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Our 18 year old daughter has moved out, but is still in high school, do we have to keep her on our health insurance?

Buffalo, NY |

I am her stepmother and I provide the health insurance. She's going to the ER for every little thing, runny nose, etc and racking up 150.00 charges each time and refuses to pay. I may need to drop her off the insurance, as I think this is done out of spite. I know since she is not MY child I can drop her but will anyone come after my husband for it? Are we obligated to cover her? even though he has custody?

We are in New York State

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Attorney answers 4


Since she is still in high school, even if you were to claim that she was emancipated, you'd still find health care providers coming after you.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -


You will need to amend the orders of support in Family Court to change the obligation of providing health insurances and which parent's insurance policy the child is listed as a family dependent on (as well as out of pocket cost responsibilities).

You need to provide support until 21 in New York State which would include medical coverage. I doubt your arguments that the child uses too much health care will get much traction, but you probably can require that she gets a primary care physician and does not use the ER for common medical expenses and procedures if that's a less expensive option. I would explore filing a Family Court petition to modify support provisions in this regard to make the most reasonable, cost-effective insurance coverage available. If no one has group health insurance, the Healthy New York program, if only for the minor child(ren) might be a suitable option.

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Take the order of support to an attorney to review. If the parents are to share the unreimbursed medical expenses and there is not insurance, then it may be a high amount to divide.

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Did she move in with her mother, on her own or with friends? I would suggest that a petition for emancipation be filed so that you are relieved of any obligation for continued support, including health insurance. Keep in mind, that until she is 21, she can emancipate and unemancipate herself as often as she wants.