Are parents responsible for adult children's medical bills if they have medical insurance on them?

No. Insurance, and Responsible party are two different obligations. Insurance is just a service. Responsibilty to pay is owed by anyone over the age of 18, the legal gaurdian that signs for a minor will be responsible there of.


Yes. In March 2011, my husband asked this question of his employer who offers BCBS Federal health insurance. His 3 children, aged 21-24 are notorious deadbeats when it comes to paying their bills and he was concerned about being stuck with their medical expenses. Initially, he was told that adult children are responsible for their own medical charges since it is they who sign an agreement to pay for services at the doctors' offices. Not completely satisfied with an answer that was unsupported by citations within the BCBS documentation, he insisted that a supervisor be contacted and asked to cite specific BCBS wording about financial responsibility. It was then he was told that, yes, should "dependent" adult children fail to pay their medical bills, the doctor would likely have recourse to seek payment from the policy holder since the "children" are "dependents" on his policy. Furthermore, my husband was informed that, as a federal government employee, he had no option to decline adding his adult children to his insurance policy. In short, he is forced to have them on his policy whether he wants to or not and could potentially be stuck paying their bills.


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. 4 of our six children are on our health insurance, all over the age of 21. When we found out our credit scores were being affected by medical costs incurred by our adult children, we took a stand and are now seeking advice from attorneys and our credit scores has been and is in the process of being corrected for various past due bills reflecting with credit bureaus. In our initial consultation, it was explained that we are only liable for medical costs we have signed financial liability for with the provider. Just because you add the adult child to insurance for health coverage due to the new laws, DOES NOT make you financially responsible unless the child is a minor and cannot legally sign for themselves with the provider. I HIGHLY suggest seeking out legal help in this matter due to too many interpretations of these new laws by insurance providers and employers and yes, even for government employees. The costs of an attorney will be FAR less than the costs and headache of additional medical bills and bad credit due to adult children's inability to pay their bills for whatever reason. For government employees, it is standard policy for supervisors or managers of government employees to take the stand of 'You are responsible'. HOWEVER, this is not TRUE. Several family members work for Federal Government agencies and ALL have gone thru this as well. WE are NOT responsible. Again, interpretation of the new laws is widely varied by those that do not have the legal knowledge and force behind them to appropriately interpret these laws. Please seek legal council and save yourself a lot of headache.