Having health insurance for a minor child is smart. In a Michigan divorce or child custody case providing health insurance is also a responsibility.
Who is responsible to provide health insurance?
The responsibility to provide health insurance for a minor child is provided in the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual (“MCSFM”) section 3.05(B) which provides that a court must order one or both parents to maintain health care coverage for the children if it is available at a reasonable cost as a benefit of employment. If a parent is self-employed if a parent is insured, the child must be insured.
Who pays for health insurance?
The reasonable cost of health insurance for a minor child is defined in section 3.05(A) of the MCSFM. The cost of health care coverage for a minor child is reasonable if it does not exceed 5 percent of the parent’s gross income.
The cost of maintaining insurance for a minor child is shared by the parents according to each parent’s percentage share of the family income. The MCSFM provides a specific formula for calculating how the health insurance premiums are divided in section 3.05(C)(2).
Ordinary expense payments and Extra-ordinary medical expenses
The MCSFM distinguishes between “Ordinary expense payments” and “Extra-ordinary medical expenses”.
Ordinary expense payments is an annual amount of money that restarts every year and is pre-paid monthly by the supporting parent as part of the monthly child support obligation. The current Ordinary expense payments are provided for in a supplement to the MCSFS:
- 1 child $357.00 annually or $29.75 per month;
- 2 children $715.00 annually or $59.58 per month;
- 3 children $1,072.00 annually or $89.33 per month;
- 4 children $1,430.00 annually or $119.17 per month;
- 5 or more children $1,787.00 annually or $148.92 per month.
Medical expenses that exceed the Ordinary expense payments are called Extra-ordinary medical expenses. These expenses are shared by the parties pro-rata based on income.
What if a new spouse is providing health insurance for the minor children?
The Michigan Supreme Court addressed the issue of a new spouse or another 3rd party is providing health insurance for a minor child in a Memorandum dated June 13, 2011. If a new spouse or 3rd party is providing health insurance for the minor child, the order should identify the parent is maintaining insurance and all the obligation to be fulfilled through the third party.
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By: Daniel Findling