One of the issues that must be handled when a couple shares a child and child support must be paid is medical expenses. State law has certain rules for enforcement when the payments are not made. The state will pursue a parent who has not kept up with the required payments. There will not be legal ramifications if the supporting parent – the obligor – proves that medical coverage is provided through private insurance. If there is no coverage, the state will take steps to ensure that the obligation is enforced.
If the supporting parent does not have medical coverage through his or her job and it does not cost more than 25 percent of the basic amount for child support that the obligor is required to pay, then the state will move forward with enforcement. If a parent wants to enforce the other parent’s order for the insurance premium, it is possible to apply for enforcement services from the division of child support. It is also up to the parent to file a motion for a superior court intervention or to initiate an action through superior court to find what is owed by the paying parent if a superior court action has not yet been taken.
The child might be the recipient of Medicaid or some other form of coverage. This does not assuage the supporting parent’s responsibility to pay the required premium and the state will enforce the order.
There are conditions for the child’s medical support. The medical support will consist of health coverage and cash support. The cash support will include the monthly payment and a share of the uninsured medical costs. There are times when the court will excuse a parent from having to provide health insurance or a monthly payment for the premium. Both parents are required to contribute to the medical expenses.
Washington State takes the medical coverage of a child seriously. There are many rules and subsets to those rules mandating how that coverage should be provided. Parents need to understand that if they don’t keep the child’s health care up-to-date, there will be consequences. If a parent is having an issue receiving coverage from the other parent as part of the child support agreement, a legal professional can help.
Source: apps.leg.wa.gov, “26.18.170 Medical Support – Enforcement – Rules,” accessed on May 26, 2015
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