Grandchildren’s Health Care Coverage 

Q. Is there any law requiring an employers' group health plan to extend coverage to an employee's covered child's child (the employee’s grandchild)? 

A. Under the Affordable Care Act, there are no laws requiring employer sponsored coverage to extend dependent child coverage to the children of a dependent child. A child of an employee is generally defined narrowly as a son, daughter, stepson or stepdaughter of the employee. The term, however, also includes adopted children and an “eligible foster child.” An eligible foster child is defined broadly as a child placed with the employee by an authorized placement agency or by court order. Under certain circumstances, it is entirely possible that an employee’s covered child’s child may have been legally adopted by the employee or placed with the employee by an authorized foster agency and would then be eligible for the dependent coverage. 

Jason R. Mau is an attorney in the Boise office of Parsons Behle & Latimer. He can be reached at 208-562-4898 or