November 30, 2023

Health Insurance

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DEAR ABBY: Young adult refuses to pay portion of health coverage

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DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I married a year ago, I dropped my health insurance plan and joined his family plan, since he also provides coverage for his children, including one who is an adult. There was no additional cost to add me.

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However, months later, the insurance company raised the monthly premium for all employees. When my husband talked to his adult child about helping to pay their share of the premium, they avoided an answer, and the issue was dropped. My husband recently raised the subject again, and was met with the same avoidance and excuses about not working enough hours at their job. They are not a full-time college student, either.

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Shortly after the conversation ended, this adult child took to social media to rant about what a jerk their dad is for asking them to help pay, and then also posted several accusations that were untrue. This hurt my husband deeply, and his attempts to communicate are being ignored.

My husband was never heavy-handed about it. He was hoping that, as a young adult, they would understand why they were being asked to assist with their health care. Instead, it has turned into a childish, disrespectful attack. My husband now wants to remove this adult child from his insurance entirely, and I agree, even knowing the possible ramifications.

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Does this make us bad people? Is it wrong to ask a young adult to help with the cost of their medical needs? — HURTING FOR MY HUSBAND

DEAR HURTING: Your husband’s child may be over 21, but they acted like a kid throwing a tantrum. Instead of appreciating what they have been given, they are demanding more. It would be a mistake to continue rewarding bad behaviour. It wasn’t wrong to ask a young adult to contribute to the cost of their health insurance. Under the circumstances, removing this “child” from the insurance policy does not make you “bad” people; it makes you intelligent people.


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DEAR ABBY: Ever since we first began dating, I told my wife I never wanted to own a dog. She seemed to be OK with it, but over the last 10 years, she has put intense pressure on me to get one. She now says she “doesn’t remember” our original conversation and says she never would have agreed to it.

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She works, and I stay at home with the kids, so it would be my responsibility to take care of the pet, which I refuse to do. I feel physically sick around dogs, but because I don’t actively sneeze around them, she thinks I’m making up my sensitivity.

She is now rallying the kids against me. We live a transient lifestyle that would force us to kennel the dog for one to three months a year, which would cost money we don’t have. I’m tired of this conversation, and tired of feeling like I’m “ruining her life.” What should I do? — DOGLESS IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR DOGLESS: Since you are outvoted, ask your doctor to refer you to an allergist, a physician whose practice involves the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, because there are solutions to the problem.

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Once that’s dealt with, INSIST before adopting a dog that YOUR CHILDREN be responsible for feeding, walking and training the animal — with penalties if they don’t. The responsibility will teach them lessons that will prove valuable when they are older.

As to what to do with the new family member during the time you’re travelling, either find pet-friendly places to stay or make it your wife’s task to find a boarding situation for “her” dog that won’t break the bank.

— Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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