While some folks are getting lovestruck by Cupid's arrows on Valentine's Day, others are feeling the stings from exes and cheating lovers. Along with the pain of broken promises can come serious problems with the least romantic subject of all: insurance. Here are five top questions from our readers.
1. I'm pregnant by a man who's not my husband. Will I be able to add the baby to my husband's employer-sponsored health plan?
In most cases, the answer is no, says Bruce Borgos, senior director of human resource audit services at Secova, an employee benefits and human resource services firm headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif. For the baby to qualify for coverage under your husband's plan, your husband would have to show he has legal custody of the child. Typically employer health plans that extend coverage to dependents do allow stepchildren on their plans.
2. I had an affair and got another woman who's not my wife pregnant. Can I put her on my health insurance plan?
"Not legitimately," Borgos says. "We've had a few cases in the past where we've uncovered these types of situations." In those instances, the fathers listed the girlfriends as their daughters on the health plans, unbeknownst to their wives. Borgos says. It's not a good idea to try to sneak someone onto your health plan who isn't actually eligible to receive coverage. Amid rising health care costs, employers hire firms like Secova to conduct dependent eligibility audits. Many employers require employees to produce documentation, such as tax returns, marriage certificates and birth certificates, to prove the relationships that qualify dependents for coverage. Secova sifts through the information for clients to determine who does and doesn't belong on their health plans. "More and more it's the really complicated relationships we have to unravel," says Chirayu Patel, Secova's vice president of client development.