Can I Be Added to My Boyfriend's Health Insurance at Best Buy Even If We're Not Married?

Written by James Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

These days, finding an adequate health insurance policy can be demanding. Although many employers still offer robust group health insurance plans that cover a wide range of medical expenses, these are becoming more expensive with each passing year. In some states, health insurance can cost as much as $15,000 for a family of four. If you're looking to save some money on health insurance without putting your long-term health in jeopardy, you may be considering some unorthodox options. For instance, you may be hoping to obtain health insurance through your domestic partner's employer.

Since married couples are entitled to receive health benefits through joint employer-sponsored plans, it might seem logical that non-married domestic partners would be entitled to do the same. Unfortunately, this usually isn't the case. Few states offer robust legal protections for the non-married partners of individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance.

If you wish to garner legal recognition for your informal union without actually getting married, you have two options. First, you can register for a "civil partnership" through your state's tax authority. This is a complex process that may require you to provide a great deal of personal information. If you're not inclined to do this, you might be able to enter into a so-called "common law marriage" that confers many of the same tax and insurance benefits as regular marriage. Although some states don't recognize these unions, many do. In most cases, you'll need to live in the same residence as your domestic partner for at least seven years.

If you don't want to take these steps, you might not have many realistic options at your disposal. Since there are no laws that entitle domestic partners to share the same employer-sponsored health insurance plans, these decisions are typically the province of individual employers. Unfortunately, Best Buy doesn't permit its employees to include non-spouses on their health insurance plans. In other words, you can't be added to your boyfriend's Best Buy-sponsored health insurance. You may wish to investigate your own employer's policies on this matter.

If your own employer doesn't permit you to include your boyfriend on your health insurance plan, you'll have one more chance to obtain a joint health insurance policy. This will require the higher-earning partner to claim the lower-earning partner as a tax dependent. If you earn significantly more than your boyfriend, there's a chance that this will be possible. If your boyfriend's income is significantly higher than yours, the reverse might work as well.

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