May 20, 2019

Let’s Check Your Employee’s Dependents on Your Group Medical Plan

By Paul Bieber

First, what am I talking about? The fact is, some employees may have listed dependents on your insurance plan that are not qualified to receive your insurance. This cost is when employees list children that are not related. An insurance enrollment is given to your employee when your program starts, be it at the start of employment, or 90 days, or whenever. You received a list of names, date-of birth and social security numbers. Suddenly an employee has three kids covered, costing you tens of thousands. They may be cousins with the same name or even friends.

Many folks have kids with different names, by adoption, or child care situations, so you can’t just rule out anyone with a different name. What do you do? And don’t say you won’t give insurance to family members as this will prevent you from hiring the best qualified people. When you first hire someone ask them to fill out the insurance information, even if your plan doesn’t start for 90 days. For all children, doesn’t matter what the job position is, ask for birth certificates and/or visas or passports. If you have any doubt, ask for a school report card or last year’s family picture that may have gone out with Christmas cards.

If you are large enough to have an office manager or HR department, have these folks do the follow-through with all new hires. A good insurance agent will also help you here. They can do the research to find out the true family people. There are specializing companies that will do this for $30 to $50 per search; your insurance agent should be able to set this up for your local area if you don’t want your in-house staff to do the research.

You want to keep all the good folks you have. In our country today getting good insurance is harder to find. I can understand people wanting to do this. Even though it is wrong and it may be fraudulent in some states, don’t fire because of it.

Also, there may be spouses involved. People may live together but are not married. If you have any doubts, ask for a marriage license.