health insurance dependent eligibility

Understanding Dependent Eligibility for Health Insurance

Health insurance policies can leave many people scratching their heads in confusion. Insurance policies are long, use terms most of us don’t easily understand, and the weight of their importance looms over us. Understanding the rules on covering dependents is one of the very important parts you do not want to skim over, whether you have a spouse and/or a children on your policy there are rules to be followed. Not complying with dependent eligibility could result in added stress from a dependency audit from your employer or health insurance provider. Avoiding an audit is easy to do by providing the right documentation to prove your dependents are eligible for coverage on your health insurance.

At VitalChek we realize that understanding dependent eligibility can be difficult. There are common questions like “who is eligible to be considered a dependent?” or “how do I prove my child’s dependent eligibility?” and we want to help you answer these questions with a comprehensive guide to understanding dependent eligibility.

What does dependent eligibility mean?

Dependent eligibility refers to who can be added onto an insurance policy that is held by someone else. This is normally seen with spouses and children.

Who is considered an eligible dependent?

An eligible dependent can be a legal spouse or a child. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans are required to provide coverage to adult dependents up to the age of 26 years old. This means that a child can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until their 26th birthday. Some health insurance policies may allow you to cover children older than 26 under your policy; however, you will need to ask your insurer about their age limits.

My insurance requires proof of dependency, what documents will I need?

Proof of dependency may vary given your personal situation, but many times there are common forms which will typically be required to prove your dependent is eligible to be or stay on your policy, as shown below.

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)

OR

  • 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 a biological child:

  • Government certified birth certificate

OR

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

Acceptable forms of proof for an adopted child:

  • Adoption certification

OR

  • Adoption placement and petition for adoption

Acceptable forms of proof for a stepchild:

  • Government certified birth certificate, and government certified marriage certificate, and most recently filed tax return

OR

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

OR

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

OR

  • Government certified birth certificate and signed marriage license

OR

  • 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

OR

  • Government certified birth certificate and foster care documents


Do you need any government certified vital records so you can add an eligible dependent to your health insurance policy? Contact us at Vitalchek.com and place your order quickly and easily. We look forward to being able to help you obtain the necessary vital records to take care of your closest loved ones.

Leave A Comment