What Is A Medical Support Notice For Maryland Child Support?
When the Maryland courts impose an obligation to pay child support, that obligation can stretch beyond mere payment. One common aspect of child support in Maryland involves health insurance coverage. When the Maryland courts require a parent to include their child on a health insurance policy, a medical support notice helps to streamline that process.
When Does Maryland Issue Medical Support Notices?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 12-102.1 establishes the rules for issuing medical support notices. This section provides two different situations for the issuance of these notices.
In the first situation, a Maryland child support agency may issue a medical support notice. But this discretionary power only applies to cases where the Maryland courts have ordered a parent to include a child on their health insurance coverage.
In the second situation, a Maryland child support agency must issue a medical support notice. This required power applies to cases where the Maryland courts have ordered a parent to include a child on their health insurance coverage, and that parent’s employer is known.
What are the Maryland Requirements for Medical Support Notices?
Section 12-102.1 also details the requirements for medical support notices. These notices must appear:
- In a format approved by the U.S. federal government; and
- In a separate document without any other orders or pleadings.
Furthermore, each medical support notice must explain:
- The employer’s duty to withhold employee contributions for the child’s health insurance coverage;
- That the employer must withhold the appropriate amount on a regular and continuing basis, subject to further court orders;
- The application of limits under the U.S. federal Consumer Credit Protection Act;
- The prioritization if funds are insufficient to cover both child support and medical support obligations;
- Any other information necessary for the employer to comply with the medical support notice;
- That failure to comply with the medical support notice may subject the employer or carrier to civil penalties;
- The parent’s right to contest the withholding amount based on mistake of fact; and
- The contact information of an appropriate person for questions about the medical support notice.
What is the Legal Effect of Medical Support Notices in Maryland?
Section 12-102.1 also explains the legal impact of medical support notices. Subject to federal regulations, these notices usually take priority over liens or legal process. Though there is an exception for past-due child support obligations and withholdings of earnings for support.
In addition, Maryland treats medical support notices as qualified support orders. As long as a medical support notice is valid and satisfies all regulations, then:
- Insurance carriers must treat the notice as a qualified medical child support order;
- The notice will carry the same force and effect as a qualified medical child support order; and
- The notice will be enforceable in the same manner as a qualified medical child support order.
Does Maryland Enforce Medical Support Notices from Other States?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 12-102.2 furnishes the enforcement rules for out-of-state medical support notices. Under this section, Maryland recognizes out-of-state medical support notices and similar orders for health insurance coverage. From an administrative standpoint, Maryland enforces out-of-state medical support notices in the same way as those issued within the state.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need family law assistance, we can help. Reach out to the Bel Air child support lawyers at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered for a consultation.