CHAPTER 445

FORMERLY

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTERS 4 AND 5, TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT, TO PROVIDE FOR ENHANCED MEDICAL SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AS REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend subsection 401 (b) (1), Chapter 4 of Title 13 of the

Delaware Code by inserting after the phrase "decree or judgment for the support," and before the phrase or for the payment of arrearages on such support," the following: "medical support,".

Section 2 Amend subsection 401 (b), Chapter 4 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (11) to read as follows:

"(11) 'Medical support' means health care costs incurred for and health insurance coverage that is reasonable in cost for the child of an obligor whose support order requires health insurance coverage. Health Insurance is considered reasonable in cost if it is employment related or other group health insurance regardless of service delivery mechanism."

Section 3. Amend subsection 507 (a), Chapter 5 of the Title 13 of Delaware Code by striking the comma 1,] after the phrase "payment of child support" and before the phrase the division and distribution of marital property and marital debts and any other matters incident to a marriage" as the same appear in the second sentence thereof and inserting between said phrases in lieu thereof the following: or medical support,".

Section 4. Amend Chapter 5, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section 509 to read as follows:

Section 509. Definitions. Unless a different meaning is plainly

required by the context, words and phrases used in this Chapter shall have the same meaning as those defined in subsection 401 (b) of this Title."

Section 5. Amend subsection 513 (a) (4), Chapter 4 of Title 13 of the

Delaware Code by striking the word "medical" where the same appears in two places before the word "insurance" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "health"; and by adding after the word "employment" and before the word "or" a comma (,) and the following: "otherwise available at reasonable cost as defined In subsection 401 (b) (11) of this Title".

Section 6. Amend subsection 513 (a) (4), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding to said subsection the following new subparagraphs to read as follows:

"a. In any case in which a parent Is required by Court or administrative order to provide health insurance coverage for a child and the parent is eligible for family health coverage through an employer doing business in this State, such employer shall:

1. Permit such parent to enroll under such family coverage any such child who is otherwise eligible for such coverage (without regard to any enrollment season restrictions).

1. If Such a parent is enrolled but fails to make application to
obtain coverage of such child, enroll such child under such family coverage upon application by the child's other parent, the Division of Child Support Enforcement or Division of Social Services.

2. Not disenroll (or eliminate coverage of) any such child unless the employer is provided satisfactory written evidence that:

(a) Such Court or administrative order is no longer in effect, or

(b) The child is or will be enrolled in comparable health coverage which will take effect not later than the effective date of such disenrollment, or

(a) The employer has eliminated family health coverage for all of its employees.

b. An order for health insurance coverage shall operate as an

assignment of all benefit rights to the obligee or to the child's health services provider, and In any claim against the coverage provider or insurer, the obligee or the obligee's assignee shall be subrogated to the rights of the obligor. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subparagraph regarding assignment of benefits, this subparagraph shall not require a health service contractor or a health maintenance organization to deviate from their contractual provisions and restrictions regarding reimbursement for covered services. If the coverage is terminated, the employer shall mail a notice of termination to the Division of Child Support Enforcement, or the obligee at the obligee's last known address, within thirty days of the termination date.

c. If a obligor fails to pay his or her portion of any deductible

required under the health insurance coverage or falls to pay his or her portion of medical expenses incurred in excess of the coverage provided under the plan, the obligee or the Division of Child Support Enforcement in cases brought under Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. Section 651 et. seq.] may enforce collection of the obligor's portion of the deductible or the additional medical expenses through an appropriate order under this section, including attachment of the obligor's income. The amount of the deductible or additional medical expenses shall be added to the obligor's child support obligation and be collectible as provided by law if the obligor's share of the amount of the deductible or additional expenses is reduced to a sum certain in a court order.

d. Receipt of an order for the enforcement of a medical support

obligation shall require an obligor's employer to:

1. Answer the Division of Child Support Enforcement or the

obligee, as directed, within 15 days and confirm that the child:

(a) Has been enrolled in a health care plan;

(b) Will be enrolled in the next open enrollment period; or

(c) Cannot be covered, stating the reasons why such coverage cannot be provided.

2. Withhold any required premium from the obligor's income or

wages, as provided in subsection (b) (8) of this section.

3. If more than one plan is offered by the employer or health

insurer, and each plan may be extended to cover the child, enroll the child in the obligor's plan. If the obligor's plan does not provide coverage which is accessible to the child, the child shall be enrolled in the least expensive plan otherwise available to the obligor.

4. Provide information to the Division of Child Support

Enforcement or the obligee, as directed, about the name of the health care provider or the insurer and the extent of the coverage available and make available to such party any necessary claim forms or enrollment membership cards.

e. Orders entered under this subsection may be enforced as provided in subsection (b) (9) and (10) of this section."

Section 7. Amend subsection 513 (b) (1), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the

Delaware Code by adding after the phrase "duty to support" and before the word "has" in the first sentence thereof the following: or to provide medical support"; by adding after the word "support" and before the word "payments" as the same appear in the first sentence thereof the following: or medical support"; and by adding after the phrase "date of the order," and before the word "except" as the same appear in the first sentence thereof the following: for payment of support or premiums for health insurance coverage".

Section 8. Amend subsection 513 (b) (2)a, Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding after the phrase "orders of support" and before the word "entered" the following: "or medical support".

Section 9. Amend subsection 513 (b) (2)b, Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding between the first and second sentences thereof a new sentence to read as follows: If the existing medical support order does not include an attachment for payment of health insurance coverage, payment for the obligor's share (if any) for premiums of health insurance coverage shall be added to the attachment."

Section 10. Amend subsection 513 (b) (5), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding after the phrase "SUB benefits," and before the phrase "unemployment compensation" the following: "medical benefits".

Section 11. Amend subsection 513 (b) (7), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the

Delaware Code by adding after the phrase "child support" where the same appears for the first time in the first sentence thereof and before the word "or" a comma [,1 and the following: "medical support,"; and by adding in the last sentence thereof after the word "support" and before the word "attachment", where the same appear for the first time, the following: "and medical support".

Section 12. Amend subsection 513 (b) (8), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking the first sentence of said subsection in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "Upon receipt of a certified copy of income withholding from the Court, the employer shall deduct the specified sum from the wages due the obligor-employee and shall, at or before the time the obligor-employee is paid, mail or otherwise deliver the said deduction for support to the Division of Child Support Enforcement or the obligee, as directed, and pay the health insurance premium amount deducted directly to the health insurer, and shall continue to do so for so long as the obligor remains in his employ or until the Court orders otherwise."

Section 13. Amend subsection 513 (b) (9), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding after the word "obligations" and before the word "set" the following: "for support and medical support".

Section 15. Amend subsection 513 (b) (11), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding after the word "income" and before the word "under" the following: for support or medical support"; and by adding after the word

"support" and before the word "upon" the following: or medical support".

Section 16. Amend subsection 513 (c) (1), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the

Delaware Code by adding after the word "support" and before the word "under" in the first clause thereof the following: "or medical support"; and by adding after the word "support" and before the word "order" at the end of the first clause thereof the following: "or medical support".

Section 17. Amend subsection 513 (d), Chapter 5 of Title 13 of the

Delaware Code by adding a new subparagraph (3) to read as follows:

"(3) Whenever the Court considers a petition to modify child support, the Court shall also consider whether medical support should be ordered or modified, as provided in this Chapter. When the Court considers a petition to establish or modify medical support, such petition shall also put the order for child support at issue, and the Court will determine whether the child support amount should be modified in accordance with the guidelines."

Section 18. The provisions of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 1994.

Section 19. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Approved July 15, 1994.