Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | February 25, 2013

Adoption, Health Insurance, and the Law

Will my adopted child be covered by my insurance? When will the coverage of my adopted child begin? Can our insurance deny our adopted child? What about special needs, or preexisting conditions? Many adoptive parents have questions regarding their adopted child and their health insurance. Oftentimes it is difficult to obtain a definitive answer to their questions. So today I wanted to share with you the necessary information.

As many of you know, President Bill Clinton is adopted, and therefore a strong proponent of adoption during his terms in office. One of the bills that he was able to sign into affect during his presidency was the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Subtitle D of this act speaks directly to health insurance coverage of adopted children. It states that any group health plan that provides coverage to dependents must also provide coverage to an adopted child “under the same terms and conditions.”  The bill also states that the coverage will begin the moment the child is placed with the adoptive family for the purposes of adopt, irrelevant of if the adoption has been finalized or not.

The bill also states that the child being placed for purposes of adoption cannot be denied coverage by the provider due to preexisting conditions (special needs).

The HIPAA Bill of 1996 further made it law that an insurance must immediately cover the adopted child, even if it is not “open enrollment season” for adding individuals to insurance policies.

One note to mention is in reference to ministers and others who are self-employed. Many ministers do not have a group plan, as many are considered self-employed. If you fall under this category, you will want to contact your health insurance provider immediately to discuss the provisions set forth in your policy for adopted children.

If you have any further questions regarding health insurance coverage and adoption, please let us know.


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