Coverage Options For Dependent With Employer Insurance?

I live in Washington state. I am mandated to cover my dependent child on my health insurance by divorce decree. I qualify for health insurance through my employer but it is over $400/month and the deductible is $6000/person. I make $30,100/year and I can barely afford food due to the insurance premiums. I am allowed to claim my dependent on my tax returns every other year starting with 2015.

Would it be less expensive for me to get insurance through the exchanges and how can I do that if I don’t claim him on my income tax every other year?

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What if the dependent is your wife. My employer covers 1/2 of my cost $410 per month they do not pay any portion of the dependent premium. Here premium would be $570 per month.

Our total cost to us in premium will be $985.00 per month. I make $5,000 a month, my wife has no income.

What are my options?


You didn’t answer the question completely. I am mandated by the court to only claim my child as dependent EVERY OTHER YEAR and his other parent gets the alternate years but does not have to have the health insurance coverage. What other options do I have?


It is our understanding that you can only get a Marketplace family plan with cost assistance for the years that you claim the child as a dependent. If you have access to coverage through an employer then it doesn’t matter much anyway as employer coverage is typically the best deal and stops you from getting Marketplace cost assistance. No matter what you should always be able to get a family plan outside of the Marketplace through a broker or directly from an insurer. If you do aim to go with Marketplace cost assistance you’ll want to double check how that could work with the Marketplace.

If your income is low enough, or if your ex’s income is low enough the child may qualify for CHIP. In this case this is the best option (it’s free or low cost coverage). CHIP would also only be available in the year the parent with low enough income claimed the child. So short answer, all assistance programs are based on family size, income, and who is claiming the child making assistance for healthcare tricky with the rotating schedule. Hope this helps.

Check out this link for more information on family status and tax status.


You apparently didn’t catch that I can only claim my dependent on my tax return every other year starting with 2015 therefore you didn’t fully answer the question. Please respond.


The best advice here is to refer to page 11 of the 8962 instructions:–2014.pdf

Premium tax credits are claimed using form 8962 (even if you accept tax credits in advance they are reconciled with this form). Typically it is simple, the parent who claims the child gets the family plan and claims the tax credits… but this is not the case with you, you wouldn’t be claiming the child and therefore as far as we understand would be unable to claim the tax credits. There is actually no part of the 8962 form that seems to imply that you can claim tax credits when not claiming the child and not sharing a plan with the person who is claiming the child… but the for should be helpful for understanding anyway.

Given this it makes sense to go with the employer plan… Or if it would satisfy the decree the other spouse could get a family plan with cost assistance and you could pay the child’s share of that. Although, family plans don’t show a breakdown of each person’s coverage… SO that could be a slippery slope.

Really, the whole having to provide coverage in a year you can’t claim a child thing is just odd. Would love if someone could comment and shed some light on the correct answer here.

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