CHILD SUPPORT: REIMBURSEMENT PROCEDURES FOR HEALTH CARE COSTS
What does California law say about child support medical reimbursements?
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. How long do you have to do this? 30 days. If you have already paid for the entire cost, simply provide the other parent with proof of payment and ask for reimbursement. Medical reimbursements are considered an add-on to your monthly child support amount. If you have already paid your share of the medical costs, request the other parent to send payment directly to the appropriate health-care provider and give the necessary information needed for direct payment.
How much time do I have to make payment?
If you are the parent who receives a request for reimbursement of medical costs, you must make payment within 30 days, or according to your child support order. Payment may be later than 30 days if arrangements have been made directly with the child's health care provider or according to a schedule as agreed upon by both parents.
What are my legal remedies if the other parent doesn't pay?
If the other parent has failed to pay their share of a child's uninsured costs after you have asked for reimbursement and provided proof of your share, you can file a Motion in Court with the help of an experienced family law attorney. If the Court finds in your favor, you may be awarded attorney's fees and costs from the other parent for having to resolve the dispute in Court.
What if I dispute a charge for my child's medical procedure?
If you dispute a charge and need Court intervention to collect this additional child support, you may file a Motion only after you have paid your share.
Do I have to use the health care coverage that is currently provided?
If health care insurance is part of your child support order, you must use this insurance at all times to the extent it is available to cover medical costs. If one parent claims the health insurance is inadequate in meeting medical needs, that parent has the burden of proof in Court. If one parent chooses to a doctor not covered by insurance, that parent will be responsible for whatever out-of-pocket costs are incurred.
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