As they develop and grow, children need financial support, as well as other care from their parents. Often overlooked when planning for child support, this financial care includes providing them with health care coverage.
To help manage your financial obligation, you will likely benefit from understanding what the court may require of you with regard to providing for your child’s health care.
The cost of medical insurance coverage
According to the Judicial Council of California, state and federal law require the courts to include medical support in child support orders. To ensure your child has health insurance, the court will generally order you, your child’s other parent or both of you to provide health, vision and dental coverage.
You must provide health care coverage as long as you can do so at a reasonable cost. The court deems reasonable expense as 5% or less of the paying parent’s gross income. The health care coverage costs do not typically fall within the base support amount.
The cost of uninsured medical services
Health insurance does not cover all medical-related expenses. For example, costs such as deductibles, copays and prescription costs generally do not fall under the health care cost requirement. Rather, with few exceptions, the court will likely divide these expenses between you and your child’s other parent.
Although raising your child apart from his or her other parent, you likely still want to and will provide for him or her financially. Therefore, you may find it helpful to work with a legal representative who will look out for your financial interests, as well as for the best interests of your child.