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Know the Laws: North Carolina

UPDATED August 17, 2016

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Information on filing for, modifying, and enforcing a child support order.

Health insurance coverage

back to topCan I get my child's medical expenses included in the order?

Yes.  The court may order a parent to provide medical support for the child or the parents can make a written agreement as to who will provide this support.  "Medical support" generally means doctor, hospital, dental and other health-care related expenses.*  Note: The judge can specify that the parent has to maintain health insurance for the benefit of the child when health insurance is available at a "reasonable cost."   The cost is considered "reasonable" if the coverage for the child is not more than 5% of the parent's gross income.  This 5% could cover either the cost of:

  • adding the child to the parent's existing coverage;
  • buying coverage only for the child; or
  • if the parent has to get new coverage, it could be the difference between the cost of a "self-only" plan and family coverage.**

Additionally, the judge may require one or both parties to maintain dental insurance for the child.**

* NCGS § 50-13.11(a)
** NCGS § 50-13.11(a1)

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back to topIf the other parent provides health insurance for my child, will I be kept informed of changes to the insurance?

Yes.  The parent ordered to provide health insurance is supposed to provide written notice of any change in the insurance coverage to the other parent.  Also, the employer or insurance company that provides the insurance coverage is supposed to give you whatever information you need about the coverage if you request it in writing.*  When a noncustodial parent ordered to provide health insurance changes jobs, s/he is supposed to tell the new employer to enroll your child in the new health insurance plan.**

* NCGS § 50-13.11(b),(c)
** NCGS § 50-13.11(f)

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back to topCan I sign off for my minor child’s insurance coverage papers even though I am not the parent paying for the coverage?

Yes.  When a court order or agreement for health insurance is in effect, the signature of either parent is enough for the insurer to process an insurance claim for your child.*

* NCGS § 50-13.11(d)

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back to topWhat happens if the other parent violates the order and doesn’t keep up my child’s health insurance?

If the parent who is ordered to provide health insurance does not keep the insurance coverage for the child, then s/he is responsible for any health, hospital, or dental expenses that would have been covered by insurance if there were proper coverage.*

* NCGS §50-13.11(e)

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