How Can I Put My Mother on My Health Insurance?

Elderly parents rely on health insurance to cover medical bills.

Elderly parents rely on health insurance to cover medical bills.

Parents spend years providing for their children -- often beyond the time frame they are legally required to do so. The Affordable Care Act allows parents to insure their adult children until the age of 26. Aging parents do not get the same luxury. Most health insurance plans do not offer the ability to cover your parents on your health insurance policy. Some companies offer varying types of dependent coverage which could cover your mother -- if you’re lucky.

Evaluate Your Insurance

Health insurance policies come in two main types: individual and family plans. Under an individual health plan, you cannot add any dependents to your health insurance policy. If you have family plan coverage, you need to investigate further. Most dependent plans are for spouse and children only. In rare instances, you can get adult dependent coverage that allows you to cover elderly parents. Your insurance provider can provide more details into exact details for your health insurance options.

Do You Qualify?

Insurance policies which offer elderly parent coverage often come with specific rules to qualify. You might need to prove your parent is a dependent as specified by IRS rules. In this case, your mother must live with you and you must provide more than half of her support during the year. In addition, your mother cannot have other health insurance coverage through her own employer or Medicare.

Sign Up

Once you establish that your mother qualifies for your health insurance plan, contact your plan provider to sign her up. Every year your health insurance provider designates a specific time frame for open enrollment. During open enrollment, you can make changes to your policy to add or drop coverage or dependents. Obtain the correct documentation from your human resources provider and submit the required paperwork.

Other Considerations

If you do not qualify, you have other options to insure your mother. Beginning in 2014, your mother cannot be turned down for health insurance based on pre-existing conditions. You can sign her up for her own private plan to cover her health needs through private insurance companies or the state-run health insurance exchanges. The Affordable Care Act also extends the Medicaid program to anyone earning up to $15,000 a year.

About the Author

Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.

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