When sorting out issues in a divorce or custody case, children’s healthcare may not be one of the highest priorities, but any order dealing with children must address how health insurance will be provided for the children and who will be responsible for paying the cost. Texas law provides guidance on how the issue of children’s healthcare should be handled.
Who Pays for Health Insurance During a Divorce?
An obligor (the parent who is obligated to pay child support) is also obligated to provide medical and dental support for the child, as a form of additional child support. Depending on which parent has health insurance available to them, the method of providing this support can vary. If health and dental insurance for the children is available to the obligor through his or her employer or a private source, he or she should enroll the children in that plan and will be responsible for paying the cost of the premiums. However, by law, the obligor is only responsible for the “reasonable cost” of this healthcare. Reasonable cost is limited to 9% of the obligor’s net resources.
If health insurance is not available to the obligor, but is available to the other parent through their employer or another private source, that parent should enroll the children in that plan. In that case, the parent paying child support will be responsible for reimbursing the parent carrying health insurance for the amount of the premium allocated to the child. Here, reimbursement is also limited to 9% of the obligor’s net resources.
What if No Parent Has Access to Health Insurance?
If no parent has access to private health insurance at a reasonable cost, then the parent having primary custody of the child shall be ordered to enroll the child in a government medical assistance program, like Medicaid or CHIP. In this situation, the obligor is required to pay cash medical support to the parent enrolling the child in the program. Cash medical support is also limited to 9% of the obligor’s net resources. If health insurance becomes available to the obligor, he or she may discontinue the payment of cash medical support once the child has been enrolled in the obligor’s private health insurance plan.
Questions? Contact Lovelace Law for a Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth
If you need assistance determining who should provide and pay for health insurance for your child in your divorce or custody case, schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney or child custody attorney in our office today.