Parents of children with a chronic illness might worry about the cost of health care after separating. The primary custodial parent might become burdened with the health care costs if the non-custodial parent does not chip in. Even in the case of perfectly healthy children, medical costs can still run high for routine checkups, vaccines, braces and broken bones.

Because of this, many custodial parents try to get medical care worked into the child support payment. The paying parent might sometimes feel resentful of this, but laws do exist to support it. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services confirms that all attempts by Child Support Services to seek child support payments should include medical costs.

When CSS pursues medical costs

If the custodial parent has insurance through work that covers the child, CSS might not pursue health care costs as part of the child support order. However, when the custodial parent and child have only Medicaid as an option, it tends to seek payments from the other parent. According to the NCDHHS, one suitable coverage option that might eliminate this need is the North Carolina’s Health Choice Plan.

Options for non-custodial parents

Custodial parents might not always need to provide cash to help cover health care costs. If that parent has health insurance options available through work, the court might order that parent to cover the child under that policy. To achieve this, the custodial parent might file a National Medical Support Notice.

If the non-custodial parent does not have employment-related health insurance, the courts might use other methods that do not require an NMSN. This might include when the court orders non-employment-related health insurance coverage or seeks medical support in other forms.