Features for Senior Citizens
How Can I Get Health Coverage for My
When an adult child is out of work,
grandparents may need to step up to help the grandchildren
25, 2014 – A reader of the Insuring Your Health column has come up with
an unusual question, or maybe it is not that unusual. The question is,
“How can I get health coverage for my grandchildren?” Michelle Andrews
has the answer and it may be one many grandparents need.
Q. My son has lost his job and
my grandchildren, ages 5 and 6, are without health insurance. I am a
retired schoolteacher and might be able to afford coverage for them.
What are my options?
A. Your grandchildren have a
couple of coverage possibilities. Assuming your son’s income is low or
non-existent now because he’s out of work, the kids would likely be
eligible for coverage under their state Medicaid or CHIP program for
Income eligibility varies by state, but it’s typically between
200 and 250 percent
of the federal poverty level (currently $39,580 to $49,475 for a
If the kids don’t qualify for
Medicaid or CHIP, all three of them may qualify for subsidized family
coverage on the state marketplace, says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow
at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KHN is an editorially independent
program of the foundation).
Under the health law, your son’s
loss of on-the-job health insurance creates a “special
enrollment period” for him to sign up for coverage there. If his
estimated income for this year will be less than
400 percent of the
federal poverty level (currently $78,120 for a family of three) he
may qualify for subsidies.
If it’s just the kids’ coverage
you’re concerned about, you can investigate child-only policies on the
state marketplace. Log onto
healthcare.gov to get connected to your state marketplace and find
details about child-only plans as well as family coverage and
Finally, if you have private
retiree coverage, it’s possible--but unlikely--that you could insure
your grandchildren as dependents on your own plan, says Pollitz.
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information is reprinted from
kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J.
Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser
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