You might notice, if you’re looking at the Texas Family Code or at the language that many Texas divorce decrees use, that there’s a provision for health insurance that accompanies child support. Oftentimes, the parent that pays child support also pays a medical insurance stipend as well — if the parent receiving child support is paying for health insurance.
In those cases, per Section 154.181 of the Texas Family Code, the parent paying child support covers the cost of the monthly premium for his or her kids, but only if can be done at what’s termed a “reasonable cost” That means, per the law, no more than 9 percent on a person’s gross annual income.
There’s also a provision for dental in the Texas Family Code, which again brings in the “reasonable cost” and sets it at 1.5 percent.
If you look at the Office for the Attorney General’s online child support calculator, you’ll see that medical and dental is added on to the calculations, after figuring in the percentage of a parent’s wages dedicated to child support.
However, if you’re a parent providing medical and dental insurance for your children at the time of your divorce, you’ll want to make sure that the decree reflects that. If your decree says that you have to pay for insurance, you’re on the hook for it until your decree is modified.
The OAG website notes that if your situation changes, such as if you lose the medical insurance that you were covering at the time of the divorce, you will need to make adjustments to your child support plan. The site looks at several examples, including those which might work in your favor.
Those include the possibility that you either you or your spouse are able to find insurance at a reasonable cost, like through the Affordable Care Act on HealthCare.gov, and then your current medical support order can be modified to reflect who is paying and how much they’re paying.
At the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, we know that health insurance can be a make-or-break item, and we work with our clients to make sure they’re coming up with the best health care solution for their kids and for their bottom line. Whether you’re moving toward your divorce, or you’re looking at modifying an existing decree, we can take the information you find on the OAG website and help you build upon it for the best solution.