After a divorce between Maryland parents, child custody and other matters must be decided. One of those issues is how the child will maintain medical insurance coverage.
Parents can create their own agreement
In some cases, the parents might agree on how the child’s health care should be handled. One parent might volunteer to put the child on their health insurance plan and pay all the costs associated with it. The court is often willing to enforce such an agreement into an order.
How the court decides on health care for the child
If parents are unable to come to their own agreement, the court will step in and make a decision on how the child will have medical insurance coverage. The judge will review each parent’s financial statements and take into consideration whether one or both parent has health insurance through their employer. If both have insurance provided by their employer, the decision as to which one adds the child to their coverage is done using the birthday rule. This means that the parent whose birthday falls first in the calendar year will provide the primary insurance.
If neither parent has insurance through their employer or if they can’t afford it, the child could qualify for Medicaid or the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP).
When one parent earns a much higher income than the other, the court often determines that they must cover all costs associated with medical care for the child. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the costs are split between both parents.
After the court has made a decision, a court order will be issued and both parents must follow it. The parent who is ordered to provide health insurance for the child must pay all costs related to the child’s medical care.