A "Dependent" refers to an individual who relies on another, typically a family member, for financial support and is covered under their health insurance or life insurance policy. In the context of insurance, dependents often include the policyholder's spouse, children, and sometimes other relatives or individuals for whom the policyholder has legal guardianship. The specific criteria for who qualifies as a dependent can vary by insurance policy and jurisdiction, but generally, dependents are those who do not independently provide for their own financial needs and are included in the policyholder's coverage.

For health insurance, dependents typically receive medical coverage under the policyholder's plan. This can include preventive care, medical treatments, emergency services, and prescriptions. The inclusion of dependents may affect the premium cost of the policy.

For life insurance, the policyholder may designate dependents as beneficiaries, meaning they would receive the death benefit upon the policyholder's death. This financial support can be crucial for maintaining the dependents' standard of living, covering educational expenses, or paying off debts.

Insurance policies have specific rules regarding the age up to which children can be considered dependents, often extending coverage to young adults through their mid-twenties, provided they meet certain conditions such as being a full-time student or living with the policyholder. Some policies also cover dependents with disabilities beyond these age limits if they continue to meet other criteria for dependency.

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