My 16 year old daughter is pregnant. Will my group health insurance coverage cover her expenses?
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Asked June 11, 2012
In most group health insurance plans, coverage is limited to the insured party, their spouse, and their immediate dependents. That means that you could add your daughter to your health insurance plan during the next open enrollment. Similarly, since your daughter is a minor, her child would be considered a current dependent as well. The problem here is that the line of descent is two generations deep, and some insurance companies will balk at providing coverage for the offspring of another person, even a covered, dependent child.
Read your policy carefully, or talk with a representative of your insurance company. Some policies specifically identify who the potential relatives are who can be added to a policy, while others spell out conditions that must be met when adding new members. Since insurance law is governed by each state, and policy guidelines are developed by each insurer separately, there is no way to know ahead of time whether your grandchild is qualified for coverage or not.
One option that could be considered, especially in a situation where the child is known to need medical care, is to adopt your grandchild as your own, bypassing the rules of health insurance and limitations on preexisting conditions. As an adopted child, you would have the option of adding him or her at the next open enrollment, and coverage would be handled exactly as though the child were your own offspring.
Answered June 11, 2012 by Anonymous