Who Qualifies as a Dependent for My Health Insurance Plan?

Is your current employer considering offering group health insurance? If so, who will qualify as a dependent? Let us look at a few scenarios.

Is my spouse considered a dependent? Typically, a legal spouse can be added to your group health insurance. Some employers may even offer to subsidize the cost. When offering benefits to domestic partners, this coverage must be the same as the coverage offered to legal spouses. Offering benefits, however, to domestic partners may vary based on state regulations and may require proof you are in a committed relationship.

If my kids rely on me financially, are they considered dependents? Generally speaking, children under 26 will be provided coverage, and some employers may offer to subsidize the cost. These dependents must be legally related to you as your biological, adopted, step, or foster child or a legal ward in your care.

When can I make changes to my dependent coverage? Annually, your group health plan is renewed. This is the window when employees can make changes to their existing coverage or add dependents. Another window is a change that would reasonably be expected to impact your health insurance needs. This 60-day special enrollment period is considered a qualified life event and occurs with a new marriage or when having or adopting a child.

A good rule of thumb is if you claim someone as a dependent for tax purposes, you can generally claim that person as a dependent. It may be important to discuss your unique situation, so we are here to help and just a phone call away.