Health insurance coverage is considered part of child support. Court orders will include an order that requires the parent paying support to obtain and maintain health insurance for his/her child(ren) if it is available from the employer at a reasonable or low cost. If the employee does not do so, a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) will be sent to you. The NMSN is a court order that requires you to enroll the children in your employee's health insurance plan and authorizes you to deduct the cost of health care premiums from your employee's earnings. If there are any changes to the health insurance coverage, or if the insurance becomes unavailable at any point, you must notify the Department of Child Support Services.
If health insurance coverage is available, you must send Part B of the National Medical Support Notice to the Plan Administrator within 20 business days after you receive the notice. The Plan Administrator should then review the notice for compliance with applicable state and federal regulations for withholding. The Plan Administrator shall send the Plan Administrator Response form to this Department within 40 business days. If the Plan Administrator reports that there is more than one option available under your health benefits plan, the Department of Child Support Services, in consultation with the parent receiving child support, will select the desired health plan. The medical cards, informational booklets, etc., should be sent directly to the parent receiving child support (the address is listed on the NSMN you received) or to the Department of Child Support Services.
If no health insurance coverage is available to your employee, complete and sign the Declaration of No Health Insurance Coverage (Part A of the NSMN) on the reverse of the Application & Order and mail the form within 20 days to the Department of Child Support Services.
Lapse In Coverage
If there is any lapse in coverage (such as seasonal employment), you must contact this Department within 10 business days of the lapse. Please include the following information:
- The reason for the lapse
- Indicate if the lapse will be temporary
- The date the coverage will resume or if the lapse is temporary
If you willfully fail to comply with the National Medical Support Notice you can be held liable for any amounts incurred for health care services that would otherwise have been covered by insurance. If you willfully fail to comply with this order, you can also be held in contempt of court.
If health insurance coverage is available but the deduction of the monthly child support payment and health insurance premiums result in the employee's net disposable earnings being less than 50% (net income after mandatory deductions such as State, Federal and local taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes) the Plan Administrator must contact the Department of Child Support Services. We will inform the Plan Administrator to withhold for either current support or health insurance premiums.
Your Employee's Responsibility
- Family Code Section 3765 states that employees can contest the medical support order based on several grounds. However, you, as the employer, must proceed to comply with the employer's responsibilities as indicated in the National Medical Support Notice until the child support agency notifies you to discontinue withholding medical premiums.
- You can inform your employee that if they disagree with the medical support order, they should discuss the matter with the child support officer assigned to their case.
Contact Phone Numbers
If you have additional questions about child support wage assignments or medical assignments, call:
Department of Child Support Services
Phone: (866) 901-3212
Fax: (707) 472-2820