Jacksonville Divorce Attorney Helping Parents Insure their Kids Following the Proceedings
Health insurance coverage is essential, especially after a divorce. While each parent may have access to health insurance from an employer or a private policy, the question of which parent will insure the children from the marriage always comes up.
After a divorce, your children have two homes, two families, and two people caring for them. During your divorce settlement, it is imperative that you set rules for how each household will run to ensure a smooth transition. Also, negotiation is the best time to bring up the issue of insurance.
Who is Responsible for Insuring the Children?
No statute says one parent must ensure over the other, but a parent is required to carry insurance. The decision as to which parent will insure typically comes down to who has the better and most affordable option. For example, if one parent is self-employed, while the other has insurance through a workgroup policy, the effective policy may be more appropriate to add the children onto instead of the self-employed parent’s policy.
If neither parents currently have work, then they will need to seek coverage privately. Then, the parents must split the cost of that shared policy.
When Both Parents Have Group Coverage, Who Insures the Children?
When both parents have group insurance policies, they can opt to double cover their children. This means that a child is protected regardless of which parent they are with. The primary custodian will typically carry the “primary” insurance policy, while the non-custodial parent carries the “secondary” coverage. Therefore, when primary insurance is billed and does not cover the entire medical expense, secondary insurance may be billed and cover the rest.
Children with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) currently eliminates the concern for children with pre-existing conditions. However, if the ACA were to disappear, parents would need to split the costs of a policy that allows the pre-existing condition coverage.
Paying Co-Pays and Deductibles
The statute requires that both parents split the medical expenses for the children – regardless of how much child support or alimony is paid. Therefore, when there is a co-pay or deductible paid by one parent, the other parent will have so many days to reimburse that parent.
Sometimes, parents choose a percentage in the divorce settlement. For example, the non-custodial parent may pay 25 percent of the child’s co-pays, while the custodial parent may pay 75 percent of the co-pays.
Parents should be warned that just because a payment arrangement is made in their final divorce decree does not mean the other parent will follow it. One parent may have to take the other to court to enforce the payment agreement and receive compensation for medical expenses.
Create a Well-Thought Divorce Decree that Insures Your Children
During a divorce, there are a lot of unknowns that you may not have even considered yet. That is why it is in your best interest to consult with a family law attorney before finalizing the divorce settlement. The attorneys at Beller & Bustamante, P.L. can assist you with your divorce. Schedule a consultation now at 904-288-4414 or request more information online.