Insurance and Life Event Planning for You and Your Child
When you first learn that you're pregnant, insurance is likely not at the top of your list of things to consider. It's probably not even in the top ten. Nevertheless, once the first bloom of joy has faded a bit, it's a subject that really does require your attention.
Planning For Your Child's Future
Most likely, even without a baby, you have decent medical coverage, but you should still be certain that any affordable health insurance plan includes enough coverage for your pre-natal care, as well as the birth itself. You'll also want to know how to add your baby to your coverage, and when this must take place - is it within the standard thirty days applicable to other life-changing events like new jobs or marriages, or do you have more time? You should also find out what the new premium will be, so you can budget for it. These things are especially important if the arrival of a baby will turn you into a single-income family.
At this time, you may also want to consider adding disability insurance and life insurance to your coverage portfolio. Many policies don't include these types of coverage because the assumption is that you don't need them unless you are responsible for a child, so adding them can be vital. After all, the chance of a parent becoming disabled before their child turns 18 his higher than the risk of passing away. Be aware, also, that disability insurance from your employer may only cover a portion of your salary - something to be doubly concerned about if you are a single parent.
Legal Preparations To Take
At the same time you are examining your insurance portfolio, there is another, less cheerful task you should consider: making legal preparations to protect your child if something happens to you or your spouse.
These preparations include:
Designating a guardian who will take care of your child in your absence. (God parents have no legal authority, otherwise.)
Updating your will, or writing one if you don't already have one. This may be the only way your wishes can be expressed. You may wish to consider a trust, which can greatly reduce probate issues, especially if you and your spouse own property.
Filing a living will. This includes any treatment limitations you wish imposed should something happen to you that prevents you from speaking for yourself, and may include an advanced directive (aka a DNR or "do not resuscitate" order).
Having a new baby is a wonderful thing, and while you are waiting for your baby to arrive, there are many happy experiences that you will have, from baby showers to painting the nursery, to just making the mental adjustment to parenthood.
Taking the time to consider insurance and other life events now, rather than later, makes you that much more prepared, and your child that much more protected.