March 24, 2022

How Health Insurance and Medical Costs Can Impact Child Support

Child support in Michigan is determined by several different factors. A judge enters a child support order based on these factors and issues a Uniform Child Support Order, which specifies the monthly amount to be paid by the parent responsible for paying child support.

However, this amount can be modified based on various circumstances, one of which is the cost of health insurance contributions by either parent. The cost of health insurance and medical expenses today can be substantial, and therefore, this cost is considered when determining the amount of child support.

Premiums and ordinary medical expenses

Health insurance premiums are factored into the amount of a child support payment. If the parent receiving child support also covers a health insurance premium for a child, the premium amount may be added onto the child support payment. Conversely, if the parent paying child support covers a health insurance premium, the premium amount can be subtracted from their child support payment.

As any parent knows, a child’s health and medical costs typically involve more than just the amount of a health insurance premium. Ordinary medical expenses are included in a child support amount. Medical expenses considered “ordinary” are things like deductibles or co-payments. They do not include expenses for household items like aspirin or band-aids. Parents are expected to pay for those themselves.

Non-ordinary medical expenses

There are times when unexpected medical expenses arise due to unforeseen injuries or illnesses whose costs are not covered by insurance.

Out of fairness to both parents, rather than adding or subtracting these amounts as they occur from a child support payment, each parent pays a percentage of these costs based on their income. This helps avoid an order involving one parent paying an amount much higher than they can afford.

Keep evidence of all payments

A parent requesting payment for a portion of medical expenses must provide proof of the expenses in the form of statements or documents. The parent who is responsible for paying their portion has 28 days to pay, otherwise the other parent may ask the court to order the payment.

Health care costs and medical expenses can add complexity to a child support order. It is important to have accurate information and guidance to make sure the right amount is being ordered.