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Protecting What Matters Most

Custody agreements must provide medical support

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Child Custody & Support

Custody agreements in Rhode Island must provide some type of medical support and coverage for children whose parents are divorced or separated. The state office of Child Support Services outlines how children should receive medical coverage, depending on the income and employment status of both the custodial and non-custodial parent.

When is private medical coverage ordered?

In many instances, the courts will order that the non-custodial parent must provide medical coverage in a child support and custody agreement if that parent has medical coverage through their employer at no cost or a reasonable cost. Reasonable cost is defined under Rhode Island law as 5% or less of the non-custodial parent’s gross income each month. In such cases, the employer will receive a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to enroll the child in the insurance plan. Some children may also qualify for additional services. If the amount that the non-custodial parent is more than 5%, then the court may order that that non-custodial parent pay an additional 5% of monthly income directly to Rhode Island Family Court/State Disbursement Unit (SDU), which would pay for the child’s medical coverage under Rite Care, the state’s Medicaid managed care program.

What if I don’t want the coverage from my child’s non-custodial parent?

Understanding Rhode Island’s guidelines for child support while you are negotiating a divorce can help avoid child support problems. If you have accessed Rite Care for your child’s medical needs because you don’t make enough money to pay for health insurance, you have assigned your child’s health care to the state.

As the custodial parent, you are required to cooperate with the state’s decision. In addition to working with a legal professional, Rhode Island’s custodial support office can help you manage your child support issues.