How to get Health Insurance for Adopted Children

Getting health insurance for adopted children is no different than acquiring health insurance coverage for natural children. First, be cautious and avoid special offers for children’s health insurance plans for families with adopted children because they are fraudulent schemes designed to lure families into purchasing protection that, in many cases, they already have. Buying this type of insurance policy will result in unnecessary spending for benefits that may not exist.

Adding a Child to a Parent’s Plan

When adopting a child, a parent should check with their health insurance carrier to see about adding a child to the parent’s policy.  This makes the most sense because buying a separate policy specific for a child’s health insurance needs does not. The parent’s policy will take care of the needs of all family members, adult and children.  An adopted child does not stand outside the family circle; when adopted, the child is part of that family.

Make Changes to Parent’s Plan

In the case where the parent participates in their employer’s group health insurance benefit plan, human resources or the group plan administrator should be contacted if the requested change takes place after open enrollment.  Many states have requirements that adopted children be permitted to a parent’s plan of coverage within a predetermined period after the adoption has been completed. This means that the parent will need to request a change in coverage in order to include the adopted child.

Purchase a Short-Term Plan

In a rare instance where the parent is unable to add a child to a group health insurance plan, the parent may need to purchase a short-term plan for the purpose of providing some level of coverage. In this situation, the duration of the coverage should be as short as possible, up to 6 months, in order to bind immediate coverage on the child and work on getting the child added to the parent’s plan.  

Do Not Purchase Adopted Child Health Insurance Plans

Again, it makes little sense to purchase a full plan specifically for an adopted child where such coverage duplicates coverage provided under the parent’s health insurance plan. The group or individual health insurance plan that the parent owns will pay all medical expenses of a child without regard to them being a natural child or adopted child. The only issue that may be raised is that of timing and how soon the child can be added to a parent’s plan of insurance as an additional insured.

A Note to Parents

A note to parents that do not have health insurance and plan to adopt or have adopted children - get insurance.  It is irresponsible for a parent to want to provide for the needs of a child who is adopted and not take care of their medical health throughout their dependency status. It is equally irresponsible for that parent to not purchase health insurance coverage on their own lives.

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