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Step mom and health insurance

Started by walknotrun, Jun 19, 2005, 11:21:42 AM

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Another question -

Can a step mom be court ordered to add her step child to her health insurance when that's the health insurance available to her DH?  It's not free for me, so it's not like it's an absolutely fantastic deal to do that.  I just do not want to be ordered to add the kid when we only have 1 more year to go with support.



so then you might be obligated to cover the child or your DH find a private carrier, which probably would cost more than your covering the child.  Does BM have insurance?


Yes, she has insurance through her work and we have been paying 1/2 of her payroll deductions per month.


By law,if a parent must provide health insurance coverage for their child, then the step kids would automatically be insured under the DAD who is automatically insured thru the stepmom (spouse).  Unless the biological parent is taking the insurance, you cannot force the step-parent (non relative) to insure the children.  The only exception to this would be that the step-parent has legally adopted the kids.  

Ins companies, for legal reasons, will NOT insure non-relatives.   Spouses will be automatically insured under the other spouse's plan.  Then, when the spouse is added, any children they have will automatically be covered under "them" - the parent of the children in question, not the step-parent.

Hope this helps.  I did benefits at my last job and this gets tricky for ppl to understand, but it's really quite simple.



But, Dad is on my insurance.  So, I take it that means I can be forced to put her on mine even though she's already covered under her mother's?

Here's the kicker - in our state, we're only obligated to support the kid until 18.  But, with our health insurance, the kid stays on until age 19 unless a full-time student and then it can go until age 22-25.  SO, that means we'd have to keep her on our insurance LONGER than we're obligated to support her.  

How many times does a judge actually force the issue when the Mom is already covered?

AND, my insurance deduction is going to go way up in January...


Sorry for late response - haven't been online lately.

YES - you can be forced to put your SD on your insurance.    PBFH is not obligated, under what I'm assuming is a court order - to pay to cover your SD.  If that's already been agreed upon between DH and PBFH that DH would cover keep medical insurance on SD - you are on the hook - plain and simple.

If your DH's court order states you are only obligated to support the SD until 18 - then YOU - as policy holder, have the right to TERMINATE the SD's coverage when she reaches 18.  Your SD would then have the option of continuing on under COBRA (for 18 months, 9 in some circumstances), as long as your SD pays the monthly premium.  There is no law, in any state, thru any insurance carrier - where you are FORCED to continue coverage to a certain age.  Insurance is voluntary.  Even more so - in your case - with a court order stating that YOUR obligation (ok, DH's) stops at 18 - you have every right to enforce that.

I would assume that any judge would FORCE your DH to put SD on your policy, IF there's a court order in place.  It's really a no-win situation for you.  PBFH is not obligated to pay for it, but luckily it seems, she has been.



I don't think that you can be ordererd to provide for your husband's child.  Good luck


Step-mom or step-dad can not be forced to cover a step-child by a court.

DAD and MOM can be forced to carry insurance on the child by a court.

Insurance rules usually say that a step-mom/step-dad can't include the step-child because the child is not hers/his.

Two different things are being discussed.....and the question was whether or not the court can order a step-mom/step-dad -- and that answer is no.

However, a step-mom usually covers the spouse (in this case the husband), and THEN the insurance company will allow the addition of the child (who is a step-child to the policy holder).

Financially, when a parent is ordered to carry the insurance, sometimes it is cheaper for that household to place the child under the step-parent's policy -- but that can only happen if husband and wife are both on the policy -- then the "non-bio kids to the policy holder" can be added.


So, then even though I, as the step-mom cover the dad, I cannot be COURT ordered to cover the step-child?  Our lawyer basically has told us that only if I had insurance that would be free to have the child on it, then I might have to cover the child.  But, since it isn't, then I shouldn't have to cover the kid.


It's so weird seeing the EXACT opposite of what I was dealing with.  I'm the stepmom whose dh was ordered to carry insurance for his daughter.  So, since I was providing insurance for the family, I added stepdaughter to my policy.  Boy did BM blow up when she found out about that.  

She got so upset that she filed a claim with the insurance commissioners office claiming that I had committed insurance fraud.  

Well, they haven't come to take me to jail yet.


Well, if you end up going to jail there are a lot of us who will bring you the proverbial "file in the cake"!

There is no way that you committed fraud.  It is allowable for the step-mom to add a step-child to her insurance, but I just don't want to do that.  We'd prefer to keep paying half the payroll deduction for the BM to keep her on her insurance.

What really drives me nuts is that in PA, it doesn't matter what the divorce decree says (BM carries child on her insurance), but it can be changed anyway.  How can a legal document NOT be legal?


I think you mis-read what I wrote.......

Stepmom CAN be forced ONLY if she's covering the dad who IS required, by court order, to provide insurance.  Since stepmom is the POLICY HOLDER, she would be the one forced to add the stepdaughter - DAD cannot add stepdaughter since he's not the employee covered under the plan.  It's a technicality, but that's how the insurance works.  Only the stepmom can fill out forms to add people to her plan, so technically, she would be the one forced to add dependents.


In my case, I carry the insurance on dh, ysd, ds, and dd.  I do not carry it on osd, oss or yss because none of those three live with me and my insurance does not allow step-children to be covered unless they live with ME the majority of the time.  

It doesn't matter if dh is CP or NCP, if my stepkids don't live with us the majority of the time, I cannot cover them per my insurance plan rules.  Also, osd lived with us and WAS covered, till she moved to mom's and then her coverage ended at the end of the next month with an option for COBRA because my insurance company said so.

Check with your insurance company.

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ~  Will Rogers


Thanks!  That makes a lot of sense.  We don't have her with us at all.  I'll check with my employer's insurance broker on Monday.


Step parents can not be court ordered.

Parents can be court ordered.

Then when DAD is court ordered, he will ask step-mom to do exactly what you described.

Then Mom can't come back and say "Dad" didn't provide the insurance because he got Step-mom to support him.

I agree with you except that step-parents can not be court ordered directly -- it has to go through the bio-parent because step-parents are not a part of the litigation, only the bio-parents.


Delta Dental/United Concordia through the military (when I was active duty and still now for my girl) doesn't even know how to be a secondary payor to any other insurance....

So there's another curve ball because the dentists office gets paid as a primary insured from two companies and ends up with too much money.....

Insurance.....fun stuff!


What happens when in your support order it states.

Mother is ordered to cover the child with health insurance, and it is further ordered that the father is to pay 50% of the premium to cover "just the child"  portion of the mothers policy.

What happens when the child graduates from high school, and is 19 years old and cannot be covered under the mom's policy anymore, is the father obligated to pay for 50% of the premium to cover the child.  This child in question is done with high school, working a full time job.  



If the child is no longer in school - then NO.   Ins companies usually carry children until the age of 23 (check your policy for specifics - median age for continuing thru college).  However, if the child is NOT in school anymore - they would be dropped from the parents policy.  Since you said BM's policy doesn't cover the child any longer - I'm assuming the child has finished school (no college).  If the CO specifically states "just the child portion of the mother's policy", and the mother's policy is no longer valid, then what's there to pay?  If the child has decided to not attend college and is working FT, they should be able to obtain insurance directly thru their employer (or get one on their own) and pay for it themselves (unless your DH wants to help his child).


thank you for your response.  The "Child" in question is 18 years old, just graduated from high school last month.  Is NOT continuing on in college, working full time, living on his own in his own apartment with his girlfriend.

My DH's support order reads that the mother is to cover the child on her health insurance and the father (my husband) is to pay for the portion to cover the child.  This constitutes, I beleive, a few extra dollars added to his support payment.  

My question is this, the child will only be able to be covered under the mothers health insurance for a few more weeks until he is 19 years old in August.  In the state of NY, it states that we pay support until he is 21 years old, which, by the way I think is a crock, but anyways, if this is true and we will find this out next week when we visit the lawyer, if the child is working full time and has his own insurance, does the NCP have to pay his % share of the uninsured medical bills until he is 21, and if the job the son has does not have insurance, does that mean the NCP has to pay his % share of the premium to cover him, plus the % of uninsured medical until he is 21.

We are going to see a lawyer to see if we can get support payments terminated on the grounds that he has not lived under his mothers control in the last 13 months, has graduated from high school, is living in his own apartment, and paying his own bills, and working full time and has no intention on going onto college.

What do you think our chances are?  


If the CO "specifically" states that the BM is to cover the child on HER policy and HER policy is dropping the child (due to max age reached), I'd assume that DH would NOT have to continue paying a %/share of medical insurance since there will be no medical insurance to apply this statement to.  The CO relates to an insurance policy, which in this case will cease to exist, therefore the payments should also cease - not only for DH covering a portion but for BM paying the premium!

Thought to consider - IF DH IS found to have to still cover a portion son's own policy (even if offered thru son's work) then I'd push to have BM pay the monthly premium of son's insurance policy (or a portion similar to what she paid to keep him on her policy prior), with DH paying his similar portion per the original CO.  If NYC wants to hold DH to the "letter of the CO" until the age of 21, then by golly, BM will be held to it too!

GOOD LUCK!! (I really think you have a good case for ceasing these payments!)  

P.S.  What idiots in NYC thought that paying support to 21 was "logical""?!?!?!  HELLO!!


So how did things work out??  Or are you still waiting to hear?