Becoming a parent is a significant life event that opens up new vistas of happiness and sleeplessness. The goal of this four-part article is to provide a general overview and resources to new parents on how to navigate the government, estate planning, and insurance related issues which commonly arise for new parents.

The article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Anyone contemplating taking legal action is urged to obtain proper legal advice from an attorney licensed in your particular jurisdiction.

This Part serves as a “catch-all” for the insurance related questions parents have after the birth of their child.

Under the Affordable Care Act, having or adopting a child is a “qualifying life event” which entitles the parent(s) to a Special Enrollment Period to makes changes to their health insurance plan. Be sure to report the birth to your health insurer within thirty days of the birth of your child so that your child can be added to your health insurance plan. If you do not have employer-provided health insurance coverage, www.healthcare.gov is the resource for the health insurance marketplace.

If you have short term disability insurance and you want to make a claim for coverage, you should make a claim as soon as possible after the birth. The terms of your insurance policy dictate how and when you must make a claim. If you have been paying for short term disability coverage, you may wish to consult an attorney if your claim is denied.

If you are entitled to Family Medical Leave (“FMLA”) and you wish to use it, you need to notify your employer in writing as soon as you can after your child is born. While the many nuances of FMLA are beyond the scope of this article, you should consider consulting an attorney if you are fired as a result of taking FMLA leave or if your job duties or pay is materially changed after you return from FMLA leave.

Kyle E. Hackett is an attorney in Cincinnati with the Phillips Law Firm, Inc. Kyle helps individuals and small businesses anticipate and solve a variety of legal needs, disputes, and lawsuits. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or (513) 985-2500.