More Answers: Who To Include In Your Household
- What if Im single without dependents?
- If you arent claimed as a tax dependent by someone else and have no tax dependents yourself: Count only yourself in your household.
- If you are claimed as a tax dependent by someone else: Youre counted as part of their household, not your own.
- Do my spouse and I have to file taxes jointly to get Marketplace savings?
Yes, with certain exceptions.
- If youre married and will file a joint federal tax return for the year you want coverage: Youre eligible for a premium tax credit and other savings if you qualify based on your income and other factors.
- If youre married and will file separately for the year you want coverage: You can enroll in a Marketplace plan together but youre not eligible for a premium tax credit or other savings, and you may have to complete a separate application.
- If youre married and plan to file as head of household for the year you want coverage: You can say youre married, and wont file a joint return, on your Marketplace application. If you meet other criteria, like living separately from your spouse, well then ask if youre planning to file as head of household. Youre eligible for a premium tax credit and other savings if youre planning to file as head of household and you qualify based on your income and other factors. See IRS rules for filing as head of household.
- See the next question for an exception for victims of domestic abuse and spousal abandonment.
Consider All The Factors
Making decisions about healthcare is personal, and many factors influence the unique scenario you might find yourself in.
Same-Sex Marriage Legislation and Opposite-Sex Domestic Partnerships
Prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships were a means through which states and employers granted same-sex couples insurance benefits equivalent to those of legal spouses.
In 2015, certain companies rescinded domestic partnership health insurance coverage in the wake of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage. These companies argued that because they did not recognize opposite-sex domestic partnerships and only offered benefits to married opposite-sex couples, it would be fair to require same-sex couples to marry to retain benefits.
The National Center for Family and Marriage Researchs projected increase in the amount of opposite-sex domestic partnerships in the United States suggests a cultural shift in the nature of long-term romantic relationships from historically accepted norms.
In deciding which healthcare plan is the best, you should never feel pressured by your employer to change your marital status. If your employer does not provide domestic partner insurance, you can seek out another option. Always make the healthcare choice that works best for you.
Domestic Partnership and Income Taxes
Consequently, there are no protections for partners regarding federal taxes and domestic partners cannot be listed as tax dependents.
Health Insurance Benefits For Domestic Partners
- Employers and health plans are more likely to recognize domestic partnerships now.
Just as marriage has evolved over the past few decades, so too has the health insurance industry. The health insurance landscape is trying to keep pace with society and therefore finds itself adjusting, including when it comes to health insurance benefits available for domestic partners.
More than half of American adults are married, according to the Pew Research Center. Still, the popularity of marriage has declined somewhat in recent decades. For example, in 1995, 58% of adults were married. By 2019, that number had fallen to 53%.
And while marriage has declined, the number of couples cohabitating has increased. Since 1995, the percentage of adults living with an unmarried partner has risen from 3% to 7%.
Something else that might contribute to the higher domestic partnership rate — employers are recognizing them more. You no longer have to get married to get health insurance for your partner, which was always a huge benefit in the past.
The health insurance marketplace offers domestic partnership health insurance benefits.
Also Check: How Much Does It Cost For Health Insurance
Can You Be Put On Your Boyfriends Health Insurance
Do You Have to Be Married to Share Health Insurance? If you have health insurance, its usually no problem to provide added coverage for your spouse. With domestic partners, it depends on the employer. Many companies wont grant your unmarried partner, straight or gay, the same benefits a spouse gets automatically.
Are Children Of Domestic Partners Covered Under Health Plans
Yes, children of domestic partners are typically covered under health insurance plans.
Typically, if an employers health insurance provides coverage to domestic partners, then children of that partnership usually meet the definition of dependent and can obtain coverage, Lee says.
However, Lee adds that employees in domestic partnerships should review the health insurance benefit plan document and their company benefits administrator to make sure their children are covered.
You May Like: How To Get Cheap Health Insurance In Texas
What Defines A Domestic Partnership
Domestic partnership doesnt just pertain to same-sex couples. Rather, a domestic partnership is where two unmarried and unrelated people cohabitate and share a domestic life. And they are not married or joined by a civil union. The two people can be of the same or opposite sex.
There is no federal definition or recognition of domestic partnerships, nor guidelines for legal rights and benefits. So whether youre eligible to be categorized as being in a domestic partnership depends on where you live. In the world of healthcare, this categorization and the rights it extends could dictate whether you get health insurance benefits and legal rights such as hospital visitation.
Can You Put Someone On Your Health Insurance Who Is Not A Family Member
One of the most difficult questions that human resources representatives have to answer is who can an employee cover on their health insurance. Once you get past the spouse and children, the laws are no longer as cut-and-dry as they used to be about who can and cannot be covered. In most cases, it depends on the laws of your state and who the state recognizes as a family member.
In most states, stepchildren do qualify as family members who can be covered under a familys health insurance plan. This applies regardless as to whether or not the stepfather has adopted the children or not.
If a man gets a woman pregnant but does not marry her or live with her, then the man can still cover his child on his health insurance. This is a commonly held practice in all of the 50 states.
Common Law Marriage
If you live in a state that recognizes common law marriage and your marriage qualifies under the state guidelines, then you should be able to legally cover your common law spouse on your health insurance. If your state does not recognize common law relationships, then you probably wont be able to cover your partner.
The same situation arises for same-sex unions. If same-sex unions are legal and recognized in your state, then you should be able to cover your spouse under your health insurance. If your state used to recognize same-sex unions but no longer does, then you may be out of luck.
Friends And Other Relatives
You May Like: What Causes Health Insurance Premiums To Increase
What If Your Employer Doesn’t Offer Benefits For Domestic Partners
If your employer does not provide domestic partner benefits, you could see if your partner’s employer does. If neither job does, you can look for your own health insurance package from a private company.
Once you have alternate benefits, make sure they provide coverage equal to or better than the plans you and your partner can get through work. If they don’t, you may be better off having separate insurance plans.
If you decide to buy private insurance so you can be on the same plan, you have the option to ask for a waiver of health insurance benefits at your job. You can then try to negotiate alternate compensation from your employer to replace the health insurance they don’t have to pay for.
What Is A Registered Domestic Partnership
A registered domestic partnership is the legal recognition of a union between two people that is not a marriage but that includes two people who live together and share a domestic life. Rules differ by state, but registered domestic partnerships can apply to both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.
This type of union isnt the same as a marriage, but it does confer some of the benefits of being married. These may include:
- The ability to add a domestic partner to your health insurance coverage
- The ability to adopt your partner’s child
Some states and localities require that one or both members be at least 62 years old for the couple to register as a domestic partnership. Washington and New Jersey are two examples of states with this rule. The decision to grant these rights at that age reflects the fact that some couples can get greater Social Security benefits by remaining unmarried in the eyes of the law.
You May Like: How To Become A Health Insurance Broker In California
How To Prove You’re A Domestic Partner For Health Insurance
To get your partner on your health plan, you will have to prove that your meet your state’s criteria for domestic partnership.
In many cases, you will have to sign a form from your health insurance administrator or employee benefits plan administrator. These forms are a way of showing that you and your partner meet certain criteria.
What is on these forms will vary from plan to plan. You may have to show proof of some items, such as the fact that you share bills. Common things on these forms include:
- You both have lived in the same home for a certain amount of time, often six months to one year.
- Your current plan is to keep living in the same home.
- You are known as a couple by other people in your lives.
- Neither of you is married to someone else.
- Neither of you has another partner.
- You share basic living expenses, such as food, shelter, and other bills.
Some health care plans will ask you to provide proof that you and your partner qualify. This is often done by showing that you have joint banking, a shared home, or shared living expenses.
Not all of these items will be needed for every insurance plan.
- A rental lease with both your names on it
- A joint deed or mortgage
- Driver’s licenses listing a shared address
- Proof of joint bank accounts, joint credit card accounts, or shared loans
- A life insurance policy, retirement benefits, or will where you are each other’s primary beneficiary
- Assignment of power of attorney
Can I Be Added To My Boyfriends Health Insurance At Best Buy Even If Were Not Married
In a time when health insurance costs are continually rising, some people are wondering how to game the system to secure better coverage without breaking the bank. One option might be piggy backing off of your significant others employer-provided health insurance. Best Buy is one of many employers that offers solid insurance for full-time employees. Can you be added to your boyfriends policy even if you arent married? Its clear that employer-provided insurance covers spouses, but what if you havent tied the knot just yet? Unfortunately you will be required to make some changes to your legal status if youd like coverage.
Legal protections for married couplesBy law, Best Buy and other employers are required to provide employees with coverage. This coverage also includes the ability to add a spouse to their insurance policy. This isnt free, of course. To have an additional person covered, the employee must pay a bit more each month. Still, this is much cheaper than trying to buy a separate policy out on the market today.
While there are regulations that force employers to provide coverage for spouses, the law is not as robust in protecting the rights of non-spouses. Because Best Buy is not required to provide coverage for partners who are not married, the company has chosen not to do so. You wont be able to automatically score this protection just because your boyfriend happens to work for Best Buy.
Who Is Eligible For Coverage On A Health Insurance Policy
As a general rule, only your children and spouse are eligible for coverage on your health insurance policy. There are certain exceptions to this rule, however.
For example, if you have an elderly parent that you are taken care of, they may be eligible for coverage on your policy. Whether or not that is the case depends on the policy, the insurer, and on the details of your situation.
Do You Have To Be Married To Share Health Insurance
Joining your partner’s health insurance plan could save you money.
At one time, couples married before moving in together. As society became more progressive, however, it was no longer necessary to say I do before sharing a home or even having children. In fact, an analysis of census data found that 18 million adults were living with an unmarried partner in 2016. That number is 29 percent higher than in 2007, when only 14 million were living together without legal paperwork. That being said, splitting a monthly mortgage payment isnt the only benefit of living with a romantic partner. You may be able to share a health insurance plan.
Read Also: Why Did My Health Insurance Go Down
Are Kids Of Domestic Partners Covered Under Health Plans
If your health insurance plan says you are domestic partners, then you should be able to put your children on your plan, too. This can include any kids one or both of you are in charge of caring for, such as:
- Biological children
- Children you have legally adopted
What type of coverage you can get will depend on your plan. You can ask your health insurance plan administrator to explain what is and is not covered for your children’s healthcare.
If you have health insurance with a domestic partner, you should find out exactly how your children are covered. This way, you can avoid surprise bills when you take the kids to the doctor.
In most cases, when you fill out the forms for health insurance with your domestic partner, you will also fill out forms for any children the two of you care for. This should let you know what type of health coverage is offered for the whole family.
How Do We Prove We’re In A Domestic Partnership
The rules vary by state and health insurance administrators, but most companies will require you to sign a form that makes several declarations as to your relationship as a domestic partner. These declarations include things like: youve lived together for at least six months and intend to live together indefinitely, your relationship is public, and neither of you are married.
Your employer or health insurance administrator might also require you to provide documentation to prove your relationship. This could include a copy of both of your drivers licenses that show the same address, ownership of common property like a car or home, a joint bank account or credit card, and designation of each other as the primary beneficiary for life insurance.
How Can You Add A Partner To Your Current Health Plan
Every insurance plan is different. To find out how to add your partner to your insurance, you will need to ask your plan administrator.
They will be able to tell you what kind of insurance your partner can get. They will also tell you what forms need to be filled out so that your partner may be added as soon as possible.
If you are newly qualified as domestic partners, you may have what is known as a “qualifying life event.” This will let you change your health plan during special enrollment periods.
Most employer health plans will allow you to add a domestic partner if the plan includes this kind of coverage.
If I Am An Unmarried Man And Get A Woman Pregnant Can I Put The Child On My Employer Health Plan
If a plan covers children, under federal law, there can’t be restrictions on eligibility.
“The employer can’t require that the child reside with the employee or that the child is financially dependent on the employee,” says Gisonny.
The plan may require a birth certificate as proof or verification of the dependent relationship.
Some health plans are more rigorous in requiring dependent or biological verification than others. “If a plan so chooses, it has the discretion or the right to require proof that a dependent relationship actually exists,” says Gisonny.
You May Like: What Type Of Health Insurance Do I Need
What If My Partner Is Member Of The Armed Services
Signing up for these benefits might risk outing your partner to the armed services since there will be documentation of the relationship. However, your employer might provide you with some privacy guarantees. For free, confidential legal counseling on these issues, contact the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network at 800/538-7418 or by e-mail at Read more about the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
What Is Domestic Partner Insurance
Some insurance companies offer Domestic Partner Health Insurance. With these plans, your insurance contract allows your partner to get the same benefits that a spouse would get.
This would mean that your partner can be covered under your plan. Any children the two of your care for would also be covered. You would not have to get married for them to use your insurance.
If your plan offers this option, you and your partner can share health insurance costs. You could get the same lower rate for your family that a married couple would get.
Don’t Miss: What Health Insurance Is Available In Nc