Did You Know – Health Insurance Companies May Now Require Proof of Your Relationship to Dependents for Coverage

Navigating the how-to’s of health insurance can get confusing especially when looking to select a policy. For those who are looking to add a dependent for coverage on the insurance policy, there are a few extra steps you will need to take. Many health insurance companies now require proof of your relationship to the dependent you are looking to add to your policy. To understand who is eligible for dependency you can read more here.

The shift in proof of relationship requirements happened when health insurance companies started extending the age of eligible dependents to 26 years old. Prior to the health care reform, most insurance companies did not cover dependents over the age of 23. This change meant that companies would have to pay more per employee for health insurance. Companies wanted to make sure no one was trying to trick the benefits system by having an ineligible dependent on their policy, so the proof of relationship documentation went into effect.

Proving your relationship to the dependent is easy if you have the following documents:

Acceptable forms of proof for a spouse:

  • Government certified Marriage Certificate and most recently filed tax return or proof of joint ownership (bank statement or lease)


  • Signed marriage license and proof of joint ownership

Acceptable forms of proof for a partner:

  • Government certified Civil Union Certificate and proof of joint ownership that is no more than 6 months old

Acceptable forms of proof for children (biological/adopted/stepchild):

  • Government certified birth certificate


  • Hospital issued birth certificate if child is being added onto the policy after a recent birth
  • Adoption certification


  • Adoption placement and petition for adoption
  • Government certified birth certificate, and government certified marriage certificate, and most recently filed tax return


  • Government certified birth certificate, and government certified marriage certificate, and proof of joint ownership that is no more than six months old


  • Government certified birth certificate, and government issues civil union certificate, and proof of joint ownership that is no more than six months old


  • Government certified birth certificate and signed marriage license


  • Government certified birth certificate and government certified Civil Union Certificate

Acceptable forms of proof for a legal ward or foster child:

  • Government certified birth certificate and court ordered document of legal custody


  • Government certified birth certificate and foster care documents

*Documentation requirements may vary upon health care provider.

Make sure you have the proper proof of relationship ready when you go to add a dependent onto your insurance policy. For help obtaining government-issued vital records, contact VitalChek. We are a leading provider of government certified vital records with our quick and easy to use online ordering platform.


  1. Yes my husband’s company is requiring that we show proof of marriage license faxed to the group that was verifying that we were married now they’re saying that our marriage license is insufficient source of proof that we are married and they are wanting us to provide another form of proof that we are married such as utility bills, car loan, joint ownership of property, joint banking account documentation. We married later in life we already had our vehicles, checking accounts we do not have joint anything except our childrend. The company is not being very helpful at all in fact they have been rude and disrespectful. I am a stay at home mother with our children. Insurance through my husband’s company is the most economical way for us to receive insurance for me. We have checked on getting an insurance policy for me through the Affordable Healthcare Act and it is actually unaffordable. In fact going through the Affordable Healthcare Act is more to insure me then to have a policy for our family under my husband at his work. The last thing that was said to us was provide what we want or your wife will not have insurance. So my question is what are people doing to prove to their companies that their marriage is true when they do not have property or anything in joint name? An we do not have our tax forms because we have not filed taxes in several years due caring for elderly family members and it’s not like we are the government they owe us.

    1. Hello and Thank you for your question.
      Typically a certified marriage certificate is sufficient proof of legal marriage. A marriage license will not prove you are legally married since it is obtain before you are actually married. A marriage license is also only good for a certain amount of time.
      You can obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the state or county you were married in unless if you purchased your marriage license in New York. New York requires you to obtain the marriage certificate from the same county/state office that you obtained your marriage license. You can also order your marriage certificate through our services at http://www.vitalchek.com or call our office at 1-800-255-2414. We are the authorized ordering service for the state and county vital records offices
      Hopefully this information was helpful.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  2. My company is requiring proof of joint owner ship like a bill or account. My husband moved in with me so I did not change anything. I am being told now they are going to drop him even though we have supplied them with a certified married license. Can someone tell me if this is legal and what can I do?

    1. Hello Ms. Cardwell. Thank you for your question. Unfortunately we cannot offer you any legal answers but suggest you seek out a HR specialist within your company if possible. They should be able to offer suggestions toward a solution to this problem.

  3. I am my childs legal father and need per the support agreement to add my 2 children to my health insurance. I am not on my youngest childs birth certificate and was never married to their mother. I have a support agreement. My insurance is asking for their birth certificates, I do not have copies of this, mom is not cooperating, the attorney general is saying I must get them added and my insurance is giving me 30 days to produce proof they are my children. Not sure what to do here to get this done quickly, also the children live in CA and I live in a different state?

    1. Hello Ty. The rules that govern who is eligible to receive a copy of an individual’s birth certificate vary from state to state. Therefore, we suggest you contact the vital records agency that issued your child’s birth certificate to determine the steps you need take to get the documentation you need for your insurance company.

  4. My self employed husband recently took a position with a company that provides free health insurance, vision, and dental to the employee. We decided it would be worth it for me to drop him from my employer coverage and save over $200/month in premium and spousal surcharge. However, my employer wants proof of his coverage at his company. It’s not a problem, my husband will have their HR write a letter on their letterhead stating when his insurance will become active, however, I’m curious why they need that information to “drop” coverage on a family member?

    1. Hello Kathy! Great question. Since the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have insurance, it is more than likely that your insurer is required to have proof of new insurance before they can legally drop your husband from your coverage.

  5. My husband’s employer will not insure me due to my employer offering ins. Forcing us to pay 2 deductibles, 2 premium. My employer does not offer dental so he is trying to add me to his dental plan. We send them ss card, copy of marriage licence. Now they want a copy of my 1040!!!! This is insane and invasion of my privacy . Why would they want my tax return ?

    1. Hello Stacy and thanks for your question. While a copy of the marriage certificate proves that you and your husband were indeed married, it does not offer any proof as to whether you are still together. More than likely, they want a copy of your tax return as verification that you and your husband are indeed still married.

  6. Hello, I had a child on November 2, 2016 my child was suppose to be covered under my employer coverage. I was sent a paper stating that I needed to send a questionnaire paper and a birth certificate. Somewhere in the mix of things I only send in the questionnaire paper and did not attach the birth certificate which needed to be submitted by jan. 8 2017 in the 62 day window….I was not notified that it was not turned in. After my son was already terminated from insurance I received an insurance card. So I thought everything was OK in regards to insurance for my son and myself. But Jan. 11, 2017 patient accountant calls to tell me he has no insurance for 2016 and now I have no way of paying the delivery bill. I thought everyone had to have insurance. What can I do from here?

    1. Hello Taylor. Congratulations on your new baby. We’re sorry to hear you are having issues with insurance for your son. We recommend you contact the insurance company to find out if you have any recourse regarding this situation. If you cannot get it resolved with the insurance company, reach out to the hospital accounting office to see if they will work with you to set up a payment plan. Good luck.

  7. VitalChek is misleading. I submitted my request for a marriage certificate and though there was a notice that I might have to pay additional charges – The visuals or indications on the site page lead you to believe that it will be $24 total.
    What comes next after paying is that it says the State of California requires additional proof and you are required to download their proof of identity form and take that to a notary.
    What the site should have said or have a statement saying that the “State of California requires additional proof and or documentation” as they would already know this for all states. I would have cancelled at that point or given it a second thought. This will delay the whole process further and make it all sadly more costly and possibly a waste of time. Thanks for the visual misrepresentation!

    1. Hello, Raymond. We’re sorry you are frustrated with the ordering process on our site. Please email us at vitals.research@vitalchek. com and we’ll be happy to look into this for you.

  8. I have a complicated question and perhaps you could out.

    I had insurance on my own (before married)from Jan 2016-July 2016

    I got married in June 2016

    cancelled my insurance and made the cancellation effective on August 2016. In Mid-July my husband mentioned his boss gave misinformation regarding the time frame we had to get me on his insurance. He verified this with insurance company and they agreed ed we didn’t qualify for a special enrollment period. Due to that information I immediately went to the marketplace to appy for insurance out of fear of being penalized. I went through the registration process, paid the first month down, and was covered. After some more investigating it did look like we were able to have me on his insurance. I was immediately added on my husbands insurance and cancelled the marketplace insurance immediately. From the looks of the 1095 A it shows to be a month of coverage through the marketplace. In that time my husband obtained employment somewhere else and I was successfully added on his other job for the 2016 tax season.

    My tax situation looks complicated and I’m fearful due to how complicated it is that will result in us having issues.

    Does my insurance before getting married under my unmarried last name necessary for tax people to know? That insurance information is legitimate, I only have the old insurance card to prove that insurance was in possession at that time. It shows my first name but also shows my last name before getting married.

    Should I provide my 1095 A to my tax prepare for only a month of marketplace insurance and even though I cancelled it?

    Will the IRS need my husbands 1095 C to prove my coverage through the two jobs he had in 2016? I have read the 1095 B and C is not needed to file. But due to how complicated this situation is would it be advisable?

    Does it matter we married mid year?

    Note: Did change last name with Social Security and DMV.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated to have some extra piece of mind.


    1. Hello Brittany. Thanks for reaching out to us. Since tax and insurance regulations often change, we recommend you present your questions to a qualified tax professional who should be knowledgeable on the latest requirements and can answer most of your questions. Good luck!

  9. Can a company force someone by threat of loss of insurance coverage if they are not given a photo copy for them to KEEP of someone’s child birth certifiacte? If a company were to say that just seeing a copy of the certificate is not enough, we want to keep a photo copy?

    Same with Marriage certificate.

    What if a company demanded a photo copy to KEEP of someone’s JOINT tax return?

    ALL this just to say everyone is eligible for there insurance plan.

    This is hypothetical of course.

    1. Thank you for your question. Depending upon the regulations of the state in which you are employed, such actions may or may not be acceptable. In general, you are correct in wanting to keep your family’s vital record documents secure and not hand out copies for other organizations or individuals to keep unless necessary. If you are required to provide such information, we suggest asking about the level of security for the documents being kept by the organization. Thank you and best regards.

  10. I’ve been on my husbands insurance with Walgreens for over 8 years and they are requesting way to much personal information , marriage certificate , tax returns , can we fight this in any way ? I really don’t want some third party to have this information

    1. Hello Sandra, More than likely, the requests from Walgreens for so much information is directly related to the provisions of current health care legislation. Many employers will only cover a spouse or dependent if they do not have access to coverage through their own employer. Therefore, the often require proof of relationship status – marriage certificates, tax returns – to verify the spouse or dependent is eligible.

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