In most cases, when you apply for coverage, the account holder (who defaults to the primary applicant) should be the household member you want as the contract holder with your insurance company.
Once you enroll in a plan, the primary applicant cannot easily be changed.
Some factors to consider when choosing the primary applicant include:
- The primary applicant does not need to be applying for coverage, but must be at least 18 years old. If the primary applicant is not seeking coverage, the second person listed in the household on the application will be considered the primary subscriber by the insurance company.
- If you expect one member of your household to end their coverage within the year (such as becoming eligible for Medicare, or enrolling through an employer), make another adult the primary applicant.
- If your household has mixed immigration status, make the adult who is a U.S. citizen or lawfully present the primary applicant, even if that person is not seeking coverage.
- If you are a married couple, both citizens or lawfully present, and seeking coverage for just one of you, make the person seeking coverage the primary applicant.
- If you are seeking coverage only for a dependent child under 17, an adult must be listed as primary, even if the adult is not seeking coverage. If you have more than one dependent (for example, you are a single parent seeking coverage for each of your 3 children but not yourself), complete a separate application for each child.
If you need to change the primary applicant, you will need to disenroll the entire household from coverage and then re-enroll with a different primary applicant. Follow these steps carefully to avoid a gap in coverage.