SB 1160 Requires the use of national medical support notice to enforce health benefit plan coverage in child support orders
LR Number:4604S.01I Fiscal Note:4604-01
Committee:Public Health and Welfare
Last Action:03/13/02 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Public Health & Welfare Journal page:
Committee (4604S.02C)
Title:SCS SB 1160
Effective Date:August 28, 2002
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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 1160 - This act requires the use of National Medical Support notice to enforce health benefit plan coverage required in child support orders.

Current law requires the Circuit Clerk to send notice to employers when a parent has been ordered to provide health insurance coverage for a child. Current language is deleted regarding the contents of the notice and new language requires the notice to comply with the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) as required by federal law. All employers, unions, and plan administrators must also comply with the NMSN. The Division of Child Support Enforcement must give notice within two days of notification of the employee's hire and must also promptly notify employers when an order for medical support is no longer in effect. The notice must contain certain information and is binding on current and subsequent employers. Withholdings may not be held pending the outcome of a hearing (Section 454.606).

Currently, the clerk must also send a notice to the obligor/parent. This act requires the inclusion of a statement that the parent may contest the notice within thirty days. The parent may contest based on mistake of fact or because the parent obtained other insurance prior to issue of the withholding order (Section 454.609).

The employer must currently transfer the notice to the health insurer upon receipt. This act requires such transfer within twenty business days. Within forty business days, the health plan administrator must notify the agency whether the child is covered, the effective date of the coverage, and provide forms regarding the coverage (Section 454.615).

Currently, there are certain steps the employer must take to enroll the child in the health benefit plan. This act clarifies that the employer must withhold the amount necessary to cover the child and send it to the health plan. The child must be enrolled in the least costly plan if a plan is not already designated. If the notice is a NMSN, the health plan must provide plan descriptions and the agency and the custodial parent will select a plan for the child. If the agency does not select a plan within twenty days, the health plan must enroll the child in its default option, if possible (Section 454.618).

Current law outlines procedures at the termination of an obligor's employment. This act requires the employer to notify the Division or agency of the obligor's location and new employer, if known (Section 454.627).

Current law also outlines procedures for COBRA coverage. This act prohibits the child from being terminated from coverage unless the insurer is given evidence that the order is no longer in effect, the child is or will be enrolled in a comparable plan, the employer eliminated health care coverage for all employees, or continuation of coverage is not chosen (Section 454.700).

This act is contained in the perfected version of SB 740 (2002).