• zInternationalStudents Blog

  • Thursday, July 20, 2017

  • The definition of “dependent” in a health insurance policy

    Filed Under: Health Insurance
Many a times we hear or read about a clause in health insurance policies that uses the term "dependent". This term has been a source of much confusion to people buying policies. Let us try and understand what it means, and who all are covered under this blanket term.

A dependent can be defined as a person who is, well, dependent on the principal buyer of the policy. Speaking in a general way, a dependent would be either a spouse or a child. But, legally speaking, it is not so simple. The dependent has to satisfy one of these conditions to be able to receive benefits from the policy. The person has to be -

  1. legal spouse of the principal

  2. unmarried dependent children of the principal


    1. by birth, legal adoption or legal guardianship

    2. under 19 years old AND having stayed with the principal for at least 6 months in the benefit period

    3. under 25 years old if a registered full time student for at least 5 months in the benefit year

    4. who have a total and permanent disability



With this handy reference, you will be able to clearly understand what a dependent means in the legal sense of the word. When you are buying health insurance or filing for benefits, keep this definition in mind. Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

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