Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is it possible to add an elderly parent to your company health insurance?

I know that situations obviously vary from place to place and from situation to situation, but my parents are self-employed, and will be retirement age in about 15-20 years. Am I able to add them to my health insurance to ensure that they have medical coverage? If not, is there anything they can do now to ensure that they're taken care of medically when retirement time arrives?Is it possible to add an elderly parent to your company health insurance?
No, parents are never dependents - even if you are their legal guardians.

Retirement age is 65 . . .so saying that they are 45 now, and elderly, YIKES!! I just had a baby, and I'm ';elderly'; too!! LOL

What they will have to do is apply for medicare. That's the only ';taker'; for elderly people looking for health insurance, unless their employer provides health benefits for retirees.Is it possible to add an elderly parent to your company health insurance?
Generally, that's not possible.

Most benefit plans define an eligible dependent as a spouse or child (which can, depending upon the plan, include stepchildren or children for whom you are legal guardians). But, it would be a rare plan indeed that would allow you to add an elderly parent...especially since in general the elderly tend to have higher medical costs.

You said that your parents are self-employed...have they still been paying into the Medicare system? That will help provide some coverage for them. Though many Medicare enrollees still choose to have a supplement just in case.

If they won't be Medicare eligible at all, it will be extremely difficult for them to get private insurance that will cover them once they hit 65...the policies that will take them will likely be very expensive premium-wise. I guess in that circumstance, their next resort would be trying to see if they qualified for Medicaid.

If your parents haven't been paying into the Medicare system, they may want to start doing so right away (whether through their self-employment or finding another job) have to work for at least 10 years paying into Medicare to be eligible for Part A, so they still have some time.
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