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You might be able to get coverage, so it’s definitely worth checking out. The answer will depend on whether your employer extends benefits to domestic partners and whether the two of you meet the definition of domestic partners.

Generally to be considered domestic partners, you must have lived together for at least six months and plan to live together indefinitely. Other qualifications might include sharing financial reponsibility for basic living expenses and having a close, personal relationship in which you’re responsible for each other’s welfare.

To find out if you can get coverage, ask your girlfriend to talk to her employer’s benefits manager about the company’s rules for health insurance dependents. Some states require employers to extend health benefits to domestic partners if they extend them to spouses. However, those state laws don’t apply to self-insured employers. Very large employers typically self insure.

Keep in mind that the employer probably won’t pick up the entire tab for you to get health benefits, even if it offers them to domestic partners. At least a portion of the premium for your coverage will likely come out of your girlfriend’s paycheck.

For more, see Hey, is that really your insurance dependent?

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