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Can my stepchildren be covered under health insurance?

A brief overview...
  • Insurers are not legally required to cover your stepchildren. They are only legally required to cover legal children, both biological and adoptive
  • Many health insurance policies do cover stepchildren, especially more expensive policies
  • If you can’t get your children covered on your policy, try getting them covered on your spouse’s policy or find a new policy that does cover stepchildren

These days, it is very common for married people to have stepchildren from their spouse’s previous relationship. There are many married people who are seeking to cover their stepchildren on their health insurance policies. This may be a little tricky, depending on the policy and on the insurer that administers it.

Many policies are written so that stepchildren may be added, but some (especially less expensive policies) are not. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to get your stepchildren health insurance but your policy doesn’t allow this, you do have several options. Read on to find out what you should do in these situations.

Read on to find out what you should do in these situations. And don’t forget to enter your zip code above for free health insurance quotes for the whole family!

The Requirements for Health Insurance to Cover Legal Children

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To understand whether or not your health insurance will cover your stepchildren, you must first understand what the legal requirements are for health insurance policies regarding the coverage of children.

Policies are required to cover all children that the policyholder is legally the parent of. This includes both biological children and adopted children. It does not, however, include stepchildren.

There have been proposals to include stepchildren in these legal requirements if the stepchildren are dependents of the policyholder. This is how many policies are structured, but it is not yet the law, so some policies do not allow stepchildren to be added to the coverage, even if they are dependents.

How to Check if Your Health Insurance Covers Stepchildren

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There are several ways to check and see if your health insurance covers stepchildren. If you know at the time you are comparing insurance quotes online that you will need to cover your stepchildren, you can check the available info to see the policy’s rules on dependents.

If you already have your policy, you can either contact your insurer or look through your policy documents. It may be quicker and easier to contact your insurer, especially if you can send them an email or an online message about the situation.

If your insurer only offers customer service over the phone, it may be quicker to look through your policy documents. Many health insurance customer service phone lines have very long wait times.

What to Do if Your Health Insurance Does Cover Stepchildren

If you have confirmed that your health insurance does cover stepchildren, it is time to add your stepchildren to your account. You may able to do this online, or you may have to call your insurer. Check your policy documents to see what the steps are for adding new people to the policy.

Keep in mind that your premium will almost certainly go up when you add your stepchildren.

What to Do if Your Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover Stepchildren

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If you have confirmed that your health insurance doesn’t cover stepchildren, then you must find another way to get them covered. First, check and see if your spouse can add them to their insurance policy (if they’re on a separate policy). If this is not an option, you may want to check out your state’s public health insurance option.

Many states have excellent public health insurance available for children who cannot be covered on their parent’s policies. If you don’t live in one of these states, check out insurance quotes online to find a policy that you can buy just for your stepchildren.

How to Find Health Insurance Policies That Do Cover Stepchildren

You may have a policy that doesn’t cover stepchildren, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a policy that will cover these kids.

Many jobs offer a selection of health insurance plans as benefits. You may want to take a second look at the other plans available to see if you could add your stepchildren to one of these policies.

If your spouse has a job that also offers them a selection of plans, they should check and find out if one of the plans would allow them to cover all of the kids.

Increased Costs

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As previously mentioned, it will likely cost money to add your stepchildren to your plan. It may cost more to add your stepchildren than it would to add your legal children. This differs from plan to plan, as does the amount that your monthly premium will go up.

Of course, it’s not all bad news. With more people on your health insurance plan, you’ll meet your deductible more quickly. However, you will also likely incur more co-pay costs. How much more depends on how much medical care you and everybody else on the plan ends up using.

How to Save Money on Policies That Cover Stepchildren

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If you have incurred increased health insurance costs due to adding your stepchildren to your plan, you’ll no doubt be looking to save money on these costs. There are several ways to do this.

The first and likely easiest way is to compare insurance quotes online and find a cheaper plan that will still allow you to cover your stepchildren. In the meantime, your stepchildren will have coverage from your original plan, so there will be no break in coverage for them.

The other popular way to save money while still covering your stepchildren is to use all available tax deductions and credits. There are many available for healthcare usage, especially with regards to the care of children. You may want to hire a tax professional to help you find and use all of these credits and deductions.

How to Get a Health Insurer to Cover Your Stepchildren

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One common way to get a health insurer to cover your stepchildren (and to get all of the other benefits afforded to legal children) is to adopt them. Obviously, this is a huge decision and can be a long process. As this article explains, there are ways to get your stepchildren covered without making them your legal children. However, it’ll be much easier if they are legally your children. Health insurance policies would be legally obligated to cover them.

However, it’ll be much easier if they are legally your children. Health insurance policies would be legally obligated to cover them.

Final Thoughts

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In conclusion, your stepchildren can possibly be covered by your health insurance. If they aren’t eligible to be covered, you should see if you can get them on your spouse’s plan or a government plan. This may end up being expensive, but you can keep costs down if you’re smart about the way you get your stepchildren covered.

As a last resort, you may want to consider adopting your stepchildren. This would provide you with many benefits, not just health insurance coverage.

Enter your zip code below to comparison shop today and discover the best health insurance for you and your family!

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