How to Add a New Spouse as a Dependent for Medical Insurance

By: Cynthia Myers

After the wedding, don't forget the insurance paperwork.

Happy couple on their wedding day. image by Gina Smith from

Once the buzz of the wedding and the fun of the honeymoon have worn off, you have to deal with all the paperwork involved in combining households with a new spouse. This could include adding your new spouse as a dependent on your medical insurance policy. While most insurers only let you make changes to your policy during the annual open enrollment period, they typically make exceptions for life changes, such as adding a spouse. Your insurance agent or human resources department where you work can guide you through the process.

Step 1

Obtain a medical/dental insurance enrollment change form from your plan administrator. If you’re employed, this is usually the human resources department. If you’re self-employed or carry individual medical insurance, your insurance agent can supply you with the proper form.

Step 2

Complete the form. You’ll need to supply your spouse’s date of birth, the date of your marriage, if applicable; and information about your spouse’s employer. If your spouse is eligible for medical insurance at her place of employment you’ll need to verify that she has elected to waive that coverage in favor of making your coverage her primary health insurance. If your spouse elects to keep the coverage provided by her employer, then your policy is her secondary insurance.

Step 3

Sign the form and then have your spouse sign it. Make a copy of the forms for your records and submit the completed forms to your insurance company or the human resources department at your employer. Some companies will require you to attach a copy of your marriage license or similar document as proof of your new spouse’s legal status.


  • Coverage for your spouse will usually begin in the month following when you complete the enrollment change form.


  • Your insurance company might require you to submit your change form within a certain time period after your marriage, such as 60 days. If you fail to meet this deadline, you’ll have to wait for the next open enrollment period in order to add your spouse to your policy.

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Photo Credits

  • Happy couple on their wedding day. image by Gina Smith from

About the Author

Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.

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