DH and I are looking at possibly adopting a newborn from a close family friend. The baby is due in two months. I am pretty sure the adoption won't be finalized for some time after the birth.
From what I understand, we can be assigned guardianship of the child until the adoption is finalized (please correct me if I'm wrong). If we are the legal guardians, will the baby be covered as a dependent under DH's health insurance policy?
Thank you for your help!
Federal Omnibus Act (blanking on the year, Clinton signed it) states that a child placed (key word) in your home or purposes of adoption must be covered in the same manner as the insurance company would cover a child born to you. Many insurance companies and HR dept's will tell you otherwise, they will insist that you have to finalize. We had to threaten legal action ( a letter form our attorney) before we got the right supervisor of Blue Cross to say- oops, you're right and we're wrong, your child is covered.
Placed does NOT mean finalized! Placed means when the baby is released to you for purposes of adoption, and you physically take costudy- NOTE, the baby being released to you doesn't always coincide with relinquishment of parental rights. All we had to do, once Blue Cross was on the same page, was send in a new member form and a copy of the placement papers, and that was that.
my insurance began when she was placed with us for adoption, not when the adoption is final. This is an important difference. We had legal custody of her the day after she was born, we didn't finalize the adoption until 2 months later.
My insurance began the day that our little girl was physically placed with us. Her mother did not sign TPR paperwork until a week later, but our insurance company didn't have a problem with that. I don't know if our situation is uncommon.
Good luck to you!
OUrs started at placement also and we did not finalize until 6 months later. Oddly, PJ was in the hospital for 3 days after he was born without bmom and we knew he was coming to us but he was not considered "placed" until we took him home. SO no coverage for the hospital. I probably could have fought it but decided it just wasn't worth it.
When we were placed with our son we receievd papers from the agency giving us legal custody. You can use this to submit for health insurance and anything else you would need a birth certficate for like flying etc.
dh works with a rather large aerospace corp. They were not forthcoming with info, in fact they were rather clueless. The guy had to talk to another guy, and so on. eventually they figured out what we had to do. I'd call in advance, get names and the procedure required and a fax number so you can fax the info in (attn: someone who knows what's going on), then you'll be ready. dd was covered from the day of placement. good thing too since her finalization wasn't until 16 months later, lol.
so be persistent, know the law, and find out the procedure in advance. you'll be busy later :D .
Definitely call early to ask their policy on the matter. Although I find it a bit worrying that an insurance would want to see the placement paper before putting a child on the insurance, because i thought some agencies required you to have the child insured before placing?
If you have GROUP insurance, and work for any company except a very, very small one, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to you.
Under this law, your child MUST be covered from the date of adoption OR PLACEMENT WITH YOU FOR ADOPTION, as long as you notify your employer and insuror within 30 days of the adoption or placement for adoption. Your insuror cannot exclude pre-existing conditions, and cannot impose a waiting period for coverage.
However, if you have an individual policy or belong to a very, very small group, HIPAA does not apply. Therefore, unless your state happens to have a law that is similar to HIPAA but covers individual and small group policies, your insuror CAN say that your child won't be covered until finalization, won't be covered for pre-existing conditions, etc.
My husband's company would not add dd until the adoption was finalized when he called to get her added. We had just moved from being a foster placement to an adoptive placement and were on adoptive probation. He worked for a major, well known Canadian bank with a giant HR department. It was the second time they were denying him something big (first time was parental leave issues) based on it being an adoption. He managed to get the bank's policy on adoptive parental leave changed by fighting it!
As silly as it sounds, he just waited a day and called back. He got a different HR person who added her without any problem. So now, with everything, we call twice and try and get a different answer from someone else. By different I mean the answer I want ;). It's working quite often.
Anyway, that's what happened to us!
My insurance covered my son from the day he was born. He wasn't even placed with us till two weeks later. They covered all his birth expenses too. I just have to turn in his finalization papers when we get them. If for some reason the adoption fails (not) we would be responsible for all that money that the insurance paid. In the mean time the insurance has a letter from the agency about his pending adoption. That was enough for the insurance company.
Good Luck.
By law in the U.S. the child is covered when placed under your care for adoption. Jonathan is covered on our health insurance due to this.
The hang up and call again is one of my favorite tactics! Love it.
If anyone is in CA you can call 1-800-927-437 for The California State Insurance Regulators. They are happy to interpret the law for your provider.
CA law requires them to cover your child upon placement or moment of birth, w/o exclusions for any pre-existing conditions.
Wow, thank you for all the responses! This is all very reassuring. :)
DH does have a group plan, but it's at a small company. It sounds like the baby should be covered, but we'll check into it to make sure.