(1) "Appropriate health insurance coverage" means insurance coverage that is reasonable in cost, comprehensive in nature and reasonably accessible to the child to be covered.
(2) "Cash medical support" means an amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of health insurance provided by a public entity or by another person through employment or otherwise, or for other medical costs not covered by insurance.
(3) "Custodian for the children" means a parent, legal guardian, committee or other third party appointed by court order as custodian of a child or children for whom child support is ordered.
(4) Obligated parent" means a natural or adoptive parent who is required by agreement or order to pay for insurance coverage and medical care, or some portion thereof, for his or her child.
(5) "Insurance coverage" means coverage for medical, dental, including orthodontic, optical, prescription pharmaceuticals, psychological, psychiatric or other health care services.
(6) "Child" means a child to whom a duty of child support is owed.
(7) "Medical care" means medical, dental, optical, prescription pharmaceuticals, psychological, psychiatric or other health care service for children in need of child support.
(8) "Insurer" means any company, health maintenance organization, self-funded group, multiple employer welfare arrangement, hospital or medical services corporation, trust, group health plan, as defined in 29 U.S.C. §1167, Section 607(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 or other entity which provides insurance coverage or offers a service benefit plan.
(9) "National medical support notice" means the written notice described in 29 U.S.C. §1169 (a)(5)(C) and 42 U.S.C. §666(a)(19) and issued as a means of enforcing the health care coverage provisions in a child support order for children whose parent or parents are required to provide health-care coverage through an employment-related group health plan. This notice is consider under ERISA to be a qualified medical child support order (QMSO).
(10) "Qualified medical child support order" means a medical child support order which creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate recipient's right to, or assigns to an alternate recipient the right to, receive benefits from which a participant or beneficiary is eligible under a group health plan. A qualified medical child support order must include the name and the last known mailing address, if any, of the participant and the name and mailing address of each alternate recipient covered by the order, except that, to the extent provided in the order, the name and mailing address of an official of the IV-D agency may be substituted for the mailing address of any alternate recipient, a reasonable description of the type of coverage provided to each alternate recipient or the manner in which the type of coverage is determined and the time period for which the order applies.
(11) "Reasonably accessible health insurance coverage" means that the coverage will provide payment for the primary health care services within a reasonable distance from the child's primary residence.
(12) "Reasonable costs" means the child's portion of the medical insurance premiums not exceeding five percent of the gross income of the parent who provides the coverage.
(1) The court shall determine whether appropriate medical insurance coverage as defined in section one hundred one of this article is available to either parent. If such insurance coverage exists, the court shall order the appropriate parent to enroll the child in that coverage and the cost of providing appropriate medical insurance shall be entered on line 5b of worksheet A for the basic shared parenting child support calculation as provided in section two hundred four, article thirteen of this code or line 12b of worksheet B for the extended shared parenting child support calculation as provided in said section.
(2) If the court does not include the cost of the medical insurance in the child support calculation, the court may order the other parent to contribute to the cost of the premium through an award of medical support. If the amount of the award of child support in the order is determined using the child support guidelines, the court shall order that nonrecurring or subsequently occurring uninsured medical expenses in excess of two hundred fifty dollars per year per child shall be separately divided between the parties in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes.
(3) If neither parent currently has access to appropriate medical insurance coverage, the court shall take the following actions:
(a) The court shall order the parties to provide appropriate medical insurance coverage if it becomes available in the future; and
(b) The court shall order the payment of cash medical support by either or both parties. The amount of the cash medical support to be awarded is within the discretion of the court but the total of the cash medical support and cost of the insurance premiums shall not exceed five percent of the payor's gross income.
(c) In setting a cash medical support award, the court may consider the costs of uncovered medical expenses for the child, the relative percentages of the parties' incomes or the cost to the government to provide medical coverage for the child.
(d) If the support obligor's adjusted gross income is less than two hundred percent of the federal poverty level, the court shall set the cash medical support amount at zero.
(e) Cash medical support shall be collected and enforced in the same manner as child support payments.
(4) The order shall require the obligor to continue to provide the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement with information as to his or her employer's name and address and information as to the availability of employer-related insurance programs providing medical care coverage so long as the child continues to be eligible to receive support.
(b) Unless alternative coverage is permitted in any order by a court of competent jurisdiction, in any case in which a parent is required pursuant to a child support order to provide the health care coverage and the employer of the parent is known to the IV-D agency, the IV-D agency shall use the national medical support notice to give notice of the provision for the health care coverage of the child to the employer. The employer shall enroll the child as a beneficiary in the group insurance plan and withhold any required premium from the obligated parent's income or wages, and remit any amount withheld for the premium directly to the plan.
(b) If more than one plan is offered by the employer, multiemployer trust or union, the child shall be enrolled in the same plan as the obligated parent. If the obligated parent is not enrolled for insurance coverage, the employer shall promptly report the availability of plans to the IV-D agency. The IV-D agency, in consultation with parent, shall promptly select the most appropriate plan, considering both the health needs of the child and the cost to the parents, and shall notify the plan administrator and the parties of the selection.
(c) Insurance coverage for the child which is ordered pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not be terminated except as provided in section one hundred fifteen of this article.
(d) A medical support notice issued by the appropriate IV-D agency of another state may be sent directly to an employer in this state without the necessity of first filing a petition or similar pleading or registering the order with the IV-D agency of this state. The medical support notice shall have the same force and effect as if the notice had been issued by the IV-D agency of this state. Upon receipt of a medical support notice from the IV-D agency of another state, the employer shall immediately provide a copy of the notice to the obligor.
(1) To permit the parent to enroll under family coverage any child who is otherwise eligible for coverage without regard to any enrollment season restrictions;
(2) If the parent is enrolled but fails to make application to obtain coverage of the child, to enroll the child under family coverage upon application by the child's other parent, by the state agency administering the medicaid program or by the bureau for child support enforcement;
(3) Not to disenroll or eliminate coverage of the child unless the employer is provided satisfactory written evidence that:
(A) The court or administrative order is no longer in effect;
(B) The child is or will be enrolled in comparable coverage which will take effect no later than the effective date of disenrollment; or
(C) The employer eliminated family health coverage for all of its employees; and
(4) To withhold from the employee's compensation the employee's share, if any, of premiums for health coverage and to pay this amount to the insurer: Provided, That the amount so withheld may not exceed the maximum amount permitted to be withheld under 15 U.S.C. §1673, Section 303(b) of the consumer credit protection act.
(b) No insurer, employer or multiemployer trust in this state may refuse to honor a claim for a covered service when the custodian for the child or the obligated parent submits proof of payment for medical bills for the child.
(c) The insurer shall reimburse the custodian for the child or the obligated parent who submits copies of medical bills for the child with proof of payment.
(d) All insurers in this state shall comply with the provisions of section 33-15-16 and section 33-16-11 of this code and shall provide insurance coverage for the child of a covered employee notwithstanding the amount of support otherwise ordered by the court and regardless of the fact that the child may not be living in the home of the covered employee.
(b) If the obligated parent fails to comply with the order to provide insurance coverage for the child, the court shall:
(1) Hold the obligated parent in contempt for failing or refusing to provide the insurance coverage or for failing or refusing to provide the information required in subdivision (4) of this subsection;
(2) Enter an order for a sum certain against the obligated parent for the cost of medical care for the child and any insurance premiums paid or provided for the child during any period in which the obligated parent failed to provide the required coverage;
(3) In the alternative, other enforcement remedies available under sections 14-2, 14-3 and 14-4 of this chapter, or otherwise available under law, may be used to recover from the obligated parent the cost of medical care or insurance coverage for the child;
(4) In addition to other remedies available under law, the bureau for child support enforcement may initiate an income withholding against the wages, salary or other employment income of, and withhold amounts from state tax refunds to any person who:
(A) Is required by court or administrative order to provide coverage of the cost of health services to a child; and
(B) Has received payment from a third party for the costs of the services but has not used the payments to reimburse either the other parent or guardian of the child or the provider of the services, to the extent necessary to reimburse the state medicaid agency for its costs: Provided, That claims for current and past due child support shall take priority over these claims.
(c) Proof of failure to maintain court ordered insurance coverage for the child constitutes a showing of substantial change in circumstances or increased need, and provides a basis for modification of the child support order.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.