Who pays for a child's medical expenses?

Divorcing couples in Florida have a lot to agree upon, especially if there are children involved. Not only do parents have to determine custody and parenting time, but they also need to figure out support and how the child's bills are going to be paid. A big consideration is health insurance and other medical expenses. Keeping the child's best interest in mind, parents should agree ahead of time who is responsible for what so that the child can get the best care possible without the worry of how it will be paid for.

According to FindLaw, the parent with the better employer-sponsored health benefits is usually responsible to cover the child's medical, vision and dental insurance plans. Things can get a little stickier, however, when it comes to uninsured medical expenses. These include the following:

  • Deductibles
  • Co-pays
  • Costs related to surgery
  • Eyeglasses
  • Casts
  • Braces
  • Additional costs that exceed the insurance company's contribution

Typically, child support payments are expected to be used for these medical expenses. However, if there is not enough to cover all the expenses the parents are often required to equally share in the financial responsibility.

Health insurance can be costly, and for those who do not have benefits through an employer there are other options. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid outlines an option for families who cannot afford insurance but do not qualify for Medicaid benefits. The Children's Health Insurance Program covers services such as:

  • Doctor visits
  • Immunizations
  • Check-ups
  • Hospital care
  • Emergency care
  • Prescriptions
  • X-rays and laboratory services
  • Vision and dental care

The costs of CHIP are based off of income, and some services are offered free of charge.



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