Minnesota law considers the best interests of the children to be a primary factor in virtually any aspect of divorce, and providing health care is certainly a major issue. However, our Minneapolis child support lawyers warn that covering the children under either parent’s health insurance is only the most basic consideration.
The Basic Health Care Coverage Requirements
At its most basic level, Section 518A.41 of the Minnesota Statutes requires that parents must ensure their children are covered by health and dental insurance policies that maintain minimum essential coverage defined by U.S. code in accordance with the following provisions:
- When both parents carry insurance that meet basic coverage requirements, the courts may essentially compare policies to identify the most comprehensive one based on additional available benefits.
- Coverage must be accessible to the children, which means that primary care must be available within 30 minutes or 30 miles of a child’s residence, with specialty care being available within 60 minutes or 60 miles, along with some other provisions.
- Coverage must be affordable, which means that decisions may be based on the least costly policy when both parents carry comparable coverage.
Of course, parental responsibilities for health care coverage do not end with premium payments. A typical divorce settlement includes the expenses that are not covered by insurance, such as deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance and basically anything that is not covered by a health insurance plan.
Health Care can Extend Beyond Basic Medical Needs
Many children have special needs that include extended health care requirements, along with other issues that do not strictly fall into the health care category. Current statistics show that about one out of 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder, and that is just one of many conditions that result in additional costs to parents. Conditions like this one can require anything from special schools to assistance by individuals who may be needed to handle other duties around the home.
These are all circumstances that must be addressed during divorce, and finding solutions can be particularly challenging because they require a major degree of collaboration between parents who most likely do not agree on most issues. Additionally, as the needs of special needs children change as they get older, the support requirements may change as well.
Regardless of the level of support children require, our Minneapolis child support attorneys encourage frank discussions that can help ensure that both parents are financially and emotionally engaged in every aspect of their needs. We are available before, during and after divorce to help. Call us at 763-323-6555 or use our convenient contact form to learn how we can help.