Family Members Who All can be Added to your Individual Health Plan

Individual Health Plans

How nice it would be, if you could add your extended family members to your health plans, but the fact is that health insurance companies need to draw lines, and so only specific family members can be included in the below-given circumstances.

Step and Foster Child can be Included in Your Plan

If you are getting married, then your spouse’s child can be included in your health plan until the age of 26 years. However, if you are having employer-sponsored coverage that provides benefits to children, then you will be given 30 days to enroll the new dependent. A child will be eligible to get coverage under your plan if he/she is your biological child, adopted child, stepchild, or foster child. Within the 30 days, you have to enroll both your new spouse and the children as per the federal law. The federal rules provide you 30 days however, your employer could give you a longer period of time, thereby giving employees a good amount f time to make a decision and complete the enrollment. It is not mandatory for employers to offer health insurance to an employee’s children.

Unmarried Man can also include his child on his employer-based health plan

An unmarried man can include his child if his job-based plan covers children under federal law. The employer cannot mandate the condition that the child should reside with the employee or should be financially dependent to be included under his coverage. Though the plan may require a birth certification as a proof, or require verification of the dependent relationship. However, some of the plans are strict in their eligibility requirements and may require dependent or biological verification compared to other plans.

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Parents who are legal dependent

If your parents are living with you and are claimed as your legal dependent, but they are not old enough to obtain Medicare, then very health plans provide coverage to the parents of the employees. Most of the health plans have limited dependents to only spouse and children and there is no mandate under federal law ensuring that the employer’s health plan must provide coverage to the parents of the employees.

Children of Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Some of the individual health plans allow unmarried couples to be on the same plan along with their legal dependent if they all are living together or any of the partners has been legally instructed to provide insurance to the child. The same rule is followed by group health plans too, but it may depend upon carrier and employer. In some of the states, employers have the option to decide whether to provide coverage to their employee’s domestic partners or not.


If your adult child who is on your health plan has a baby, then only a few of the states have mandated grandchild as eligible dependents, as per the Council for Affordable Health Insurance. Though, you are more likely to find that the coverage will not be extended to your grandchild.

Legally Separated or Divorced Spouse

If you and your spouse have filed for a legal separation, then generally a divorcing spouse doesn’t remain on the plan and is removed by the spouse having a job-based plan. Legal separation and divorce are both COBRA qualifying events and the divorced or separated partner can continue group health coverage through COBRA.

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