Does entering into a same-sex marriage change your status as a dependent with your parent’s health insurance?

Neither of our parents live in states that recognize same sex unions. We want to get married but don’t have the means to become independent in regards to health insurance. We live in NC.

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question.  As you are aware, every state handles same sex marriages or unions differently.  Additionally, health insurance companies may vary their coverage plans with regard to a variety of circumstances, such as the age of a dependent, or whether the dependent is a full-time student.  The insurance plan may also require that you live in the same state or even the same household as the named policy insurer.  The exception to not living in the same household is usually that the dependent is living at school and is enrolled as a full-time student. 

Additionally, an insurance policy will require that the named insured provide all information regarding their dependent, such as age and address.  If you have a state identification card, such as a driver’s license, with a different address than the address provided to the insurance company, this can be considered insurance fraud, and as such you would not be covered under the insurance policy.

For the reasons mentioned above, it is unlikely that it would matter if the state you lived in or the state your parents lived in recognized same sex marriages, unless of course you are enrolled as a full-time student and that is the reason that you are living out of state.  Generally, within an insurance policy it will note the state that governs the law of the policy.  If that state recognizes same sex marriages, then you have an easier answer to your question.

 Lastly, you can contact your insurance agent and ask the requirements for a dependent and if a same-sex marriage would disqualify you from being an insured dependent on your parent’s policy. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.