Handling Health Insurance Coverage for Children After Your Divorce


If you're a parent, gaining health care coverage for your children will be an important part of your Pasadena divorce settlement. Your divorce decree should specify who will be providing insurance for the children as well as who is responsible for co-pays and out-of-pocket costs.

The most obvious consideration is which parent currently has the best employer-provided benefits. If one parent's employer offers quality family coverage, it's only logical that he or she is in charge of providing health insurance for the child.

If both parents work in jobs offering group coverage, one plan can be designated the primary plan and the other can provide secondary coverage. The secondary plan would cover many of the expenses the primary plan does not cover, which should keep out-of-pocket costs quite low.

If neither parent has suitable employer-provided insurance, the divorce decree will need to specify who is responsible for providing the child's insurance coverage through a private plan. One parent can pay the entire cost or the parents can split the cost. Who will pay for the insurance is normally based on the income of each parent. The court will expect the person with the higher income to contribute the most money towards the cost of coverage.

If no insurance is available and the parents can't afford coverage, the child may be eligible for government provided insurance. However, this is considered a last resort. The state won't allow parents to opt for Medi-Cal coverage for a child if other options are available.

When discussing insurance options for your children, remember that your doctor will expect the parent who takes the child to the appointment to handle the co-pay upfront. Doctor's offices generally won't bill the other parent unless a specific agreement stating this is on file. If your ex will be handling the co-pays and you're the one who normally takes your children to the doctor, it's in your best interests to get an agreement on file as soon as possible.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you have questions about how insurance coverage for your children should be handled. Our Pasadena family law firm can help make sure that your divorce decree is written to provide the coverage your children need to stay healthy.