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ERISA - Adopted Children Mandate

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In today's EBIA weekly, there is an article about a case involving an adopted child and it includes a reminder about ERISA's adopted children mandate. "ERISA group health plans covering dependent children of participants or beneficiaries must provide the same benefits to such children who are placed for adoption that are provided to natural children of participants or beneficiaries. The mandate applies whether or not the adoption has become final..."

The first part makes perfect sense, since a dependent is a dependent once covered, so what kind of a dependent shouldn't matter, but I don't understand the part about whether or not the adoption has become final. If the adoption isn't final, then how would the child be covered? If the adoption isn't final, then it just seems to me that they wouldn't be considered a dependent yet and couldn't be covered yet. At what point in an adoption would the child be eligible for coverage?

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Guest jrzgrl

That's very intereting...never knew that. I know of someone who is *about* to adopt a baby girl from Guatemala. She is still in Guatemala for another two weeks, but I guess mom can already put her on her health plan if it's an ERISA health plan! Now how about before children are born....? ;)

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Guest b2kates

The is no proof that child is from putative father prior to birth. We had a case were mother was pregnant from other than her spouse, but required to provide health care until birth; were able to exclude child after birth as not a dependent of father(plan participant).

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