What You Need to Know About Health Insurance & Child Support
The state of Florida has established standardized child support guidelines. These guidelines are used as a basis for calculating child support obligations in any disputes, and they address all major child support issues, including health insurance. Here, our Orlando child support attorneys discuss how health insurance and related issues might impact one’s child support obligations under Florida law.
Healthcare Costs are a Fundamental Child Support Issue
Most people have some basic awareness that a parent’s income will impact their child support obligations. For example, if a parent earns $500,000 per year, their child support will be significantly higher than a parent who earns $40,000 per year. Beyond a parent’s financial means, the child’s needs are the other core factor in determining the appropriate child support award. A child’s health insurance costs and any other medical expenses they might require are key factors that go into determined what constitutes a child’s ‘minimum needs’. As such, when it comes to child support calculations, the paying parents, assuming they have the financial ability to do so, must put forward enough money to ensure that their children are able to obtain all needed medical treatment.
The Complexities of Health Insurance Affect Child Support
Floridians get their health insurance from many different sources. While the majority of working age Americans receive health coverage from an employer, many others also get health insurance coverage from Medicaid or through the individual health exchange market. It is no secret that health insurance, especially if you are getting coverage for a child, is expensive. When deciding how to set up their child’s health coverage, parents should take a careful look at all of their available options. For example, in some cases, one parent may have access to better, or more affordable, health insurance for their child through their employer. In other cases, federal or state subsidies or coverage may be available.
Structuring Health Insurance Coverage into a Child Support Award
Once the best health plan for the child is selected, the child’s health insurance coverage should be factored into to the overall child support calculations. Ultimately, since health coverage, and the financial responsibility for other required medical expenses, is a core duty of parents, the overall financial burden should be split in the appropriate manner. In some cases, this means that the parent paying child support may be able to have their general child support obligations reduced because of what they contributed to getting their child health coverage. In other cases, additional child support may need to be awarded to address any gaps in the child’s health coverage.
Get Central Florida Family Law Help Now
At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., we have experience handling all aspects of Florida child support disputes. If you need legal assistance, please call our team today at (407) 521-7171. From our office in Orlando, we serve individuals and families throughout Central Florida, including in Winter Garden, Apopka and Lake Buena Vista.