Are parents responsible for adult children’s medical debts? Should people squeeze in appointments and expensive procedures before year’s end because of changes that might come with the GOP tax bill? Should consumers pay a broker to help them enroll in a plan? I answer these questions from readers this week.
Q: My 25-year-old brother died in April, and now hospitals are calling my parents to cover his bills. He was covered under my parents’ employer-sponsored plan, but are they liable for his medical debt?
No, parents are not generally responsible for an adult child’s medical debts, said Richard Gundling, senior vice president at the Healthcare Financial Management Association, an organization for finance professionals in health care.
“Normally, if you’re 18 or older, you’re considered the responsible party, even if you’re insured under your parents’ policy,” Gundling said.
Under the Affordable Care Act, parents can keep their children up to age 26 on their insurance policy, even if the adult kids are financially independent and live on their own.