I have a question I cant seem to get a straight answer to. Our adult child is covered on our insurance through my husbands work. The adult child is racking up medical bills which are coming to us (we don’t have contact with her). When we notified our insurer, Kaiser that we will not pay for these bills, we were told as long as she’s on our insurance we are responsible; if we do not pay the account goes to collections.
My husbands employer refuses to drop her stating unless we can provide evidence she already has other coverage there is nothing they can do under the Affordable Care Act. I read the Act, and I can only determine they must offer it up to age 26. Can it be that we are not only forced to cover her but also pay her bills?! There is nothing stopping her from acquiring coverage on her own through a marketplace.
Your employer has to offer coverage, but you do not have to accept coverage. So your employer should allow you to refuse coverage for a dependent or drop a dependent from the plan.
With that said, there are specific rules that apply here, and this could cause a problem. One problem is this: Once a dependent is on your plan, you can only remove them during open enrollment or by them getting other coverage and thus qualifying for a special disenrollment period.
Meaning: You can reject dependent coverage in the first place, but once they are on your employer plan you can't just drop them for no reason at any point.
That being said, some of these rules are complex. Most of the Department of Labor stuff we can find on this focuses on keeping dependents on plans, same with the law itself. We have seen official documents that discuss, as your employer says, dropping dependents from a plan if they have other coverage options. But we are failing to find an official document that says an employer is in compliance if the employee drops a dependent under 26 without other them having other coverage options.
We suggest the next step is calling the insurer themselves and discussing the fact that you want to drop her from the plan. That gives you a third party who can help to clarify specifics. Here is some good information on employer responsibilities from a third party, you'll notice again that there is nothing forcing the employee to accept coverage (but there are rules from dropping dependents from coverage).
The above being said, keep in mind you can find yourself ending up owing the fee for your dependent if you claim them on your taxes.