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Responsibility of children's health care costs

Unanticipated medical and dental expenses for a child can arise at any time, so having a court ordered arrangement of each parent's obligations can be beneficial. Connecticut parents who are separated or divorced can ensure that their child has access to adequate health care coverage via a medical support order which lays out each parent's responsibility of health care costs, out of pocket expenses, and costs not reimbursed by an insurance or health care plan.

According to a medical support order, one or both parents may be directed to provide health care coverage for their child through an employer sponsored plan or a state benefit plan, as well as payment of a portion of any associated costs that are not typically reimbursed by the plans. If these two options are not available, a parent may be ordered to cover payment of medical and dental expenses directly to the health care provider.

To make certain that a child is placed on their parent's health care plan, the Support Enforcement Services will send a National Medical Support Notice to the parent's employer to bring attention to the need for adding the child to the plan. For those opting to utilize the state benefit plan, an income withholding order may be established to address reimbursements or cash payments for medical services.

Parents who are undergoing a separation or divorce may want to discuss with an attorney the advantages of having a medical support order. Aside from providing a child with health care coverage, the order can create a clear understanding of each parent's responsibility so there are no misunderstandings. Since it is an order from the court, if one parent fails to uphold what is required of them, the matter can be brought before the court to remedy the situation.

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