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Happy Anniversary: It's Time for a Health Plan Check

Tips for the newly married about health insurance, pet insurance and more

In the blink of an eye, your first year (or two or three) of marriage go by. You may not have found time to review how your health planhealth plan
A health plan that you buy or that is provided by your employer. It pays for health care services. I... more
is working for you as a couple. These tips can help you start.

The power of two

Maybe you both had health plans that stayed "single" after you wed. If so, now is the time to think about marrying them. In general, you pay less if you are both on one plan than you do as two singles. But first — a friendly game of "Whose plan is best?"

  • Which plan has a larger networknetwork
    Also called "provider network." A panel of physicians, hospitals and other health care professionals... more
    ?
  • Which plan offers more incentives for staying healthy?
  • Which plan has better dental coverage?
  • Which plan has lower out-of-pocketout-of-pocket
    Amounts such as copayments and deductibles that an individual is required to contribute toward the c... more
    costs?

There may be no clear winner. But it’s an exercise well worth the effort.

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Maybe baby

Maybe you’ve already had a baby. Or maybe you’re just thinking about starting a family. Either way, it’s time to take a good look at your health planhealth plan
A health plan that you buy or that is provided by your employer. It pays for health care services. I... more
.

  • Are you happy with the gynecologists and pediatricians in your plan’s networknetwork
    Also called "provider network." A panel of physicians, hospitals and other health care professionals... more
    ?
  • Does either of your plans offer fertility or adoption services?
  • Do moms-to-be receive any special services or discounts? How about dads?

Baby-proof your benefits today — before you’re busy with your bundle of joy.

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Pet-friendly protection

Maybe your "baby" has four legs and a tail. When a pet is sick or injured, the bill often adds up to more than just kibble. Some health care companies offer pet insurance. Check out yours to see if you have it. Click here for more information on pet insurance.

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'Til death do us part'

Now that you've opened a new chapter of life, it may be hard to talk about one closing. But life insurance can give you peace of mind. Your loved ones will have some financial security if something happens to you.

How much life insurance coverage should you buy? Experts say you should consider three things: your children, your debt and how much your spouse relies on you for financial support.

Rates can go up and down. So shop around before you settle on a life insurance policy.

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FSAs, HSAs and 401(k)s

You’ve taken a vow: “for richer or poorer.” But that doesn’t mean you want to be poorer. There are plenty of ways to make your money work better for your marriage. If you have access to any of them, don’t miss out!

  • FSA (Flexible Spending Account): This account gives you big power. You can use the money to pay for health care items, such as bandages, copays and even braces.The money comes out of your paycheck before taxes. So your tax bill is lower, too. But be wise about your yearly contribution. If you don’t use your FSA money by the end of the year, you lose it.
  • HSA (Health Savings Account): This is a savings account that helps you pay for health care costs. To open an HSA you must have a plan with a high deductibledeductible
    A set amount that you must pay for your medical services before the health plan starts to pay.... more
    . High-deductibleHigh-deductible
    A set amount that you must pay for your medical services before the health plan starts to pay.... more
    plans usually have lower premiumspremiums
    The amount charged by a health insurer for a health insurance policy. If you have a health plan thro... more
    . Using an HSA also lowers your tax bill, because the money is not taxed. Plus, you can invest the money and earn interest on it. You can use HSA funds to pay many types of medical expenses. And the money is yours to keep forever, year after year.
  • 401(k)401(k)
    A 401(k) is a type of personal pension plan offered by an employer. It provides tax advantages on mo... more
    : If your employer matches your 401(k)401(k)
    A 401(k) is a type of personal pension plan offered by an employer. It provides tax advantages on mo... more
    contributions, how can you lose?  It’s like free money. Even if there is no employer match, a 401(k)401(k)
    A 401(k) is a type of personal pension plan offered by an employer. It provides tax advantages on mo... more
    is still a fabulous way to build a nest egg for the future. Once you start contributing, you won’t even miss the money!

This anniversary, give each other the perfect gift - benefits that stand the test of time.

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