How to Add Your Elderly Parent to Your Health Insurance

Adult children often become caregivers for their elderly parents. They must take responsibility for their aging parents' health care needs and the best insurance options for them. Although the practice is not common, some employers will allow employees to add their parents to their health insurance policies as dependents. For example, Bank of America permits it as long as the parents are under 65, live with the employee and are considered a dependent for federal tax purposes.

Determine if your parent qualifies for health insurance coverage under your company plan. Read the plan's benefits summary to see if adding elderly parents is addressed. This summary is sent to each health insurance subscriber upon electing coverage. In it you'll find information about dependents, coverage and obtaining benefits.

Make sure adult dependents have no other access to medical, dental or vision coverage so they are eligible for another health plan.

Contact your human resources department to ask whether elderly parents can be added to your health plan if there is no information about this in the benefits summary. Generally, the decision is up to the employer, not the health insurance company. Because of the increased risk and cost of covering elderly individuals, many companies are hesitant to add them.