Child Support, Uninsured Health Care Costs and Reimbursement Procedures

In addition to “regular” child support obligations, parents of minor children are required to pay for uninsured and/or unreimbursed medical expenses. Uninsured medical expenses are medical expenses not covered by insurance, including co-pays, deductibles, out-of-pocket payments/co-payments for prescriptions, and any other medical, dental, orthodontia, and/or vision cost incurred as a result of medically necessary treatments or procedures for their minor children.

California Family Code section 4062(a)(2) states, “The court shall order the following as additional child support: (2) The reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children as provided in Section 4063.”  For reasonable uninsured health care costs, the general rule is that each parent pays 50% of the cost. California Family Code section 4063 gives parents a guide for how to collect reimbursement or have the other parent pay his or her share of unreimbursed uninsured health care costs. This blog only provides a general summary of the applicable rules. Each parent’s situation requires an independent analysis of the specific facts and circumstances involved. [Disclaimer]

If you have a child support order that includes a provision for reimbursement of health care costs, California law states that you must first give the other parent a statement itemizing the charges within a reasonable period of time, but not more than 30 days after the expenses have been paid. If you already paid the entire out of pocket expense, you must give the other parent proof that you made the payment and ask for reimbursement of the other parent’s court ordered share. If you only paid your share of the costs, you must then give proof of payment to the other parent; ask that the other parent pay his or her share directly to the doctor or health care provider; and tell the other parent how he or she can make the payment to the doctor or health care provider.

The parent asked to make the payment should do so within the time specified by the court or within a reasonable period not to exceed 30 days after being informed about the payment. If the parent asked to make the payment fails to pay the other parent and is unresponsive to the other parent’s communication regarding the issue, the other parent can ask the court to intervene and enforce the child support order.

Our family law team at Naimish & Lewis can advise you on questions related to child support and other dissolution and divorce related matters. To schedule an initial consultation with an attorney at our firm, please contact us.