Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

This is a discussion on Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills? within the Other Family Law Matters forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; We live in Illinois. Our daughter is 18, will be 19 in September. She is 3 months pregnant. She is ...

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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

We live in Illinois. Our daughter is 18, will be 19 in September. She is 3 months pregnant. She is graduating from High School in 2 weeks. She is currently on our health insurance plan but it will not cover maternity for anyone other than spouse.

My question is: Can I to be held responsible for what the health insurance plan does not cover?

I have told her that I refuse to pay for any of this and she needs to get her unemployed boyfriend or his family to pay for this. Legally can anyone come after me for payment or can I simply toss all responsibility on her and her BF?

Someone told me the providers will come after me for payment because she is on my insurance plan. This is BS. She is an adult and wouldn't privacy laws restrict this?

I need a straight answer, getting too many conflicting or speculative answers on the 'net...

Thanks!
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Old May 14th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

I wish to inform you that you cannot be personally responsible for your adult child's medical expense. In this regard if the child is on insurance cover then hospital can claim only expenses on insurance cover from insurance company but this will not justify to make you liable on uncovered expenses. The contract law specifically establishes that only the party taking benefit can be held liable and not others.

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Old May 14th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

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We live in Illinois. Our daughter is 18, will be 19 in September. She is 3 months pregnant. She is graduating from High School in 2 weeks. She is currently on our health insurance plan but it will not cover maternity for anyone other than spouse.

My question is: Can I to be held responsible for what the health insurance plan does not cover?

I have told her that I refuse to pay for any of this and she needs to get her unemployed boyfriend or his family to pay for this. Legally can anyone come after me for payment or can I simply toss all responsibility on her and her BF?

Someone told me the providers will come after me for payment because she is on my insurance plan. This is BS. She is an adult and wouldn't privacy laws restrict this?

I need a straight answer, getting too many conflicting or speculative answers on the 'net...

Thanks!
If she is covered under your healthcare plan then yes. You may incur expenses.

To ensure you don't, remove her from the plan immediately.

No. Privacy laws have nothing to do with who is on your insurance plan. If she's on your insurance, she's part of a family plan and as such, whoever holds the policy would become liable.

She's legally an adult. If she wants to bring children into the world, it's best she learn to be responsible for all of their care - starting with their birth - right from the beginning. You're right to not help her. She got herself into this. She can get herself out.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

It doesn't make any sense that I would be liable for another adult's expenses. Once the insurance company pays, the remainder is a matter between the healthcare provider and the patient. Insurance coverage or not has nothing to do with it.

For instance, what if I was divorced and still providing insurance on spouse and daughter. If one of them goes to the doctor, why would I get the bill for any unpaid expenses? Is it any of my business what or why either one of them went to see a doctor?
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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

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It doesn't make any sense that I would be liable for another adult's expenses. Once the insurance company pays, the remainder is a matter between the healthcare provider and the patient. Insurance coverage or not has nothing to do with it.

For instance, what if I was divorced and still providing insurance on spouse and daughter. If one of them goes to the doctor, why would I get the bill for any unpaid expenses? Is it any of my business what or why either one of them went to see a doctor?
Because they are covered under YOUR insurance plan. Is that really so difficult to filter and absorb intellectually? If you don't want to be responsible for another person's bills, take them off your insurance plan.

It's simple unless your brain isn't all that bright.
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Old Jan 13th, 2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

I am in the same boat as the individual writing the question and I am an attorney although I don't work in this field. I will read my insurance contract to see what I have signed up for. It would seem a matter of contract law, at least initially. There may be case law in some jurisdiction, which may or may not be significant in your jurisdiction. Get your hands on the contract and see what it says.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 07:07 AM   #7
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I am in the same boat as the individual writing the question and I am an attorney although I don't work in this field. I will read my insurance contract to see what I have signed up for. It would seem a matter of contract law, at least initially. There may be case law in some jurisdiction, which may or may not be significant in your jurisdiction. Get your hands on the contract and see what it says.
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Old Nov 1st, 2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Lightbulb Re: Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

The answer for me was... NO unless you sign at registration that you are the guarantor! You simply cannot be held accountable for the adult and their actions unless you have power over them. Most HC providers will not let a parent sign for a patient older than 18 anyway. Insurance or not, ask the HC provider to remove you (the parent) from that assignment. I personally went through this with my 22 year old son who was an addict and an active prescription drug seeker. He consistently used my name and insurance when engaging medical providers. He was always injured or had some excuse to get more drugs, the facilities would believe him and run extensive tests and then eventually write him a prescription. Shame on them! None of the providers could legally hold me liable since I did not sign a single document nor was I even aware of the events. But yes, they did bill me! After a few phone calls I was able to clear it all up. The insurance paid on these occasions (I donít know why, I asked them not to) but the remaining bills eventually went to collections and ended up in my sons lap. After an extensive drug treatment program, about 4 months ago, he is now reimbursing the collectors and learning to be responsible. And yes, I did agree to help pay for the rehab, but still did not sign for him. The bottom line, donít sign for any adult unless you expect to be responsible for their actions. And pleaseÖ ignore the negative comments left by others in this section. Your daughter needs your help to guide her through the next phase of life. It is never effective to punish her at this stage and realistically it will only have a negative impact on the infant. Help her be responsible, but be loving about it. It is not easy with the Y generation. They have entitlement written into their DNA and it is hard to get them past it. Be persistent, firm and loving. Try not to enable dependancy, only step in when it is in the best interest of the infant. It will be hard, but rewarding.

As far as the boyfriend...he is also responsible and he should step up. If he refuses, maybe your daughter can be guided to seek legal direction. Whatever is in the best interest of the child.

Good luck.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 02:17 AM   #9
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Default Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

I think that that you cannot be personally responsible for your adult child'. No. Seek advice from an attorney before going to battle on medical liability. We are in the same situation when it comes to providing insurance to adult children living on their own.
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Old Mar 11th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are parents responsible for adult childrens medical bills?

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Because they are covered under YOUR insurance plan. Is that really so difficult to filter and absorb intellectually? If you don't want to be responsible for another person's bills, take them off your insurance plan.

It's simple unless your brain isn't all that bright.
Your a moron!
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