Divorced parents in Pennsylvania have enough to be concerned about without having to worry about how they are going to pay for medical care for their children. In general, the child support order should include healthcare-related expenses, but if it is not enough the court may need to decide who is responsible for the additional payments.
According to FindLaw, child support payments are required to be used for certain basic necessities such as shelter, food and clothing. In the state of Pennsylvania, one of the parents is also required to carry some type of health insurance for the child. However, child support is also supposed to cover medical costs that insurance does not cover.
According to the Pennsylvania Child Support Program, the courts can order one or both parents to provide medical support if it is available at a reasonable cost, which is considered to be 5% or less of the net monthly income. If the original child support order did not include provisions for medical care, the custodial parent can contact the Domestic Relations Section of the Court of Common Pleas to modify the order. The court will then determine which parent, if not both, will be responsible for health insurance and other medical expenses.
In situations in which neither parent is able to provide health insurance, the child may be eligible for the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. CHIP is comprehensive health insurance for children 18 years and younger for no or little cost. If the child is not eligible for CHIP, they may enroll in medical assistance.