Family insurance is one of a few different options most insurance companies offer through their healthcare insurance packages. As opposed to single coverage or additional coverage of a dependent spouse or child only, family insurance covers all eligible dependent children as well as you and a spouse. Premiums for family insurance are considerably higher than single coverage, but normally cost the same amount whether the policy holder has one child or three.
A family insurance plan is structured differently than single coverage. The deductible that applies to family insurance is higher than individual insurance, but there should be a maximum deductible per family each calendar year. Family insurance usually offers coverage for prenatal care, well-child care, and routine annual physicals for children up to at least age 16. Under most insurance plans, a dependent child becomes ineligible for coverage at 18 years of age, but there may be exceptions and extended benefits allowed.
In the case of employer sponsored family insurance plans, you may not have a lot of choice in coverage, but you are offered the opportunity to purchase the insurance at a group-rate premium. If you need family insurance coverage and do not have the benefit of participating in an employer sponsored plan, you can still individually purchase family coverage through the insurance company of your choice, but the premium will be significantly higher in most cases.
If you and your spouse both have family insurance offered at work, it is beneficial to compare the coverage and premiums of both plans. Some families find it beneficial to elect single coverage from one spouse’s workplace and purchase insurance for a dependent child through the other spouse. However, odds are, if you are married and have more than one dependent child, purchasing the family insurance plan through only one spouse will make the most sense. Compare your plans carefully and weigh the monthly premiums against the annual deductible and co-pay amounts. Also examine your family situation and consider whether or not special circumstances apply.
If you need to purchase private family insurance, talk to at least three different companies and compare quotes and coverage in writing before deciding. If possible, you may benefit from purchasing family insurance through a company that also provides homeowners, auto and life insurance and applies deep discounts for combining policies.