Who All Can Individual Add as Dependents on their Health Insurance Plans

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Individuals may be aware of the fact that when they purchase a health insurance plan for themselves, then they can also get the coverage extended to their dependents. Individuals who are planning to purchase a family health insurance plan to provide coverage to their dependents, then they need to make sure that their dependent is eligible to be included under their plan before finally purchasing the plan.

Tax Dependents Are Counted as Health Insurance Dependents

According to healthcare.gov, individuals’ family members who all are dependent on their taxes are also dependent on their health insurance plans. Individuals are expected to provide health insurance to their family members whom they claim as a tax dependent. Therefore, individuals who wish to include a child or other relative as a tax dependent should also ensure that they are included in their health insurance plan also.

Enrollees Children are their Prime Dependents

Individuals enrolling in a health plan should be aware of the fact that their children probably are their prime dependents and individuals can include any child as dependents, who fulfill the following criteria:


Children should be below the age of 26 years.

Relationship with the Enrollee

Individuals can include a child as their dependent only if the child is their biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or a foster child of whom the individual is taking care of. If the children have any brother, sister, half-sisters, half-brothers, or their own children, then individuals can also include them on their health plan.

Residency duration

A child will qualify as a dependent of a person only if the child has lived with the person for at least a six-month period.

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Income Contribution

Someone can be considered a dependent while working and contributing to their expenses, though they should not be their own primary source of support. Thus, a working child will qualify as dependent only if the child’s income is less than half of the cost of their support expenses.

Tax Filing

A child filing a joint tax return cannot be considered as dependent.

Other Claims

A child can be claimed as a dependent by only one household. Thus, if a child has been claimed as a dependent by someone else, then another person cannot claim that child as a dependent, regardless of the relationship with the child.

Besides being aware of the criteria that make a child eligible to qualify as a dependent, individuals should also know about the factors that a child needs to meet to qualify as a dependent. It is not necessary for the child to be living with the individual at the time he/she enrolls the child in their health plan. However, the child is required to fulfill the residency requirement. Children’s marital status will also not affect their eligibility as dependents, or whether they are having a job and are eligible to enroll in an employer’s health insurance plan. As long as children meet other requirements, individuals can include them as dependent on their plan.

Adding a Spouse as Dependent

In most cases, individuals are allowed to add a spouse to their health insurance plan. Therefore, after getting married, individuals have a time period of 60 days to enroll in a new plan or add their spouse as a dependent. Individuals should keep in mind that they or their spouse have access to an employer-sponsored health plan, but they choose to buy their own family plan on a health insurance exchange, then they will likely not qualify for Obamacare subsidies.

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Additional Dependents

Besides child and spouse, individuals can also include other relatives as dependents under the following conditions:

  • If that relative is not named as a dependent by anyone else.
  • If that relative gross annual income is less than $3,000.
  • If the individual is responsible for providing more than half of the financial support to that relative.

Besides relatives, individuals can include others too who have lived in their house for at least a year, provided they meet all the above-mentioned criteria.

Coverage Considerations

Once individuals name someone as their dependent, then they will have access to the same plan or set of plans that individuals have. Depending on the source from where individuals obtain health insurance, their dependent may also choose among the plans that the individual possesses. Their dependent may be able to enroll in either the health plan or the dental plan, or they can enroll in both as per the Small Business Administration.

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