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Can You Put Someone on Your Health Insurance Who Is Not a Family Member?

One of the most difficult questions for HR representatives to answer is who can cover employee health insurance. Once you get over husband and kids, the laws are no longer as broken and dry as they once were about who can and who cannot be covered. In most cases, it depends on the laws of your state and who the state recognizes as a family member.

In most states, children qualify as family members who may be covered by the Family Health Insurance Plan. This applies regardless of whether the stepfather adopted the children or not.

If a man conceives a woman but does not marry or live with her, the man can still cover his child with his health insurance. This is common practice in all 50 states.

Civil marriage

If you live in a state that recognizes common-law marriage and your marriage qualifies according to state guidelines, then you should be able to legally cover your common-law spouse on your health insurance. If your state doesn't recognize common law relationships, you probably won't be able to cover your partner.

The same situation arises for same-sex marriages. If same-sex unions are legal and recognized in your state, you should be able to cover your spouse with your health insurance. If your country used to recognize same-sex marriages but no longer is, you may not be so lucky.

If you live in a state that recognizes common law or same-sex marriages and then move to a state that does not, your relationship may not be legally binding and you may not be able to claim your spouse on your insurance. As you can imagine, things can get very complicated in these situations.

Elderly relatives

Most states allow you to include your elderly parents or older children with disabilities on your health insurance policy. In some states, this decision is left to the health insurance companies themselves. This means that you may need to apply to cover your older parent or disabled older child and wait for your application to be accepted.

Other friends and family

In every state in the country, it would be extremely difficult to have an aunt, uncle, or friend on your health insurance policy. However, you may be able to add these family members and friends to your health insurance if you are your legal guardian and responsible for your health care.

For the most part, insurance companies prefer to cover your immediate family only on your health insurance policy. However, there are cases when people outside of your immediate family may be eligible for coverage through your health insurance plan.