The Court also establishes health and dental support obligations for the minor child. Medical support means providing health care coverage for a joint child by carrying or contributing to the cost of:
- Health care coverage through an employer or other group plan
- An individual policy purchased in the private market
- Public coverage (Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare)
- Unreimbursed and uninsured medical expenses
Often the Court will look for the best available insurance policy, considering provider network, costs of insurance, etc. The Court will then typically order one of the two parents to cover the health and dental insurance for the child and require the other parent to contribute toward the costs of the same.
The Court Order will usually specify which parent is to provide or maintain health care coverage for the children, the cost of premiums and how that cost is divided between the parents, how costs not paid by health insurance will be divided and collected, and any reasons why the obligation to provide health care coverage would shift from one parent to the other.
Both parents are also responsible for uninsured and/or unreimbursed medical and dental costs of the child, typically based on each paying a percentage towards them that is tied into each of their incomes.
If one parent currently provides health care coverage, the court will order that the health care coverage continue. However, the court may order other coverage if the parents agree or one of the parents requests a change, and the court agrees that the change is appropriate. If health care coverage is available for the children but not actually in place, the court will determine if the coverage is appropriate. If only one parent has appropriate health care coverage, the court must order that parent to provide the children’s coverage. If both parents have appropriate coverage available, the court will order the custodial parent to provide the coverage.
The court may make a different decision if either parent prefers the coverage available through the noncustodial parent, the noncustodial parent is already carrying health care coverage for other dependents, and contributing to the custodial parent’s health care coverage would cause extreme financial difficulty, and if both parents agree that the noncustodial parent will provide health care coverage and there is agreement on how to share the cost.
Determining the specifics for the division of medical costs for a child is challenging. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can make sure to receive the representation you deserve. At Clausen & Hassan, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (651) 647-0087 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.