A California child’s uninsured medical expenses are also part of both parents’ obligations to pay in addition to basic child support, in most cases. These medical expenses are the ones that are not covered by a health insurance plan and can include co-pays, deductibles, prescription costs and dental or vision care.
Even though some level of co-pays and other non-covered health care costs are common in the U.S. health care system, these expenses are generally considered to be extraordinary medical expenses. This is one reason why many child support orders explicitly include these costs, stating a proportion of such bills that each parent must pay. Existing orders can also be modified or adjusted to include these types of expenses.
The percentage of these expenses accorded to each parent can be assigned in different ways, including based on the parents’ agreement or on the income of each parent. In all cases, in order to be covered, these expenses do not include coverage for deliberate choices to visit a doctor not covered by insurance except in cases of demonstrated medical necessity.
In order to collect for extraordinary or uninsured medical expenses, the parent requesting payment must contact the other parent . A court could intervene if the parents have a dispute over medical costs such as whether a child needs orthodontic care. If parents do not contribute to the uninsured medical expenses under the guidelines in the child support order, they face the same type of enforcement as they would for nonpayment of other child support expenses. Custodial parents who are owed these types of amounts might want to have legal assistance when attempting to enforce the order.