Can a Parent Have His or Her Married Daughter on His or Her Health/Auto Insurance Plan?

Written by James Hirby | Fact checked by The Law Dictionary staff |  

If you enjoy solid health insurance coverage through your employer or group health plan, you might be wondering whether your married daughter is eligible for inclusion on your policy. After all, you were able to include your child on your policy before her 18th birthday. Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, you might suspect that she's eligible for inclusion on your policy after her 18th birthday as well. Before you spend an afternoon on the phone with the Health and Human Services Administration, take a moment to consider your options. Depending upon your daughter's age and employment status, you might be able to add her to your health insurance policy without throwing your household's budget into disarray.

Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, a child is entitled to remain attached to his or her parents' health insurance policy until his or her 26th birthday. Prior to 2009, many health insurance companies refused to extend such "parental coverage" to non-dependent adult children. The Affordable Care Act has made such refusals illegal. While a parent or child can voluntarily decline joint parental coverage, all of the insurance companies that do business in the United States are required to honor qualifying joint coverage requests.

In other words, your married daughter can remain on your health insurance policy until her 26th birthday. This has no effect on her marital status or tax-filing protocols: She may remain legally married during the effective coverage period and is entitled to file a joint tax return with her spouse. However, this rule does come with certain restrictions. For instance, your daughter can't include her spouse or children on your health insurance policy. If they wish to procure health insurance, they must do so by other means.

Unfortunately, this restriction may dissuade your daughter from accepting your offer of health insurance coverage. If she's the primary breadwinner in her household, it's likely that she'd be able to obtain health insurance through her employer. If her spouse lacks a full-time job, your daughter's employer-sponsored health insurance plan might represent the family's only realistic coverage option. As such, your daughter might opt to decline your offer of coverage and sign up for her own group health insurance plan.

On the other hand, your daughter can remain on your auto insurance policy indefinitely. As long as she lives in your household, you'll be able to cover her vehicle on your personal "family plan." Once she moves out, she'll have to obtain her own coverage with her spouse.

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