Effective January 1, 2020, a new law regarding children’s health expenses takes effect in Nebraska.  Generally, one parent is ordered to carry health insurance for the children and then is given credit when calculating child support equal to the premium costs each month.  The parent that is ordered to carry health insurance is generally responsible for paying 100% of the premium costs.

Most custody orders also include a provision as to who is responsible for uncovered expenses after insurance has paid towards health expenses.  The law for the expenses not covered by insurance changes effective January 1, 2020, so that the non-custodial parent’s responsibility is triggered sooner.

2020 New Law Changes Sharing of Health Expenses for Children

Under the current law, parents share health expenses not covered by insurance for their children at a set percentage but the custodial parent is responsible for the first $480.00 of expenses per child not covered by insurance each year before this percentage is triggered.

Under the new law, the non-custodial parent’s responsibility will start after the first $250.00 in expenses per child per year.  This effectively triggers the non-custodial parent’s responsibility to help with these expenses $230.00 per child, per year sooner.

For an illustration, Bob is the custodial parent.  Mary is the non-custodial parent.  Mary carries health insurance for the child.  They have one child.  The out of pocket expenses for their child after insurance has paid is $750.

Current Law

Under the current law, Bob would be responsible for the first $480 in expenses.  Then Bob and Mary would be responsible for splitting the rest of the $270 ($750-$480) in expenses.  If the parents had a 50/50 split to start after the first $480 in expenses, then Bob’s total responsibility would be $615.  Mary’s responsibility would be $135.  Mary’s responsibility is in addition to her responsibility to pay 100% of the premium costs for the child’s health insurance.

New Law

Under the new law, Bob would only be responsible for the first $250 in expenses.  Then Bob and Mary would be responsible for splitting the rest of the $500 ($750-$250) in expenses.  If the parents had a 50/50 split to start after the first $250 in expenses, then Bob’s responsibility would be $500.  Mary’s responsibility would be $250. Mary’s responsibility is in addition to her responsibility to pay 100% of the premium costs for the child’s health insurance.

Thus, under the new law, Bob would save $115 (half of $230).

Non-custodial Parents

At the same time as the non-custodial parent’s share of the expenses not covered by insurance is being triggered earlier, the child support amount owed by the non-custodial parent is often going to go down when the new child support laws take effect on January 1, 2020.  See my blog called “New Law Lowers Child Support in Nebraska” for more information.

For further reading of the new health expenses rule, you can visit the Nebraska Supreme Court’s website under the child support guidelines.

https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/supreme-court-rules/rule-amendments

Fowler & Kelly Law, L.L.P. Law Firm | Divorce Lawyers Omaha

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If you are looking for an attorney in a child support case in Omaha, Nebraska or the surrounding areas (including Papillion, Bellevue, Gretna, Elkhorn, Lincoln, Nebraska City, Sarpy, Lancaster), contact our office to set up a consultation.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.