The parents shall pay in proportion to their gross incomes, (the same income percentages used for calculating the monthly support obligation), any reasonable and necessary unreimbursed medical or dental expenses. The method of payment of those expenses shall be contained in the child support order. Each parent shall pay his respective share of expenses as those expenses are incurred. Any amount paid under this subsection shall not be adjusted by, nor added to, the child support calculation. Medical or dental expenses shall include, but not be limited to eyeglasses, prescription medication, prosthetics, orthodontics, and mental health or developmental disabilities services, including but not limited to services provided by a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist.
When you pay unreimbursed medical expenses (as defined above) for your child, you should ask the medical care provider for a copy of the bill, proof of your payment, and then obtain the Explanation of Benefits form from the medical insurer. These documents show the amount that you paid that was not reimbursed by medical insurance.
Then send these documents to the other parent showing the amount that you paid out of pocket for the child’s medical expense. Make a formal demand that the other parent to reimburse you for his/her income percentage of the unreimbursed amount that you paid out of pocket. If he/she does not reimburse you for his/her income share, then you can take him/her to court and ask the court to order reimbursement to you.
You must provide the documents to the other parent. Do this via email so there is a written record that you provided the documents to him/her. Make sure you provide all the documents: bills, proof of payment, Explanation of Benefits’ forms from the insurer. Give the other parent a reasonable period of time to pay. It may be helpful to provide a spreadsheet showing the date of medical service, the medical provider, the amount you paid out of pocket, and a reference to the documents that relate to the expense. If he or she does not respond within the time frame, then you will have to take him/her to court to have the court order him/her to pay. In a later Blog, we will discuss how to enforce and obtain reimbursement for the children’s unreimbursed medical expenses.
One final note: if you and the other parent have “joint” legal custody, then you must get the other parent’s permission (in writing!) before you can have a medical procedure or give prescription medication to the children. If you have joint legal custody and go ahead and decide without the other parent’s permission (in writing) to allow a medical procedure or prescription medication or taking the child to a therapist (as examples), you could be in trouble.