If I am a dependent of my parents and they no longer have insurance, why am I the one responsible for my hospital bills even though I'm over 18?

If I am a dependent of my parents and they no longer have insurance, why am I the one responsible for my hospital bills even though I'm over 18?
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0

#1

My parents still claim me on their taxes as a dependent (I’m in college). My dad lost his job, which means he lost his insurance. I went to the hospital and incurred many unpaid bills. Why is it not my parents’ responsibility to provide me with insurance when I am their dependent? I understand that you’re an adult when you’re 18, but it doesn’t make sense that I can be a dependent of them when they aren’t providing me with anything.


#2

I think you are confusing the language nuances of the US Tax Code and health insurance policies...with the responsibility of being an adult. You are an adult who can now legally sign documents and contracts such as a hospital admissions paperwork that says you personally are responsible for paying the bill.

Separetely, you may be able to negotiate the bill with the hospital that may include lowering the amount due and setting up a payment schedule. Might look at applying for Medicaid that might be able to retroactively cover your hospital bills.

You are still young and financial topics like this aren't typically taught in schools, so use college as a time to learn as much about personal finance as you can. You may not make a career in finances, but you will have to manage your household finances the rest of your life so you might as well get good at it.

-The Savings Coach


#3

Because you are now an adult.


#4

Sometimes, when you lose your job, the parents will take COBRA. This provides continued coverage. Did you check to see if he was covered under that plan.

Bottomline, even though you are their dependent for tax purposes, you are an adult legally. So that mean any debts you incur, you owe. I would go down to the Hospital and talk to them. Tell them your situation. They have ways to help someone in your situation.


#5

Yes, because you are over the age of eighteen and considered an adult.
Since you are a full time college student you can apply for financial assistance and/or Charity care at that hospital and should have no problem qualifying. Even if the hospital takes your family income into consideration (being your dad is unemployed) you should have no problem qualifying.
You can normally find financial assistance and/or charity care information on the hospitals website.
If that fails you can ask the hospital about qualifying for medicaid or an uninsured discount to settle the hospital bill.
Best of luck to you!
Cheryl Welch, MBA
Hudson Valley Medical Bill Advocate


#6

This thread has been closed. Have a financial question? Log in and ask our community!