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Old 04-27-2011, 12:04 AM
 
42,394 posts, read 47,526,931 times
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Default Parents responsibility to provide health insurance to adult children

I've googled and googled. I'm coming up with conflicting information, none directly related to my question but hints that adult children have some rights via COBRA.

I have this young adult, just turned 18, who moved in with me recently. His mother kicked him out 7 months before his 18th birthday and while he was still a senior.

I've learned that she plans to cancel his health insurance at the beginning of June, when he graduates high school. (I'm actually surprised he still has health insurance.)

I started looking up laws to see if he will be eligable for COBRA after she cancels his insurance. I saw a law in NJ (I'm in PA) that says adult children are ineligible if the parent cancels coverage for all dependents. I know she isn't canceling coverage for his siblings. That seems to hint that he may be eligible for COBRA when she cancels him.

I guess the best way to know for sure is to call the HR department, but he doesn't if he is covered through her or her husband's employer.

The reality is that it doesn't cost her a penny to keep him on her insurance. It costs the same for family coverage, regardless of how many children are on the insurance. The fact she's dropping his insurance angers me.

Does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:11 AM
 
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
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Not sure about your state, but here in AR, adult children do not have a right to be on their parents insurance unless they are in full-time education. Does he plan to go to college?
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:02 AM
 
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It probably depends on your state's laws. But are you sure it doesn't cost her more to insure him? I know we have to pay for each child on our policy. If she's not paying extra for him though, that does seem harsh.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:37 AM
 
13,569 posts, read 16,411,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin_ie View Post
Not sure about your state, but here in AR, adult children do not have a right to be on their parents insurance unless they are in full-time education. Does he plan to go to college?
This is incorrect. By federal law (aka Obamacare), adult children are now insurable up to age 26 on their parents policies regardless of their situation. They can be married, working full time and have the option of getting their own employer based coverage and still be under their parents plan until age 26. The last part (employer coverage available) is not 100% true until 2014, currently there is a grandfather clause that allows adult children with access to coverage to be denied coverage under their parents plan, but like I said, that ends in 2014.

In this case, state laws do not trump the federal laws. States are required to set 26 as the minimum age, some states (NY and PA for instance) have extended this to age 30 with some additional exceptions/tests to get the coverage.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:53 AM
 
13,569 posts, read 16,411,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I've googled and googled. I'm coming up with conflicting information, none directly related to my question but hints that adult children have some rights via COBRA.

I have this young adult, just turned 18, who moved in with me recently. His mother kicked him out 7 months before his 18th birthday and while he was still a senior.

I've learned that she plans to cancel his health insurance at the beginning of June, when he graduates high school. (I'm actually surprised he still has health insurance.)

I started looking up laws to see if he will be eligable for COBRA after she cancels his insurance. I saw a law in NJ (I'm in PA) that says adult children are ineligible if the parent cancels coverage for all dependents. I know she isn't canceling coverage for his siblings. That seems to hint that he may be eligible for COBRA when she cancels him.

I guess the best way to know for sure is to call the HR department, but he doesn't if he is covered through her or her husband's employer.

The reality is that it doesn't cost her a penny to keep him on her insurance. It costs the same for family coverage, regardless of how many children are on the insurance. The fact she's dropping his insurance angers me.

Does anyone have any ideas?
Hopes, the unfortunate answer is no, he would not be eligible for COBRA coverage. The reason why, is that under the new legislation extending coverage through age 26 (and PA's follow on taking it up to 30 in some situations) he will not have achieved a COBRA eligible event, since he will have not aged out of his mother's policy.

You do have a couple options though:

1. CHIP in PA covers children age 19 or younger for free or at reduced cost.

2. PA Special Care program is health insurance for the poor, that he might be eligible for.

The only issue you would have with those options is that if he is still legally his mother's dependent and therefore eligible to be on her group plan, they can deny coverage.

I'm sure the situation is complicated, but his mother needs to realize that the system is designed now to keep him on her health plan. The fact that she chooses to terminate the benefits on her own accord, while he remains eligible makes it very hard for him to qualify for anything else short of employer based coverage, especially if he is still tied to her, either through legal address, or is being claimed on her taxes.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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My friend cancelled everything on her 19 year old son - he knew better than she did, he was smarter, he could do it on his own. So she let him. He lived off the pity of others for awhile before sucking it up and supporting himself too. Best thing she could've done for him!

I suspect that's why this mother is doing this to her son. If he can 'do it all on his own', then he should. There are jobs out there, for 18 year olds, that provide health insurance - even McDonalds and Walmart have health plans. And school is no excuse - my junior and senior years of high school, I was working 40-50 hours a week (17 years old), pulling straight A's in honors classes in a GREAT high school. As a male, there are MORE job opportunities for someone to work a job (think factory, manufacturing, oil rigs, etc) that offers insurance than those available to females.

Perhaps instead of helping him find ways to continue living off his parents, you could help him become independent. He's 18 - time to 'man up'.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
1,235 posts, read 2,330,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
This is incorrect. By federal law (aka Obamacare), adult children are now insurable up to age 26 on their parents policies regardless of their situation.
I think you missread my post. I didn't say that parents cannot insure their adult kids, I said they do not have to.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:41 AM
 
42,394 posts, read 47,526,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
It probably depends on your state's laws. But are you sure it doesn't cost her more to insure him? I know we have to pay for each child on our policy. If she's not paying extra for him though, that does seem harsh.
In my state, insurance policies are sold in the following payment group option:

---employee only
---employee and spouse only
---employee and child
---family (one price regardless of how many dependents)

Since she has other children on her family coverage policy, it does not cost her a penny to keep him on the insurance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Hopes, the unfortunate answer is no, he would not be eligible for COBRA coverage. The reason why, is that under the new legislation extending coverage through age 26 (and PA's follow on taking it up to 30 in some situations) he will not have achieved a COBRA eligible event, since he will have not aged out of his mother's policy.
I just called one of the employer HR departments and had a generic discussion. I'm told that whenever someone is dropped from the insurance, they will send out a COBRA letter. I know that doesn't mean he'll qualify. But at least there's something that can be done. Oh, and the operator told me that her son recently turned 26 and her insurance only dropped by $6. He was her only child on her policy. That's how cheap it is to have children on the policy. It makes me sick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
You do have a couple options though:

1. CHIP in PA covers children age 19 or younger for free or at reduced cost.

2. PA Special Care program is health insurance for the poor, that he might be eligible for.

The only issue you would have with those options is that if he is still legally his mother's dependent and therefore eligible to be on her group plan, they can deny coverage.
Wow! I knew CHIP was an option. But it didn't occur to me that he might be denied because he's eligible to stay on her policy. Something tells me that he might have to take her to court.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I'm sure the situation is complicated, but his mother needs to realize that the system is designed now to keep him on her health plan. The fact that she chooses to terminate the benefits on her own accord, while he remains eligible makes it very hard for him to qualify for anything else short of employer based coverage, especially if he is still tied to her, either through legal address, or is being claimed on her taxes.
He's not tied to her via legal address. She won't be claiming him on her taxes going forward.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:42 AM
 
42,394 posts, read 47,526,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
My friend cancelled everything on her 19 year old son - he knew better than she did, he was smarter, he could do it on his own. So she let him. He lived off the pity of others for awhile before sucking it up and supporting himself too. Best thing she could've done for him!

I suspect that's why this mother is doing this to her son. If he can 'do it all on his own', then he should.
There are laws. She broke them. She kicked him out before he was 18. 9 months before graduating high school. In my state, a parent is legally responsible for a child until graduation. Now with the new insurance law changes, she very well might have an obligation to make insurance avaialble to him until he's 26 (or 30) if he doesn't qualify for any other coverage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
There are jobs out there, for 18 year olds, that provide health insurance - even McDonalds and Walmart have health plans.
Not for part time employees in my state. These companies don't provide full time employment in my area for entry level workers. There are very limited full time jobs available in retail and restaurant work in my area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
And school is no excuse - my junior and senior years of high school, I was working 40-50 hours a week (17 years old), pulling straight A's in honors classes in a GREAT high school.
He works as many hours as his employer will give him. He's working about 30 hours per week currently as a full time student.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
As a male, there are MORE job opportunities for someone to work a job (think factory, manufacturing, oil rigs, etc) that offers insurance than those available to females.
We have very limited factory, manufacturing and oil rig jobs in my region. What few jobs exist are filled by middle aged people who have worked there for decades. Not every part of the country has the same type of economy.
It's time to accept that not eveything is the same these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
Perhaps instead of helping him find ways to continue living off his parents, you could help him become independent.
First, staying on her health insurance isn't living off of her. It doesn't cost her a penny. Second, he's working towards independence. It doesn't happen overnight. He hasn't even graduated high school yet.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:46 AM
 
42,394 posts, read 47,526,931 times
Reputation: 27995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin_ie View Post
I think you missread my post. I didn't say that parents cannot insure their adult kids, I said they do not have to.
If he is denied coverage elsewhere because he's eligible under her insurance, our state representative will be made aware so he can propose legislation to correct the flaw in the system.

Heck, I hope her son drags her name through the newspapers if he's denied other coverage because of eligibility on her plan.
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