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(Part 1) There are several viable options depending on your actual need.

Employer Group Health Insurance The first option, if available to you through your employer, is to add the child to your employer’s group health insurance policy. Many of you will find this a very expensive option. The ultimate cost will depend on how rich the benefits of the underlying plan are. While the coverage may be excellent in comparison to the other options, the cost can be up to $300-400 per month or higher.

If you have a child that will fully utilize the coverage due to health reasons, then this may be the best option since there are generally minimal, if any, pre-existing issues. In addition, all preventive care visits will be no charge per the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act. Make sure to consult the HR department of your company (or the person in charge of benefits) about the plan details and cost before making your decision.

Individual or family health insurance policy You may either add your child to your existing individual or family health insurance plan. The child cannot be declined for coverage or have exclusions placed on pre-existing conditions, but the insurance carrier can and will increase the premium significantly if there are expensive medical needs. Preventive care is also free with this option.

This is an excellent option if there are no major pre-existing needs since the insurance carrier will normally insure your child at the “preferred risk” rates. If you, as the parent, also wish to obtain coverage at the same time, the premiums are normally less expensive with the child as a dependent on a parents plan rather than as a child only policy.

Temporary Health Insurance This is generally a much less expensive option as they are available as “child-only” policies, but there are drawbacks. Temporary health insurance policies do not cover preventive care and in most cases, do not offer doctor co pays. Selected Benefits, however, offers a temporary health insurance policy in Texas which has both doctor and prescription co pays. Prescription coverage is generally included, but not on pre-existing medications. Of course, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered either since these plans do not meet the minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

This option would only be best if your Son/Daughter has no pre-existing conditions whatsoever. In addition, this is not a permanent solution (thus the name), so make sure you have another suitable option once the term ends in 6-12 months. Some carriers will extend to a second term, but normally not a third.