Who Qualifies as a Dependent for Group Health Insurance in California?

When buying health coverage for yourself in California, you may also wonder who qualifies as a dependent for group health insurance. It’s the same for employers who are covering their employees. 

No law exists requiring small business owners in California to provide health insurance coverage for their workers. Business owners also don’t have any obligation to provide health coverage for their employees’ dependents. 

Nevertheless, many choose to provide coverage for their workers’ dependents. California Business owners increase their staff retention rates by offering insurance and can attract more talent to their companies. After all, medical coverage incentives employees to join a company. 

Are you a California business owner thinking of taking out a group policy for your employees and their families? Then you’ll need to know who qualifies as a dependent for group health insurance in California. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the eligibility criteria so you can have the information you need. 

Do Children Qualify as a Dependent for Group Health Insurance in California?

If you count someone as a dependent for tax purposes, you can do the same for health coverage. Let’s look at some of the other categories of people who you can include on a health plan as dependents. Some are more obvious than others. 

The first and most obvious group of people who fit in the category are children. In general, you can include any child who fits these criteria:

  • The child must be under the age of 26.
  • The child must be a biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or foster child of the employee. You can also include any brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, or children of their children. Those siblings need not be biologically related to the employee.
  • The child must have lived with the employee for a minimum of six months to meet the residency criteria.
  • The child cannot be his or her main source of financial support. He or she can work and contribute to the household’s expenses. However, his or her income must be under half of his or her support costs.
  • The child is not a dependent if he or she is filing a joint tax return during that tax year.
  • Another household cannot claim the children as dependents. 

The children don’t need to live with the employee at the time of their enrollment. They will, however, need to have been living with the employee for enough time to meet the six-month residency requirement. 

A child can work and be eligible for enrollment in his or her employer’s health coverage. He or she can even have a spouse. So long as he or she meets the above requirements, you can still seek coverage for him or her.

Do Spouses Qualify as a Dependent for Group Health Insurance in California?

In many cases, it’s possible to add an employee’s spouse to the group health coverage as a dependent. There’s usually a 60-day period during which an employee can add his or her spouse to the plan. Couples won’t usually qualify for tax subsidies if they choose a family plan over an employer group plan, something that couples should remember.

Other Dependents

Who else qualifies as a dependent for group health insurance in California? Employees can include some other relatives, as well as their spouses and children, as dependents on a group health plan. Certain conditions must apply, though. These include:

  • Someone else must not have named them as dependents.
  • They must have a gross annual income of under $3,000.
  • The employee must be responsible for supplying more than 50 percent of his or her financial support.

An employee can also add other people who have lived in his or her home for at least 12 months. This is in addition to any other relatives who the employee has already added to the group policy. The additional person must meet the criteria already mentioned to be eligible.

Considerations for Coverage

Once an employee names someone as a dependent, he or she usually has access to the same group health plan. Having access means he or she will be able to benefit from the same coverage as your employees.

Now you know who qualifies as a dependent for group health insurance in California. Being familiar with dependents will allow you to be well-placed to decide on the coverage you offer. 

If you decide to take out a group health plan for your workers, Preferred Insurance is on hand to help. We can supply you with the best group insurance plans to suit your individual needs. As experts in the industry, you can depend on our team of brokers. We’ll get you the best possible deal and the optimal level of coverage for you, your workers, and their dependents. Talk to us today to get started!

More to Read on California Business Health Insurance

What Are My Employee Health Insurance Options in California?

Five Profitable Benefits to Implementing a Small Business Wellness Program

Should You Include Vision and Dental Insurance in a Small Business Employee Health Care Package?