The topic of claiming dependents on insurance leads to questions that many people have. It takes some research to ensure you’re doing it correctly and within the perimeters of the regulations. 

Almost every insurance company requires you to prove your dependent’s eligibility, and the process can be confusing. We’ll help you figure out who is considered a dependent, when to add someone to your insurance, and actions to take when they are no longer eligible.

Who can you claim as a dependent? 

For the purposes of claiming dependents on an insurance plan, there are three types of dependents: spouse/domestic partner, children, and disabled family members.

Children under 18 are your dependents. There are also criteria for children over 18 to continue being covered by your health insurance. These criteria include:

  • They aren’t married
  • They’re under 26
  • They’re living with you full-time for six months of the last year 
  • Their income is less than half of their living expenses

But those children you claim as a dependent can be your biological, step, adopted, or foster children. 

The relatives who are claimed as dependents also have specific criteria. These criteria include:

  • No one else has named them as a dependent
  • Their gross annual income is less than $3,000
  • You provide over half of the financial income they rely on

When can you add someone to your health insurance?

In most cases, adding a dependent must be done during your company’s open enrollment. If you miss this window, you have to wait until open enrollment to make changes. 

But there are also situations, known as qualifying events, that change this rule. After a qualifying event, you can make some changes to who is listed as your dependent. 

For example, if after open enrollment ends, your child turns 27 and is no longer relying on you for over half their income, then you can remove them from your insurance. 

Or, if after open enrollment you get married, you can add your spouse. That’s also a qualifying event that would allow you to change who is covered by your insurance. 

When should you stop claiming someone as a dependent?

You can stop listing someone as a dependent when they no longer meet the requirements. If someone is no longer legally your spouse, or if your children no longer meet the requirements, you can contact your company’s HR team to have them removed. 

If you have any other questions about adding or removing a dependent from your health insurance, contact our customer service team. You can call our team at 866-291-9449 or chat with us through our website.