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Be clear about these health care issues in your parenting plan

Every California parent needs to ensure that his or her child has appropriate health coverage. This way, in the event of a health problem, the child can receive the medical care he or she requires to heal. For this reason, you will want to address several important points related to health care in your parenting plan.

Through the use of "parenting provisions" -- specific language inserted into a parenting plan and child custody agreement -- parents can get clear about how they will manage the health care concerns of their children.

Examples of health care parenting provisions

You might consider using and/or altering some of the following health care parenting provisions to include in your parenting plan:

  • Either the mother, father or both parents will give health insurance to minor children when offered by an employer for a reasonable price.
  • If no employer health insurance is available, the parents will obtain private health insurance for the child.
  • Parent A will pay ___ percent of the health insurance costs and parent B will pay ___ percent of the health insurance costs.
  • Parent A will pay ___ percent of all medical-related costs and parent B will pay ___ percent of all medical-related costs.
  • Both parents will have copies of the children's health insurance cards.
  • Each parent will receive receipts related to medical costs from the other parent within 30 days of the receiving the bill.
  • When reimbursement of shared costs is appropriate, the parent who needs to pay will remunerate the other parent within 30 days of receiving the bill.
  • Both parents must approve of health care costs exceeding $100 in writing before either parent agrees to medical service costs unless it is an emergency health issue.

Consider your child's health care needs carefully

Some kids -- especially children with special needs -- may have more complicated medical concerns than others. As such, parents should consider the needs of their children carefully and make sure that they explicitly address all health care requirements of their child in their parenting plans to avoid difficulty or disagreements later on down the road.

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