View Full Version : Employer's Health Insurance - Can You Put Parents on Your Policy?
I have to say I really don't know much about health insurance and all, but here goes ....
I've talked about this countless times here, so I'm sorry if some of you have read this before. :( My MIL has moved in with us. Right now everything is up in the air. She doesn't know where she really wants to live, and FIL (who left MIL 2 years ago for another woman out of the blue) is on the verge of going bankrupt so the house that they co-own (in the divorce decree, he has to either pay for the mortgage and all utilities and MIL lives there "rent free" or he pays her $2500 a month in alimony) will likely be foreclosed on. Right now, she is not working and really can't either. BUT she does need health care and we were thinking about trying to add her on to my husband's policy at work (it wouldn't increase our pay out, because it's one price for singles and another price for families, as far as I know, no matter how large). His point of view is that he's totally supporting her (she is not receiving alimony yet) and she is living in his household as a dependent parent. Would she be able to get coverage through his policy? Of course, this could all be moot because his husband (a large hospital) is "self-insured." She *really* needs new glasses and has an ailment that needs to be attended to. Any advice?
03-18-2010, 08:11 PM
Worth looking into but I sincerely doubt it. I have lots of friends in their 20s who still depend on their parents but they ALL get cut off from family health plans when they hit 21 (I was too). Only child dependents permitted. Allowing elderly parents to go on to subsidized group health plans like that would be extremely expensive.
I'd be very very nervous about her being uninsured though. Perhaps AAA or AARP or some similar organization could have a plan for her? My ILs were paying something absurd like $1200 /month for health insurance and it ended up being a very good thing -- they were both diagnosed with very serious and very very expensive illnesses shortly after getting the plan.
03-18-2010, 08:18 PM
I have never heard of an employer that allowed that.
03-18-2010, 08:29 PM
I don't think that's possible. They only allow your children to be on your policy until age 19 and full time students up to age 22 (I think??). If the health care bill passes, they would have to cover children up to 26, so kids who aren't able to obtain insurance of their own in their early 20s could still be covered by their parents. But, I don't think there are provisions for parents to be covered by their children (and I'm pretty sure that never happens now).
Would your MIL be eligible for either Medicare of Medicaid? FWIW, Medicaid would be expanded under the health care reform bill to 133% of poverty (standard differes state to state now, but in most cases is much lower).
03-18-2010, 08:31 PM
not unless she is your dependant
That really stinks, but I understand your rationale. I'm not sure if she would be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. She has been under psychiatric care for several years now, which *should* have made her eligible for Social Security (at least that's what I was told), but they denied her. Last year, she slipped on ice and broke her arm in several places and it will never be the same (her dominant hand, to boot) ... her long-time profession, a certified nursing assistant, requires heavy lifting and she is unable to do that anymore since the injury to her arm and shoulder from the ice fall. I don't know what the answer is, but I need to find something for her. From everything I've read, she should at least be able to get Social Security disability (she's 60), which would make her eligible for Medicare then, right?
03-19-2010, 07:11 AM
If her X is nearing bankruptcy and she is dependent on him, and his assets are going away, then it's likely she will be eligible for Medicaid soon if she's not already. Especially once the health care bill passes because there will be a lot of people who become eligible for Medicaid that weren't before. If she's 65 or older, she's eligible for Medicare.
03-19-2010, 07:17 AM
Here are the Medicare eligibility requirements.
At age 65, everyone is eligible, but you may have to pay premiums depending on the work history of you and your spouse. I'm not sure how that works in cases of divorce, so I would call the toll free number.
At work I can get long term care insurance for parents and in-laws, but not health insurance.
03-19-2010, 07:49 AM
When MIL was living with us we were able to find a local program that gave her access to a PCP for very reduced fees (I think $20/visit?) and they also had a prescription program and eyecare portion where she was able to get new glasses for very cheap. We found out about it through a friend that was a social worker at the local hospital.
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