The medical support needs of the child should be addressed in every child support order. The court will consider each parents' ability to provide medical support. A court order may direct a parent to enroll the child in either employer-sponsored health coverage, private insurance, or make a cash payment to cover the child's medical needs.
The court may order either parent to include the child in a health insurance policy and pay the premiums of a policy or share the cost of the premiums. OCSE may send a notice to the obligated parent's employer if health insurance is available to the parent through work. The notice will tell the employer to withhold premiums and enroll the child in a health care plan.
Medical costs are uninsured health-related costs including dental and drug costs. The court may order a set dollar amount (such as $100/month) or a percent of costs (such as 50% of costs). If the court orders a set dollar amount and the child support is collected through income withholding, the medical support would also be collected through income withholding.
If you have an open enforcement case, your child support agency will enforce an order for a specific amount for medical support such as "$100 a month."
Child support agencies are not responsible for enforcing medical orders if they are for unspecified dollar amounts, such as "half" of the medical bills. If the other parent does not pay the medical costs as ordered by the court, you may seek the advice of an attorney.
What To Expect From OCSE
If a custodial party applies for our services and does not currently have a court order, when we go to court, we will pursue child support and medical support. It will be determined by the judge what party will provide medical support and how much.
If a custodial party applies for our services and already has a court order that does not address medical support, we will only enforce the child support in the court order. If we go to court at a later time for any reason, we will then address medical support. If the existing order includes medical support, OCSE will enforce that order.
What if the custodial party doesn’t want the noncustodial parent's private coverage?
OCSE must ask the court to direct one or both parents to provide medical support. Custodial parties who do not receive cash assistance can indicate on the application for services that they wish to be the parent responsible for providing medical insurance.
Custodial parties who receive Medicaid including ARKids 1st assign their rights to medical support to the State. The custodial party must cooperate with OCSE to establish and/or enforce medical support, but may request that OCSE not enforce child support.