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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 474
Registered: ‎06-16-2008
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Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

My stepson turns 18 this month.  We've carried him on our insurance for the past 5 years.  He lives with his mother and while he was a minor we could go to our insurance carrier's website to find out whether he had any medical costs that his mom didn't pay and didn't tell us about.  My husband had problems with medical collections in the past during the year he and his ex went through the divorce.  She lives in TN and we live in LA.

 

Now that stepson turns 18 we will no longer have the ability to check his medical bills.  He's wreckless and he's into motocross as a hobby so he has to go to the ER on occasion for broken bones, etc.  He never finished high school but he got his GED.  He has no plans to go to college and I don't know whether he has a job at the moment or not.

 

His mom asked us to continue to carry him on our insurance and I have no problem with that in theory because it doesn't cost us anything extra.  We have a 16yo at home who we still cover under our policy so we will have family coverage for many more years. 

 

My only concern is that there's nothing to stop him or his mother from writing our names on the medical form as the "responsible party" if he goes to the doctor for treatment.  My husband is one year away from getting rid of the last derog on his credit report.  The last thing we need is to have a medical collection show up on his CR out of the blue.

 

Does anyone know if we could be liable for his medical bills just because he's covered on our policy?

DH's FICOS: July '08 TU-661 / EQ-593 / EX-656 --> April '09 TU-730 / EQ-705 / EX-685

MY FICOS: July '08 TU-735 / EQ-727 / EX-767 --> April '09 TU-789 / EQ-774 / EX-767
Established Member
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎02-20-2012
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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

Unless something has changed, I believe once your 18, the 18 yr old is now responsible. From my current dealings with LA CA's, both parents are responsible 50/50 for medical debt. Yet I am the one trying to get the whole balances off my credit, 31 Neg entries I knew nothing about. I am currently in this battle with my ex over our children.

 

Blogger
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

Have you tried speaking with someone at your insurance company about this?

 

This sounds like it might become a sticky situation.

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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

Yeah I would also think that as an eighteen year old you are responsible for your own bills. I think in most states that's the minimum age at which you can enter into contracts and obtain credit on your own.
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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 474
Registered: ‎06-16-2008
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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

SFof5 are any of your children 18 yet?  Have you had to deal with this issue yet?

DH's FICOS: July '08 TU-661 / EQ-593 / EX-656 --> April '09 TU-730 / EQ-705 / EX-685

MY FICOS: July '08 TU-735 / EQ-727 / EX-767 --> April '09 TU-789 / EQ-774 / EX-767
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 474
Registered: ‎06-16-2008
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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

[ Edited ]

FrugalR, I called the insurance company yesterday.  The woman I spoke with said she thought that a child over age 18 would be responsible for their own debt but that she wasn't qualified to give me an answer for certain.  She said I would need to check with medical providers in TN to see who they would count as the person responsible for medical debt of an 18yo covered on insurance.

 

I've been doing lots of searches on the internet since last night but I get conflicting information.  Half the things I read say that once the child is 18 they are responsible for their portion of medical costs if they're covered under our insurance.  The other half say that if he's on our insurance policy, by default we're the ones responsible for his medical debt and the only way to avoid that is to take him off our policy.

 

We're really unsure about whether we should keep him on our policy or not.  His mother can cover him on her insurance policy but she says the cost would be prohibitive. 

DH's FICOS: July '08 TU-661 / EQ-593 / EX-656 --> April '09 TU-730 / EQ-705 / EX-685

MY FICOS: July '08 TU-735 / EQ-727 / EX-767 --> April '09 TU-789 / EQ-774 / EX-767
Established Member
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎02-20-2012
0

Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

None of my children are 18. I had a "Darwin" argument over a medical bill for the baby she had with her new spouse, that some how I am responsible for? Even the CA agreed "Your ex wife had another persons child, the child is not yours and you have to pay for it...........we'll delete that today"

 

But I did live in LA, but good/bad news, once he turns 18 you may not be responsible for the debt acquired for the same year he turned 18.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 474
Registered: ‎06-16-2008
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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

WOW!  It's insane to imagine that somehow a medical provider would try to make you responsible for the medical bills that resulted from the birth of your ex-wife's child from her new spouse.

DH's FICOS: July '08 TU-661 / EQ-593 / EX-656 --> April '09 TU-730 / EQ-705 / EX-685

MY FICOS: July '08 TU-735 / EQ-727 / EX-767 --> April '09 TU-789 / EQ-774 / EX-767
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,671
Registered: ‎05-24-2007
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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?

I think there may a big difference between who is legally responsible for a debt and what may hit your husbands credit report. I'm afraid it is going to vary according to the laws of the states involved, the insurance company, any medical offices and collection agencies involved, and the actions of his son and his ex.

 

It seems that your primary motivation is to avoid problems with your husband's credit. I think the best way to do that is for him to remove his son from the insurance. He will still have some exposure but it is going to be very difficult to work out something that works well with an irresponsible ex and/or child.

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Posts: 15,442
Registered: ‎04-09-2011
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Re: Who's responsible for medical debt of child over 18 covered on our insurance?


Phoenix-rising wrote:

My stepson turns 18 this month.  We've carried him on our insurance for the past 5 years.  He lives with his mother and while he was a minor we could go to our insurance carrier's website to find out whether he had any medical costs that his mom didn't pay and didn't tell us about.  My husband had problems with medical collections in the past during the year he and his ex went through the divorce.  She lives in TN and we live in LA.

 

Now that stepson turns 18 we will no longer have the ability to check his medical bills.  He's wreckless and he's into motocross as a hobby so he has to go to the ER on occasion for broken bones, etc.  He never finished high school but he got his GED.  He has no plans to go to college and I don't know whether he has a job at the moment or not.

 

His mom asked us to continue to carry him on our insurance and I have no problem with that in theory because it doesn't cost us anything extra.  We have a 16yo at home who we still cover under our policy so we will have family coverage for many more years. 

 

My only concern is that there's nothing to stop him or his mother from writing our names on the medical form as the "responsible party" if he goes to the doctor for treatment.  My husband is one year away from getting rid of the last derog on his credit report.  The last thing we need is to have a medical collection show up on his CR out of the blue.

 

Does anyone know if we could be liable for his medical bills just because he's covered on our policy?


You have to sign that responsibility form for you to be liable. That was the case with me and my DW. They tried to pin a collection on me and it was not my debt.




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