Choosing the right health insurance plan might be the most important purchase you are going to make in a year. While comparing different offers from many insurance companies, make sure to check on what dependents you can include in your coverage.
Health insurance and tax dependents
Eligible dependents for health insurance are not the same with different insurance companies. However, dependents on your taxes are eligible to be dependents for health insurance anytime, since it is mandatory to provide health insurance for all tax dependents, according to healthcare.gov
Spouse as a dependent
When buying a health insurance plan for yourself, don’t miss to ask which dependents you can include. There are not many obstacles in adding a spouse as a dependent in your health insurance plan. Married couples have up to 60 days to enroll their spouse in a new plan. In case you choose to purchase a family plan on a health insurance exchange, even if you have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, you probably won’t be qualified for Obamacare subsidies.
Children as dependents
The most important dependents you would like to include in your health insurance plane are your children, and they are qualified to be dependents if the following criteria are met:
- Relationship with you – Child has to be your biological or adopted child, stepchild or foster child. You can also include their brothers, sisters, half brothers, half sisters, or their own children.
- Income – In case the child is working, earned income can’ be higher than half of the cost of their support expenses. This is because children can’t be their own primary source of support.
- Age – A child can’t be your dependent if it is older than 26.
- Tax filing – If they file a mutual tax return for that year, a child can’t be your health insurance dependent.
- Residency – Child needs to have at least 6 months of residency with you. This means the child doesn’t have to live with you at the moment of their enrollment in your health insurance plan.
- Other requirements – One child can be a dependent only for one household. It does not matter if they are married or not if they have or have not a job and if they are eligible to enroll in their employer’s insurance.
Children and spouse are most common dependents to be added to your health insurance. However, you can include other relatives as well, but make sure they met the following qualifications:
- Income – they should have less than $3,000 gross annual income
- Dependent – if you are the only one who named them as a dependent
- Financial support – if you are responsible for providing more than half of their support
- Length of residency – you can also add other relatives if they meet the above-mentioned criteria and if they have lived at least a year in your house.
Health insurance coverage for dependent
After you named your child, spouse or relative as your health insurance dependent, they will be able to use the same insurance plan or plans you are enrolled. According to the Small Business Administration, the person you claimed for your dependent can enroll in a dental plan or the health insurance plan, or even both. Be careful in choosing the right health insurance plan and insurance company, and make sure to check which family members are eligible to be your dependents.