Illinois Child Support for Medical Needs

"In Illinois, can the father of my child be ordered to provide medical insurance for our child and contribute toward medical expenses not covered by insurance? Or is that all covered in child support?"

Court orders are frequently entered in divorce cases or paternity cases requiring a father or mother to have the children on his or her employer’s health insurance plan. However, there are several additional ways a parent can provide medical support, such as:

  • Pay for private health insurance or reimburse another parent for health insurance premiums.
  • Pay additional amounts for ongoing medical bills or as reimbursement for uninsured medical costs (cash medical support).
  • Parents who qualify for the Illinois All Kids program can receive health insurance for their child through the state.

"What if the the father's or noncustodial parent's health insurance company or employer refuses to cooperate?"

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) a federal law provides that a court order that secures your children's continued health insurance coverage be followed by the health insurance company or employer.

This court order, known as a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) states that the mother or custodial parent has the right to obtain health insurance coverage for their children through the father or noncustodial parent's group health plan, if the noncustodial parent has such coverage. The children cannot be denied access to the plan.

QMCSO can require that policy premiums be deducted directly from the employee's paycheck. Reimbursements for medical care are made directly to the custodial (non-employee) parent, when that parent pays a doctor, hospital or other medical provider. Also, the noncustodial parent can't choose a medical plan that is unsuitable for the children.

If you're going through divorce or paternity case get copies of the other party's medical plan, medical claims and election forms, the summary plan description outlining your employee benefits, and the page designating who is currently insured Under the health insurance plan.

"What if the health insurance company or employer won't even talk to me about the terms of the health insurance plan of the father because I am not insured with them?"

QMCSO solves that problem as well. Once the QMCSO is entered by the court and served upon health insurance company or the employer, they are required to give you the mother or custodial parent the same information they would be required to provide to the Father who has the policy.

Make sure that your divorce lawyer promptly files for a QMCSO which needs to be done at the beginning of your divorce case or paternity action. If you are in need of legal assistance, contact a qualified Illinois attorney for a free consultation.

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