Today, finding health insurance coverage can seem like a grueling process. While many employers do still offer policies that provide adequate coverage, the cost for such coverage has become astronomical. As a result, many people are investigating non-traditional approaches to obtain the health insurance that they need so that they can avoid jeopardizing their health and well-being. One option that a lot of individuals are exploring is the possibility of obtaining coverage via their boyfriend or girlfriend.
If you’re wondering if you can add your boyfriend or girlfriend to your health insurance plan, the best advice is to speak to your provider; however, if you’re curious if adding your other half to your policy despite the fact that you aren’t married is a possibility, below, you’ll find some useful information about your options.
Non-Married Couples and Shared Health Insurance
A marriage is a legally binding union between two people. As such, married couples are legally permitted to receive coverage from their spouse’s health insurance provider. Unfortunately, however, the same rules do not apply to non-married couples. If you are “only” dating someone, your relationship is not legally binding. In other words, you are not entitled to share benefits with your partner, meaning that those who are involved in “casual” relationships are not entitled to the health insurance benefits that their partner carries. Therefore, you cannot add your boyfriend or girlfriend to your policy; but, there is an option available that would allow your partner to be covered by your health insurance.
A domestic partnership is defined a shared relationship between two people that share a similar lifestyle as a married couple – they live together, share finances, have children, etc – but are not legally married. In short, a domestic partnership means that you and your partner are sharing your life domestically, as if you are married, but you aren’t legally bound.
In order to obtain a domestic partnership, you and your boyfriend or girlfriend would have to register as domestic partners. To do so, you would have to visit a designated government office within your state; a courthouse or the Department of Health, depending on the stipulations that your state has set forth. Typically, when applying for a domestic partnership, you and your boyfriend or girlfriend would be required to submit the necessary paperwork (usually an application), pay a fee, and provide the documents that your state deems necessary to prove the status of your relationship. These documents may include birth certificates that prove you are both over the age of 18 and a lease or a deed to a home that shows that you and your partner are residing in the same residence, have been doing so for a minimum period of time (the amount of time varies from state to state; in some states, 6 months is permissible, while in others, you must share a residence for 7 years or more) before applying, and plan to live together indefinitely. Additionally, you nor your partner may be married to anyone else; therefore, if you are married and separated from your spouse but are not legally divorced, your domestic partnership will not be approved.
Once you obtain a domestic partnership, you and your partner will be entitled to some of the same legal benefits that married couples share; health insurance may be one of them. But, do note that in some locations, domestic partners are not allowed to share health insurance, despite the fact that they are in a legally binding relationship. Additionally, some health insurance providers do not permit domestic partners to share coverage. As such, it is highly recommended that you find out if you will be allowed to add your boyfriend or girlfriend to your policy before you proceed with applying for a domestic partnership. Since these relationships are legally binding, if you are not permitted to share insurance coverage, obtaining this type of union may not be in your best interest.
Summing It Up
Whether you’re partner is suffering from a serious illness or your other half simply doesn’t want to put his or her health in danger, adding him or her to your health insurance policy may be a possibility. Speak to your healthcare provider to find out what options are available to you.