When parents are parties to a divorce or other legal action involving a minor child, a court will issue an order regarding the cost to cover health insurance for the minor child. Depending on the circumstances of the parents, a court can order the mother, the father or both parents to provide private health insurance for the minor children, so long as it is available at a reasonable cost and is accessible.
Ideally, at least one of the parents will have health insurance available to him or her at a reasonable cost through his or her employer, or will be able to otherwise afford private health insurance coverage for their child. However, in cases where neither parent is able to afford or otherwise fails to procure private health insurance coverage for their minor child, the parent ordered to pay child support (normally the non-residential parent) may also be ordered to pay an additional amount referred to as “cash medical support.”
The purpose of a cash medical support order is provide money for the uncovered health care costs of the minor child. Cash medical support will be paid to the parent ordered to cover the minor children’s health insurance (normally the residential parent), unless the minor child receives public assistance such as Medicaid. In that case, cash medical support is paid to the State of Ohio in order to defray the cost of such public assistance.
Once private health insurance is procured for the minor child, parents should notify the applicable child support enforcement agency in order to terminate his or her additional cash medical obligation.