Posts Tagged - ‘dependents’

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Employers Audit Group Health Insurance Dependents

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Image: joebeone under CC 3.0

A large percentage of many employers’ costs consist of their benefits packages, including health insurance coverage. Even the partial cost of an individual employee or a family can be significant. Now, recent reforms force companies to further expand their family coverage to all adult dependents under the age of 26, regardless of whether or not they’re enrolled in college.

As a result, firms are looking to save money. Therefore, more of them are conducting audits–meant to find out if the non-employees they are paying for truly are related dependents of their workers. They will be dropped from your policy if you can’t prove that they are. You may even have to pay back the money spent on their health care. The worst part is that if you ignore the audit, legitimate dependents could be dropped, too!

Generally, nephews and nieces and ex-husbands or wives aren’t considered dependents by most companies. Experts believe that a business with 10,000 employees could save up to $1 million per year on its group health insurance expenses through auditing.

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Family Health Insurance Rates Rise With Adult Children

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Image: justinknabb under CC 3.0

The recent healthcare reform law allows parents to keep adult children on their family health insurance until the age of 27. How many families will take advantage?

It may be fewer than you think. That’s because premiums will most likely rise if an extra person is added to the policy, especially if the young adult has a pre-existing condition. None other than the federal government admits that this will probably happen until 2014, when similar health rating is banned. Unfortunately, adult children with pre-existing conditions are the ones most likely to need a parent’s coverage, because finding affordable health insurance on the open market is extremely difficult for them.

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Even Married Adult Children Can Use Parent’s Health Insurance!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Image: Ian Sane under CC 3.0

One of the immediate benefits of healthcare reform is that adult children can extend their coverage on a parent’s health insurance plan as a dependent for a longer period of time–until age 26.

In most cases, that is no longer necessary once they get married; the otherwise uninsured young adult would get on their spouse’s coverage. However, the recession has put a wrinkle in that plan: their new husband or wife may be in similar circumstances. Whether he or she is unemployed, underemployed, or working for a company that does not offer health benefits, they may be unable to afford family health insurance at the moment. They may even have a pre-existing condition that prevents them from finding coverage altogether.

You can thank the package of reconciliation fixes for including this exception; the initial Senate bill that passed didn’t. In addition, you can’t stay on a parent’s plan if your employer begins offering health insurance coverage.

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Dependents To Lose Group Health Insurance Coverage?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

(Image: jeanbowe under CC 3.0)

Some worry that health insurance reform will have some inadvertent impact. Specifically, it could leave a previously insured population uninsured: dependents of employees, who currently receive coverage from their spouse’s or parent’s employer.

Why would this be the case? In 2014, firms with over 50 employees will have to provide coverage to their full-time employees or pay a $2,000 fine per-employee. Since the bill requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and prevents them from rescinding policies once a person becomes ill, health insurance rates may go up in the short run. The employer and individual mandates are supposed to mitigate that impact by increasing the size of the insurance pool, but that doesn’t stop companies from worrying about costs.

In order to save money on group health insurance, many employers may choose to drop coverage for dependents, which isn’t forbidden in the legislation. Ironically, one of the immediate benefits of healthcare reform that has been touted is that adult children can now remain as dependents on their parents’ insurance plans until they turn 26. If that coverage is dropped, it’d put them back in the same predicament.

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