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Who's responsible for child's health insurance coverage?

Couples getting divorced need to divide liabilities and assets during a divorce settlement. If children are involved, addressing how health insurance will be covered for the children also needs to be considered.

Figuring out health insurance coverage for children is usually not very difficult or contested in most divorce cases. This is mainly because one parent is obligated in the divorce decree to provide health insurance for their children.

In most cases, the parent who previously had the children covered on his or her insurance plan usually remain responsible for providing health insurance for the kids. Medical expenses that are not fully covered by health insurance are split up between the two parents.

Until recently, health care costs used to be split up 50/50 between each parent. Now, most parents divide the cost in proportion to their individual incomes so the parent who earns a higher income is usually responsible for paying more of the health insurance costs for the children. These decisions can be agreed upon in the divorce decree or not but it is important for parents to discuss this before a health care issue arises so there is no confusion over who is responsible for coverage and payment of medical costs.

Health insurance can become more complicated for parents who share custody of child and one parent moves out of state. In cases like this, it is best to have health care costs factored into child support because if the child's current health insurance company doesn't write policies in the other state, it is up to the parents to get different health insurance coverage for their child.

Divorced parents should also keep in mind the impact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have on their child support and health insurance costs for their children. The new law allows children to stay on their parent's health insurance policies until they reach the age of 26, regardless of if they still live at home or get married.

Source: Fox Business, "Split Time: Kids, Custody and Insurance," Susan Ladika, Dec. 6, 2012

Our law firm represents parents and couples getting divorced. To learn more about our law firm, please visit our Florida child support page.

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