Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

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Child Support Health Insurance Expenses

Health Care And Insurance Expenses For Children In Connecticut And New York

At our divorce firm, we understand that no divorce case is ever straightforward. In fact, many
divorce proceedings, especially those involving children of moderate- to high-means individuals, must include an examination of a number of factors before the matter can be finalized. Accordingly, it is important to consider when a couple with children goes through a divorce, some of the major issues that must be addressed are the additional expenses of health care insurance and unreimbursed medical expenses. These are usually considered as mandatory benefits by the courts for the spouse and the children, so there must be clear parameters established for paying these costs. Under normal circumstances, one parent will maintain or place his or her spouse and the children under his or her medical insurance plan, whether provided by an employer or purchased by the individual. Medical expenses for the spouse and the children can mount up quickly, even for regular care, so this is considered a crucial need. These expenses can include medical, dental, pharmaceutical or vision needs of a plan participant and his or her family. In addition, there will be expenses that are not covered by insurance, often referred to as unreimbursed or uncovered expenses, the payment for which will need to be addressed as part of the divorce settlement, as these elective health care expenses can mount considerably, such as therapy, orthodonture, hospitalization or special needs expenses.

Connecticut and New York divorce attorney Heidi E. Opinsky and her seasoned divorce firm legal team represent moderate to high net worth individuals who are going through the dissolution of marriage process. Heidi and her team work with clients during the divorce proceedings in order to ensure that all health care needs and requirements are satisfied, as well as afterward if orders need to be enforced or modified.

Important Medical/Insurance Expense Related Factors To Consider

Some of the major costs that fall within the category of medical and insurance-related expenses might include orthodontic work, specialized treatment or other related services and special needs of a spouse and child. With this in mind, when crafting a divorce order, it is imperative to consider the following:

  • The general medical needs of the spouse and children
  • The insurance coverage that will be provided, whether through one parent’s employment or through independent coverage
  • The comprehensiveness of the provided insurance
  • The ongoing costs of insurance premiums, any applicable deductibles and anticipated procedures that would not be covered

In light of the above and the high costs of maintaining health care coverage, there must be a determination between the spouses and parents about who will cover the costs of maintaining health care insurance, as well as uncovered expenses for the spouse and children. If there are unreimbursed medical expenses, these costs generally are allocated between the parents based upon a pro-rata formula established by the parties or the court. This is distinct from the child support payments of the noncustodial parent established pursuant to the child support guidelines or individualized analysis of a high net worth couple’s income and assets.

When parties divorce, or a spouse may be terminated from employment, the family or other spouse can no longer be maintained under the former health insurance plan. COBRA benefits (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) enable a former employee or spouse and dependent children the right to continued coverage similar to benefits previously offered, but may be at different costs than that offered under a family health care plan. You must elect to receive COBRA benefits within a certain time period and the benefits may only be available for thirty-six (36) months. Accordingly, determining which spouse will be responsible for health insurance premium expenses for the other spouse or children of the marriage and uncovered expenses are vital determinations in a divorce, given the high price of health care plans, deductibles and unreimbursed health care expenses in today’s dollars.

Adept Divorce And Family Law Attorney Representing Clients In Connecticut And New York

There are many details that can trip up a divorce settlement or order if not handled by an attorney with the experience and focused attention these matters demand. Attorney Heidi E. Opinsky divorce firm is dedicated to getting the best results for her clients. Contact her today to schedule a confidential consultation. You can email her online or call her at 203-653-3542.