Can You Add a Dependent to Your Insurance at Any Time?

You can purchase health insurance for yourself and your dependents. If you are an employer, you can also provide coverage for their dependents. Before you finalize your purchase of a family plan for your dependents’ health insurance, make sure they are eligible.

Taxes & insurance for dependents states that if someone can be counted as a dependent on their taxes, they will also be dependent on your health insurance plan. You must provide insurance for any tax dependent you claim. If you plan to include a relative or child as a tax dependent you must also ensure that they are included in your insurance plan.

Add your children to the dependents list

Children are the most obvious people to think of when you talk about dependents. You can include any child that meets the following criteria.

  • Age: Your child must be less than 26 years old.
  • Relationship to you: A child can be considered your dependent if he or she is your biological child, stepchild, adopted child or foster child. You can include siblings, brothers, half-sisters, half-brothers, or children in your health insurance plan.
  • Length of Residence: Your dependent is a child who has lived with you at least six months.
  • Income Contribution: Your child can be tax dependent, but they cannot be your primary source of support. To be considered your dependent, a child must earn less than half the amount of their support expenses.
  • Tax Filing: If a child files a joint tax return for the year, they cannot be considered your dependent.
  • Other Claims: Children cannot be claimed as dependents by more than one household. You cannot claim your child as dependent regardless of the relationship you have.

It’s okay to include your children as dependents.

Besides keeping track of what’s required to claim your child as a dependent, you should also remember what isn’t required to claim a child as a dependent:

  • Living with parents: If they have lived with you for enough time to satisfy the residency requirement, your child does not need to live with you when you enroll them in your insurance plan.
  • Marital status: Your child is still eligible for coverage even if he/she is married or has kids.
  • It doesn’t matter whether your child is enrolled in school or not.
  • You are eligible for employer-based coverage. Even if your child has not enrolled in the employer’s insurance plan, you can still add them to your health plan.
  • Tax status: You can add your child even if they aren’t tax dependents.

You can include your children in your coverage as long as they meet the other requirements.

Adding your spouse as a dependent

Most cases allow you to add a spouse or partner to your insurance plan. You have 60 days from the date of marriage to either enroll in a new plan or add your spouse to your dependent list.

Remember that Obamacare subsidies are not available to spouses who have employer-sponsored insurance. However, if you choose to purchase your own family plan through an exchange for health insurance, it is likely you will not be eligible. Check out eHealth’s other resources to learn more about how health insurance works with marriage. You can also speak to one of eHealth’s licensed agents for more information about coverage options that may suit your family’s needs.

Additional dependents

You can add your spouse and child as dependents, but only under certain conditions.

  • If they are not named by anyone else as a dependent
  • If their annual gross income is less that $3,000
  • You are responsible for more than half the financial support that they receive.

You can also include relatives if they have lived in your home for at least one year.

Are your parents able to be added to your health insurance policy?

The Affordable Care Act requires that children under 26 years old be covered by their parents’ insurance. Parents are not entitled to the same protection. Most health plans count spouses and children among their dependents. However, they don’t usually include parents. The rules may vary depending on the plan and where you live, so make sure to double-check with your plan.

To find out if your parents are eligible for health insurance, please contact your health plan. In general, tax dependents must be claimed for your parents.

If your insurance doesn’t allow you add your parents to your plan, you can enroll them through Medicare or the Marketplace. eHealth’s trusted team of health insurance specialists can help you find coverage for your parents if you have any questions or concerns.

Coverage considerations

When you name someone as your dependent, they will usually have the same plan or set up of plans that you do. Depending on the place you get your insurance, he might be able choose from among the plans you depend on. This could include vision, dental insurance and health plan.

It is important to protect your loved ones’ health with quality coverage. eHealth will help you understand the complexities of health insurance. Trusted and knowledgeable licensed agents can help you find the right coverage for your budget and needs. For more information, visit, where you can tap into our information on health insurance or start looking at family health insurance plans. We make it easy to browse and compare plan benefits and costs in one place.