Liability for Adult Child's Medical Debts

Question: Am I legally responsible for my adult child’s medical bills if child is covered under my health insurance? I have a 19 year old that is covered on my health insurance through my employer. Am I legally responsible for the portion of the medical bills that insurance doesn’t cover?

Answer: Not without an agreement signed by you. Under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) an adult child can remain on the parent’s medical insurance until they are 26. However, that does not impose liability on the parent for medical bills that are not covered by insurance. Generally, under the "Statute of Frauds," which exists in Illinois and virtually every other state, you are not liable to pay the debt of another unless you have signed a writing to that effect. The fact that you have made a gift to your adult child (medical insurance premiums or payment of some bills) does not obligate you to a third party, or require you to make further gifts.

Furthermore, attempts to collect the debt from the parent may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and attempts to report it on the parent's credit report may violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act if properly disputed with the credit bureaus.

We can help you both defend claims against you and assert your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and other laws.

Please contact us if you are facing collection activity . The 12 attorneys in our firm have a total of more than 100 years experience handling consumer lawsuits. We look forward to hearing from you about any consumer legal problem you wish to discuss. There is no charge for consultation.

We have defended consumers in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, Kendall, Grundy, Lake, DeKalb, Kankakee, Carroll, Clinton, Winnebago, Bureau, LaSalle, Boone, McDonough, Rock Island, Knox and Whiteside Counties, Illinois.

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