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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Health insurance for children

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I'm looking for low cost health insurance for my two children. I have a 14 month old and a 3 year old.

A: Any of the low cost health insurance plans at can be used, but there are three important differences when completing an application for a child-only health insurance policy online. These extra measures address the issues connected with the fact that an insurance policy is a business contract and children cannot enter business contracts without a parent or guardian. The oldest child is listed as the policyholder and the other child is listed as a dependant of the primary policyholder. As a result of this procedure, pricing is increased slightly as compared with the cost of coverage for two children who are on a parent’s policy. Also, when the application requests the signature of the applicant, the parent signs instead. Finally, note that it is necessary to follow-up an online enrollment with a paper application mailed or faxed when applying for child-only insurance since the parent’s electronic signature is not recognized as the guardian’s signature by the online enrollment system. Celtic Life has a policy form specifically designed for children only. This is excellent coverage, but not the lowest cost. Short term medical insurance policies like SIMPLE STM and SECURE STM are most popular choices for child-only insurance because of the low cost and liberal benefits for periods up to 36 months.


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