FEHB provides benefits for you and your eligible family members. The key word there is “eligible.” Some persons who you consider family members—in some cases who even may be living with you—are excluded.
By law, an eligible family member includes:
• your spouse;
• a former spouse under certain conditions;
• children under age 26, including legally adopted children, recognized children born out of wedlock, stepchildren and, in certain circumstances as explained below, foster children;
• children of any age if incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that began before age 26.
Domestic partnerships, civil unions or other arrangements that aren’t formally recognized as a marriage don’t fit the definition of an eligible family member. Nor do parents, brothers and sisters and other close relatives, even if they are dependent on and/or living with you.
Also, there are certain conditions that control the eligibility of stepchildren and foster children. For example, as an enrollee, your stepchildren remain eligible after a divorce or your death, as long as the children continue to live with you in a regular parent-child relationship.
To be eligible as a foster child, the child must live with you and you must be the primary source of financial support for the child and expect to raise the child to adulthood. Further, you must sign a certification stating that your foster child meets those requirements.