Getting married? Here's how your dental coverage can change.

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July 9th, 2018

It’s the season of weddings! Which means there’s no better time to learn what can happen to your dental benefits when you get married.

When it comes to your dental coverage, marriage is considered a “qualifying life event.” After a qualifying life event, you can make changes to your dental plan within a specified amount of time. If your change isn’t requested in time, you may have to wait for open enrollment – the window of time when you can make changes to your dental coverage. Be sure to check your dental coverage to see when the adjustment will take effect.

You have a few options within the period when you may make a change. You can:

  1. Choose to keep your coverage as is
  2. Become a dependent under your spouse’s plan
  3. Make your spouse a dependent under your plan

If one party does become a dependent, they have the option to keep their current coverage or discontinue it. If you choose to be covered under both plans, you have what is known as “dual coverage.” Your original plan is considered the “primary” plan, and the plan that covers you as a dependent is considered the “secondary” plan. The primary plan will pay its portion first and the secondary plan will act as a supplement.

Depending on what you choose, you may need to make a coverage update. For coverage obtained through employers, HR departments of both parties will need to make the requested change and update you and your spouse’s personal information. If you don’t receive coverage through an employer, you can reach out directly to your dental plan provider.

In the case that you decide not to switch your dental plan but change your last name, you will still need to contact your HR department or benefits provider to update your information. When updates have been made, you may want to request a new insurance card for your next appointment.

By knowing your options ahead of time, you can take some stress off your plate as you prepare for the big day.