Coverage for stepchildren

When I got divorced three years ago, I was court ordered to provide health insurance for my two children.  It’s been a struggle, especially because I am self-employed and have to buy insurance on my own.  I recently re-married and my new wife has a plan offered by her employer.  Can she cover my kids on her plan and fulfill the court ordered health insurance in New York?

Made A Good Catch 

Dear Made A Good Catch,

The answer is yes, if the court order does not specify that you have to be the policyholder. Your new wife is the policyholder of her plan, not you. If you have to be the policyholder, then you would have to cover the children on a plan you purchased.

It’s more likely that the court order simply requires you to provide health insurance for the children. Being covered by your wife’s plan would meet your obligation.  Which brings us to the next wrinkle: New York law requires plans to cover stepchildren who are dependent upon the policyholder. Before you assume her plan will cover the kids, make sure the children will qualify.

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.