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Ninth Judicial Circuit Court

FRIEND OF THE COURT HANDBOOK - MEDICAL SUPPORT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. IF A PARENT IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN INSURANCE COVERAGE BUT DOES NOT OBTAIN IT DUE TO THE EXPENSE, BUT THE PARENT'S PRESENT SPOUSE MAINTAINS INSURANCE FOR THE CHILD, IS A SHOW CAUSE WARRANTED?

No. Insurance is being maintained for the benefit of the child. A show cause proceeding is not warranted, as the purpose of the provision is to protect the child, not to cause the parent to incur unnecessary expense. You must still provide the FOC with your spouse's name, social security number, employer's name and address, name and address of insurance companies, group number, policy numbers, types of coverage and effective dates. You must provide the other parent with actual insurance card(s) and informational booklets.

2. WHERE A PARENT IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN INSURANCE IF AVAILABLE THROUGH EMPLOYMENT AT A REASONABLE COST, WHAT IS A "REASONABLE COST"?

What cost is reasonable is now defined under the Michigan State law and new Federal law. For the amount that would be considered reasonable at a specific net income level ask the FOC office.

3. IF A PARENT IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR A CHILD BUT DOES NOT BECAUSE OF UNEMPLOYMENT OR UNAVAILABILITY, AND THE OTHER PARENT'S PRESENT SPOUSE MAINTAINS INSURANCE FOR THE CHILD, WHY ISN'T THE FIRST PARENT RESPONSIBLE FOR 100% OF THE UNINSURED EXPENSES?

The FOC can only enforce the order of the court. Most court orders require that each parent is responsible for a portion of the expenses that are not reimbursed by insurance. It does not matter who has the insurance. The important issue is what expenses are not reimbursed by insurance. If you feel the other parent should pay more of the bills because they failed to maintain insurance, then you must seek a change to the court order.

4. IF A PARENT IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN INSURANCE FOR A CHILD AND DOES NOT DUE TO UNEMPLOYMENT OR UNAVAILABILITY OF COVERAGE, WHY ISN'T THAT PARENT REQUIRED TO GET PRIVATE INSURANCE COVERAGE?

Court orders usually only require a parent to maintain insurance if it is available through employment. However, if the order requires the parent to get private insurance if insurance is not available through employment, then that parent must get insurance from a private source.

5. WHERE A PARENT IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERAGE BUT DOES NOT DO SO BECAUSE OF UNEMPLOYMENT OR UNAVAILABILITY OF INSURANCE, SHOULD THAT PARENT CONTRIBUTE TO THE COST OF ANY INSURANCE FOR THE CHILD MAINTAINED BY THE CURRENT SPOUSE OF THE OTHER PARENT?

Generally, a court order requires a parent to maintain insurance only when it is available at a reasonable cost through employment. The order usually does not require a parent to pay any expense for health insurance when it is not available through the employer. The FOC can only enforce the order of the court.

6. WHERE HEALTH INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE TO A PARENT AND IS REQUIRED TO BE MAINTAINED, WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE IF IT IS NOT MAINTAINED?

The FOC office can pursue enforcement of an insurance provision. This can include a notice to the employer to add the dependent(s) to available coverage and to deduct the cost from the employee's wages. The employee is provided the opportunity to object and have a hearing on the issue.

7. IF MY SPOUSE MAINTAINS COVERAGE FOR THE CHILDREN MUST AN INSURANCE CARD AND INFORMATION BE FORWARDED TO THE OTHER PARENT?

Yes. Whenever insurance is maintained, regardless by whom, a card and/or forms required to utilize the coverage, along with informational booklets, must be forwarded to the other parent.

8. IS THE OTHER PARENT REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE RULES OF YOUR INSURANCE AND USE AFFILIATED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS?

Not unless the court order requires the other parent to first use the insurance company's affiliated providers. If this is a problem, you may want to seek a change to your court order. NOTE: If the children are receiving Medicaid, Mi Child, Healthy Kids or other types of public health assistance and there is also private insurance coverage, the insurance company's rules must be followed or the public assistance program will not pay.

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