The requirement to provide child support in California does not extend only to the requirement to provide financial support for the child. Pursuant to federal law, California has the additional requirement that health insurance coverage be provided as an additional form of support for all children.
The requirements that exist in the world of court-ordered child support are very specific and detailed. The state has become involved in maintaining the well-being of the child, and the state will ensure that the people responsible for that child – the parents – do so in a fair and comprehensive fashion. To that end, federal law mandates that states develop child support guidelines that apply in all cases and that clearly cover a child’s needs. The guidelines require support based upon the financial status of the parents, both custodial and non-custodial. 45 C.F.R. § 302.56.
A child support order from the court has numerous elements that may be specifically included as additional costs, such as child care costs related to employment, reasonable healthcare costs, educational or special needs of the child, and visitation expenses. The need to provide for healthcare costs is important for the proper care of a child.
Because both parents share an equal responsibility for providing care of their child, both parents share an equal responsibility for providing health care for a child. This means that both parents are responsible for their proportional share of costs for medical services, including emergency medical services. The costs for those services must be reimbursed to the parent who covered the expenses. Cal. Fam. Code § 3750 et seq.
The health care that must be provided for the child may be self-purchased or provided by a parent’s employer. If the insurance is obtained through the parent’s employer, that employer may not place restrictions on the child’s coverage such as the residency of the child, the marital status of the child’s parents, or the child’s dependency status on the parent’s tax returns. Cal. Fam. Code § 3750 et seq. The coverage obtained must include dental and vision services as well as medical coverage.
The proper care and responsibility for a child goes beyond simply providing shelter and food. For a child to grow into a healthy adult, he or she needs proper medical, dental, and vision care.
If you have questions about the law on child health care in California, contact an attorney who has deep experience in family law in the Golden state. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger have the experience you need. Call today to see how we can help: (415) 293-8314.