SFHSS member employees and retirees may enroll eligible dependents on their health coverage. Dependent eligibility and enrollment deadlines are outlined below.
Spouses and Domestic Partners
A member’s legal spouse or domestic partner may be eligible for SFHSS healthcare coverage. Proof of marriage or registered domestic partnership is required, as well as the dependent’s Social Security number. Proof of Medicare enrollment must also be provided for a same-sex spouse or domestic partner (of either gender) who is age 65 or older, or who is Medicare-eligible due to a disability. Enrollment in SFHSS benefits must be completed within 30 days of the date of marriage or partnership. In that case, coverage begins on the first day of the coverage period after a completed application and eligibility documentation is filed with SFHSS. Legal spouses and domestic partners can also be added to a member’s coverage during annual Open Enrollment.
Natural Children, Step-Children, Adopted Children
A member’s natural child, stepchild, adopted child (including child placed for adoption), and the natural or adopted child of a member’s enrolled domestic partner are eligible for coverage up to 26 years of age. Coverage terminates at the end of the coverage period in which the child turns 26. Eligibility documentation is required upon initial enrollment.
Legal Guardianships and Court Orders
Children under 19 years old who are placed under the legal guardianship of an enrolled member, a member’s spouse, or domestic partner are eligible. If a member is required by a court’s judgement, decree or order to provide health coverage for a child, that child is eligible up to age 19. Coverage terminates at the end of the coverage period in which the child turns 19. The member must provide SFHSS with proof of guardianship
Children who are disabled may be covered beyond the age limits stated previously, provided all of the following criteria are met. (A newly hired employee who enrolls an adult disabled child age 26 or older must meet all requirements below except 1 and 2.)
- 1. Adult child was enrolled in an SFHSS medical plan on the child’s 19th birthday and continuously for at least one year prior to the child’s 19th birthday;
- 2. Adult child was continuously enrolled in an SFHSS- administered medical plan from age 19 to 26;
- 3. Adult child is incapable of self-sustaining employment due to the disability;
- 4. Adult child is unmarried.
- 5. Adult child permanently resides with the employee member;
- 6. Adult child is dependent on the member for substantially all of his economic support, and is declared as an exemption on the member’s federal income tax;
- 7. Member submits to SFHSS acceptable medical documentation–a certification that an adult child is enrolled in Medicare due to a Social Security-qualifying disability, or SFHSS disabled dependent forms completed and signed by a physician–at least 60 days prior to child’s attainment of age 26 and every year thereafter as requested;
- 8. All enrolled dependents who qualify for Medicare due to a disability are required to enroll in Medicare. Members must notify SFHSS of any dependent’s eligibility for, and enrollment in, Medicare;
- 9. Once enrolled, the member must continuously enroll the disabled adult child in SFHSS coverage and Medicare (if eligible) to maintain future eligibility.
Social Security Numbers Required
Members and dependents who do not have a Social Security number on file at HSS risk having benefits terminated. Social Security numbers for newborns must be provided within 6 months of the date of birth. Visit ssa.gov for more information. If your dependent does not qualify for a Social Security number, please contact SFHSS at (628) 652-4700.
Dependent Eligibility Audits and Penalties for Failing to Disenroll Ineligible Dependents
All members are required to notify SFHSS within 30 days and cancel coverage for a dependent who becomes ineligible. Dependent eligibility may be audited by SFHSS at any time.
The audit process may require members to provide documentation demonstrating financial interdependency such as IRS tax returns. Enrollment of a dependent who does not meet the plan's eligibility requirements as stated in Health Service System Rules and enrollment materials, or failure to disenroll when a dependent becomes ineligible, will be treated as an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud.
If a member fails to notify SFHSS, the member may be held responsible for the costs of ineligible dependent’s health premiums and any medical service provided. Dependents can be dropped during open enrollment without penalty.
What you should know when adding dependents
When adding dependents, remember that not all relationship types are eligible to receive benefits. You can list other relationships that are not eligible for benefits as emergency contacts.
To find out if your dependent is eligible for coverage, please refer to the Eligibility Relationship Types table.