Who pays for the children’s health insurance in a Divorce Case?
The sharing of parental rights and responsibilities extends beyond the end of a Texas marriage. Divorce agreements define the physical, legal and financial duties of co-parenting. Among the most important considerations is how children’s medical needs will be covered.
Health support obligations are not optional. Federal laws, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and state laws require parents to make sure children’s medical expenses are met. Parents or — in the absence of a spousal agreement — judges also decide how uncovered medical costs, like co-payments and deductibles, will be paid.
Non-custodial parents often include children on their health insurance policies, whether the plans are offered by employers or purchased independently. When both parents have employer-provided coverage, children may be listed on both policies. One insurance company is the primary carrier, while the other acts as a backup for expenses that aren’t covered by the first policy.
Courts assess the financial ability of each parent to contribute to the payment of children’s insured and uncovered medical and dental costs. In some circumstances, neither parent has an employer-provided plan or can afford private insurance. Income-based government programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, may fill the gap.