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Determining health insurance coverage for children of divorce

While the quality of healthcare available to children in San Antonio and throughout the rest of the U.S. is among the finest in the world, it often comes at a great cost. The skyrocketing costs of medical services may often deter parents from taking their kids to the doctor due to limitations with or a lack of health insurance coverage. Indeed, the Child Trends Data Bank reports that as recently as 2013, only 60 percent of kids in America were covered under private health insurance plans.

Some may wonder what happens to a child’s health insurance coverage when his or her parents choose to divorce. The regulations for determining continued health insurance accessibility for a child following divorce can be found in section 154.182 of the Texas Family Code. When assigning health insurance obligations for children, the court adheres to the following standard:

  •          If one parent has access to health insurance through an employer, trade association, labor union, or another professional organization, then he or she must include the child on his or her plan.
  •          If neither parent has access to a plan through an employer or organization, but can secure it through another means at a reasonable cost, the court may order him or her to do so.
  •          If neither parent has any sort of access to health insurance, the court may order a parent already obligated to pay child support to pay an additional amount specifically dedicated for medical support that is not to exceed nine percent of his or her annual resources.

In the event that an obligated parent does not have the means to provide medical support, the court may then order one of the parents (typically the one responsible for choosing the child’s place of residence) to apply for participation in a government health plan. 

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