The National Medical Support Notice
When child support is ordered, the court may order health insurance coverage for the children. The court will order coverage if is available at a reasonable cost. The law requires employers to take action after receiving a national medical support notice.
What is the National Medical Support Notice?
This notice helps children of employees obtain health insurance.
How is the notice used?
The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) sends the notice to the employer of a person who is required to provide medical insurance. The CSEA sends the notice whenever that person gets a new job. The employer must send the notice to the health plan administrator within a month. (No action is required if the employer does not provide insurance.)
Usually, the health plan administrator will enroll the children within a month after receiving the notice. There are two exceptions. There may be a waiting period. There may be more than one option for health insurance. Enrollment takes place when the waiting period ends or the plan option is selected.
The employer is required to enroll the children in any medical insurance it has available. The employer withholds the premiums from the employee’s paycheck.
Employers must determine if the payroll deductions are too much. The employer adds the amount of the child support order plus the amount of the medical insurance premium. If it will be more than they can withhold by law, the employer cannot enroll the child in the medical insurance plan.
How does the residential parent learn about the insurance?
Usually, there is only one health plan available. If so, the health plan administrator will notify the residential parent about the insurance details. The administrator will furnish a description of the plan’s coverage, start date, necessary forms and information about submitting claims.
If more than one health plan is available, the administrator will give the CSEA descriptions of all the options. This includes any limits on coverage or service area. The CSEA will provide the information to the residential parent. The residential parent must choose a plan and notify the CSEA promptly. Otherwise, the children could be automatically enrolled in a default option. Or the CSEA may choose the plan.
This article is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice.
Prepared by Community Legal Services, Inc. Updated May 2012.