Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (QMCSO)

In any child support proceedings in California the law states that a court must consider if the parties have access to health insurance coverage for the children.

Family Code Section 3750 requires either or both parents to obtain health insurance coverage if it is available at no cost or reasonable cost. (Section 3751 provides the definitions of “no cost” and “reasonable cost.”) If no-cost or reasonable-cost insurance is unavailable, the court must order the parents to obtain the insurance if it becomes available. If health insurance is available, the court will also order the insurance company to enroll the child(ren) in the health insurance plan. This is known as a “health insurance coverage assignment.”

The Federal government also provides laws requiring insurance companies to enroll children in their parents’ employee insurance benefits plans. When a judge issues an order requiring parents to obtain employer-sponsored health insurance for their children, under the requirements of the Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO), the insurance company must provide insurance for the employee’s children.

Neither a California health insurance coverage assignment nor a QMCSO will provide more insurance coverage than the employer’s health insurance plan provides. In other words, if the health plan only provides coverage for the employee, but not the employee’s family, then health insurance will not be provided to the child. However, there are some QMCSO exceptions, such as covering a child that does not live with the employee parent if the plan states that coverage will only be provided to children living with the employee.

Child support orders can be very complicated when insurance coverage is an issue, and is best handled by family law specialists.

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