These days many grandparents are raising their grandkids. There are lots of reasons why grandparents raise their grandchildren. Sometimes the parents are out of the children’s lives due to abuse or neglect. Sadly, sometimes one or more of the parents have died or are incarcerated, and the grandparent steps in to be the caretaker.
Grandparents often ask if they can put their grandchildren on their personal or self-employed health insurance plans. Grandparents have a tough time trying to add their grandchildren to their health insurance policies. Some policies will allow you to add your grandchildren to your health coverage if you have legal custody of them. You might not see grandchildren listed in your policy, so you might have to ask an insurance agent to find out if you can add your grandkids to your health insurance policy.
Being self-employed, you may have either a personal health insurance policy, or you might have self-employed insurance, or you might even have a group policy for the self-employed. Every health insurance company has their own rules and regulations. Some health insurance companies do require you to have a court order for custody of your grandchildren, and still other insurance companies don’t have a provision for grandchild coverage.
As my daddy used to say, there’s more than one way to cook a pot of beans. That being said, you will have to look for other ways to find health coverage for your grandkids, because they should never be without access to health care. Do you have a spouse who is employed in public work? If so, your spouse could try to get the children on his/her group policy; however, an employer can throw a monkey wrench into the works there, by not allowing coverage for anyone other than members of the immediate family, which would be husband and wife. You may or may not get insurance coverage for your grandchildren this way.
Are the parents of the grandkids in their children’s lives at all? If so, you might ask the parents of the children to cover them on their health coverage. If the parents are out of the picture, you have another option. Go to social services in your county of residence to apply for Medicaid. You will have to show that you have legal custody, or some paperwork that shows your grandchildren are supposed to be with you for your grandchildren to receive Medicaid.
Grandparents are doing a wonderful service to raise their grandkids, when they have already raised their own. They’ve worked all their lives to take care of their families when they were young, and often grandparents have to go to work to support grandchildren. Some grandparents work in public jobs, while others work for themselves, just to supplement their retirement and Social Security income. Grandparents need all the help they can get, because they are doing a noble job.
If for some reason you have not been able to obtain health coverage for your grandchildren, don’t give up. If for some reason your grandchildren do not qualify for Medicaid, don’t fret. You most likely will be able to obtain health insurance through another state program called CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). CHIP, formerly known as S-CHIP, offers health coverage for children who have not been on anyone’s insurance for at least 6 months. It is possible to get free health insurance for your grandchildren.
Don’t worry; if you make too much money for your grandkids to qualify for CHIP, you could qualify for a reduced premium. The premiums could be free, or nearly free, and if you don’t qualify for the reduced rate, you could get the health insurance at full price. There is no reason that any grandparent should be financially burdened while they devote their twilight years to raise the next generation of their families.
AARP (Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons)