotes from all the insurance companies to help you select the plan in your area that’s best for you. Get quotes here at SPF Insurance. You’ll appreciate the fact that SPF Insurance can make it easy for you, help simplify the process, and make it faster for you, too. With our expertise, you’ll find picking the perfect health insurance plan for your family is a smooth experience. SPF Insurance is here to help you navigate the insurance maze and wind up safer and happier because you know you have the best plan for your unique family situation.
Leave a comment below to let us know if this is helpful for you, or if you have a questions.