Health Insurance and Medical Support – NCGS 50-13.11

The law in North Carolina on child support presumes that parents have a financial responsibility towards their children.   This such an important issue to the states and the federal government, that child support agencies have been established, including in North Carolina, that seek to establish parental child support obligations and enforce those obligations once established.  A frequent component of child support is health insurance.

North Carolina law allows the district court judge in a child support case to order health insurance coverage when  “health insurance is available at a reasonable cost.”  The court may also require  parent to maintain dental insurance coverage for a child.

The statute provides:

§ 50‑13.11.  Orders and agreements regarding medical support and health insurance coverage for minor children.

(a)        The court may order a parent of a minor child or other responsible party to provide medical support for the child, or the parties may enter into a written agreement regarding medical support for the child. An order or agreement for medical support for the child may require one or both parties to pay the medical, hospital, dental, or other health care related expenses.

(a1)      The court shall order the parent of a minor child or other responsible party to maintain health insurance for the benefit of the child when health insurance is available at a reasonable cost. If health insurance is not presently available at a reasonable cost, the court shall order the parent of a minor child or other responsible party to maintain health insurance for the benefit of the child when health insurance becomes available at a reasonable cost. As used in this subsection, health insurance is considered reasonable in cost if it is employment related or other group health insurance, regardless of service delivery mechanism. The court may require one or both parties to maintain dental insurance.

(b)        The party ordered or under agreement to provide health insurance shall provide written notice of any change in the applicable insurance coverage to the other party.

(c)        The employer or insurer of the party required to provide health, hospital, and dental insurance shall release to the other party, upon written request, any information on a minor child’s insurance coverage that the employer or insurer may release to the party required to provide health, hospital, and dental insurance.

(d)       When a court order or agreement for health insurance is in effect, the signature of either party shall be valid authorization to the insurer to process an insurance claim on behalf of a minor child.

(e)        If the party who is required to provide health insurance fails to maintain the insurance coverage for the minor child, the party shall be liable for any health, hospital, or dental expenses incurred from the date of the court order or agreement that would have been covered by insurance if it had been in force.

(f)        When a noncustodial parent ordered to provide health insurance changes employment and health insurance coverage is available through the new employer, the obligee shall notify the new employer of the noncustodial parent’s obligation to provide health insurance for the child. Upon receipt of notice from the obligee, the new employer shall enroll the child in the employer’s health insurance plan.

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Raleigh divorce lawyer Scott Allen handles child support has over seventeen years of experience.  

If you have questions or need assistance call him at (919) 863-4183 or email at sallen@allenspence.com.