This is a direct question from one of my clients, an employer of about 800 people in Ohio.
Here is the fact pattern:
1) Employer has an employee who recently re-married.
2) His new wife (spouse) is waiving coverage with the employee’s company since she has coverage elsewhere.
3) The wife has adult children ages 22 and 24
4) Under Obamacare, dependents can be on the employee’s coverage until age 26.
5) However, these Adults were never dependents of the step-dad, and since they are over 18, could NEVER be dependents of the step-dad.
6) Employer would like to NOT provide coverage to these adults since they are NOT the dependents of the employee.
Question from the client: Does the company need to allow adult step kids to come on a health plan, when they were never HIS dependents, and the mom takes coverage through HER employer?
Answer: Yes; under Obamacare, even though the adults were never dependents of the employee, they would be eligible for the company plan up until age 26.
Prior to Obamacare, they would not have been eligible. They would have been considered adults.