When you buy a health insurance plan for yourself, you can get coverage that extends to your dependents; Likewise, if you are an employer that covers your workers, you can provide coverage for their dependents. If you plan to purchase a family health insurance plan to cover your dependents, it’s important to make sure they know they’re eligible to join your family health insurance plan before you make your final purchase.
how do dependents work in health insurance?
a dependent refers to someone who is eligible to become an additional person on your health insurance plan. your dependents can receive the benefits of your health insurance plan and use it in the same way as you.
Reading: Who can be a dependent on insurance
However, not all policies are read the same way or have the same criteria for dependents, so it’s important to look into the details of your specific plan. It’s also important to note that if you are an employer covering your workers, some different rules may apply when it comes to dependents.
who can I add to my health insurance as a dependent?
Who you can add to your health insurance as a dependent will depend on the terms of your policy and the type of policy you have. but for the most part, you can add:
- your current spouse
- all biological children and stepchildren
- foster children
- foster children
- children under your care that are financially dependent on you
- children who can receive your benefits due to a court order
may cover adult children up to age 26, but there are some caveats if your child is a college student. Some special circumstances may lead to dependent health care coverage, such as caring for someone with a disability. Domestic partners can also lead to dependent coverage, but not always.
dependents for taxes & health insurance
According to healthcare.gov, if you can count someone as a dependent on your taxes, they’re also a dependent on your health insurance plan. What’s more, you must provide health insurance for anyone you claim as a tax dependent. therefore, if you intend to include a child or other relative as a tax dependent, you should also ensure that they are included in your health insurance plan.
requirements to add your children as dependents
If you have children, they are probably the first people that come to mind when you talk about dependents. Generally speaking, it can include any child who meets the following criteria:
- Age: Your child must be under the age of 26.
- Relationship to you: For a child to qualify as your dependent , he or she must be your biological child, your stepchild, your adopted child, or a foster child you are caring for. if your child has other sisters, brothers, half-sisters, half-siblings, or children of their own, you can also include them in your health insurance plan.
- length of residence: one child only qualifies as your dependent if they have lived with you for at least six months.
- income contribution: although your child may be your tax dependent while working and contributing to their own expenses , they cannot be their own main source of support. this means that a child’s income must be less than half the cost of their support expenses to qualify as your dependent.
- tax return: a child cannot be your dependent if you file a joint tax return for that year.
- Other Claims: A child cannot be claimed as a dependent by more than one household. therefore, regardless of your relationship, if someone else claims your child as a dependent, you cannot do so.
what is not required to add your children as dependents
In addition to keeping track of what is required to claim your child as a dependent, you should also remember what is not required to claim a child as a dependent:
- living with parents: Your child does not have to live with you at the time you enroll them in your health plan, as long as they have lived with you long enough to meet the residency requirement.
- Marital Status: Your child remains eligible for coverage if they are married or have children.
- enrolled in school: It doesn’t matter if your child is enrolled in school or not.
- eligible for employer-based coverage : You can still add your child to your health plan, even if they decide not to enroll in their employer’s health plan.
- Tax Status: You can add your child to your plan, even if you don’t claim them as a tax dependent.
As long as your children meet these other requirements, you can generally still include them in your coverage.
add your spouse as a dependent
In most cases, it is acceptable to add a spouse to your health insurance plan. After you get married, you generally have up to 60 days to enroll in a new plan or add your spouse as a dependent.
Please note that if you or your spouse have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, but choose to purchase your own family plan on a health insurance exchange, you may not qualify for Obamacare subsidies. Check out the other eHealth resources to learn more about how health insurance works with marriage. If you have questions, you can also speak with one of eHealth’s licensed insurance agents to discuss coverage options that might meet your family’s needs.
In addition to your child and spouse, you may include other relatives as dependents under certain conditions, including:
- if no one else has named you as a dependent
- if your annual gross income is less than $3,000
- if you are responsible for providing more than half of the support financer they depend on
In addition to family members, you can include other people who have lived in your home for at least one year, as long as they meet all of the above criteria.
can you add your parents to your health insurance?
While the Affordable Care Act requires that children be eligible for their parents’ insurance coverage until age 26, there is no similar protection for parents. Health plans generally count spouses and children as dependents, but generally do not include parents. however, the rules vary by plan and location, so always double check with your plan.
If you’re interested in getting health coverage for your parents, contact your health plan to find out if you can add them to your plan. their parents must generally be declared tax dependents.
If your health insurance doesn’t allow you to add your parents, you can enroll them in a separate health plan, either through the Marketplace or Medicare (if they’re 65 or older). If you have questions about your eligibility or want help finding coverage for your parents, eHealth’s team of trusted health insurance experts can discuss your options.
why should i add someone as a dependent for health insurance?
Health care is of the utmost importance for all people. however, health insurance also offers other benefits. For example, health insurance offers you tax deductions and credits. So who can I add to my health insurance plan for tax benefits? the same people you would add to your health insurance plan for health benefits.
Those same dependents recognized by your health insurance policy are also generally dependents in the eyes of the government. therefore, you can claim them when filing taxes and get tax benefits. Some of these tax benefits may include:
- head of household status
- child tax credit and additional child tax credit
- other credit for dependents
- an increase in credit earned income tax deductions
- medical and dental deductions for you and all your dependents
You can also enjoy some tax exemptions. credits reduce the amount of tax you owe. deductions reduce the amount of your income subject to tax. exemptions exclude certain amounts of your income from being taxed.
Also, laws change periodically, so it’s best to do some research and talk to a professional about tax issues.
who can I add to my health insurance: frequently asked questions
can you add someone other than your spouse to your health insurance?
depends on where you live. For example, some states allow you to add a domestic partner and the children of that domestic partner to your health insurance policies. in another state, that’s just not possible.
However, most of the time, you can claim someone as a dependent if you provide more than half of your financial support, have a court order to do so, or provide substantial care for them. a dependent must meet the requirements established by the health care provider, state law, and federal law. the irs code supersedes other laws and plan rules.
who can I add to my insurance as a qualified dependent?
- child of the policyholder under the age of 26
- a child with whom you have a defined relationship and who provides more than half of the financial support for
- a relative with whom you have a defined relationship with and provide more than half of the financial support for
- someone you must include in your plan due to a court order or exceptional circumstances
State laws and policy rules can modify dependent criteria, but they can really only add to the IRS code, not remove it.
can you include friends in your health insurance?
Except where common law marriages and domestic partnerships are allowed, you may not add dependents who are not related to you. A family health insurance plan won’t let you add a friend unless that friend meets the relationship criteria for a dependent.
Once you’ve named someone as your dependent, he or she will generally have access to the same plan or set of plans that you use. Depending on where you get your health insurance, you can also choose from plans you trust, including health plan, dental, vision and more.
Protecting the health of your loved ones with quality health coverage is one of the most important things you can do for them. ehealth is committed to helping you understand all the nuances of health coverage. Our trusted and knowledgeable licensed insurance agents are here to help you find coverage that fits your needs and budget. For more information, visit ehealth.com, where you can access our health insurance information or start your search for family health insurance plans. We make it easy to browse and compare plan benefits and costs in one place.