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Who pays Medical Bills for the Kids?

We call medical bills in the context of a divorce or custody case "Ordinary Medical Expenses", which is one factor in the Michigan Child Support Formula. This is a separate expense on your Uniform Child Support Order that goes into the total amount being paid or received as child support.

Ordinary medical is typically awarded to the person that RECEIVES child support as the formula presumes that the person receiving support is the individual that will typically obtain medical care for the children and will be the one that normally has out-of-pocket expenses related to this care.

What qualifies as Ordinary Medical Expenses? These are co-pays, prescription costs, medical bills, dental, vision, therapy costs. Routine medical costs like first-aid supplies, cough syrup and vitamins do not qualify.

How are Medical Expenses Paid? Generally, the person receiving the credit for Ordinary Medical (usually the parent receiving child support) will pay these expenses out of pocket to providers. Once that parent pays OVER the Ordinary Medical Expense amount for the year, additional expenses are split based on a pro-rata percentage based on each parent's income.

How much is Ordinary Medical? As of 2021, Ordinary Medical for each child is $454.00 annually and "resets" each calendar year. If you have an older support order, this amount may be less.

Does the parent that receives Ordinary Medical have to account for expenses? No. The parent paying medical costs does not need to do an ongoing accounting of medical expenses unless they are seeking reimbursement from the other parent for an amount OVER the annual amount of $454.00 per child.

Example: Sarah receives child support from Edward. They have one child, Ella, and their support order says their medical expenses are split with Sarah paying 40% and Edward paying 60%. In 2021, Sarah pays $600 total in medical expenses out of pocket for Ella. Sarah must pay the first $454.00 out of pocket herself and then the remaining $146.00 is split with Sarah paying 40% ($58.40) and Edward paying 60% ($87.60).

Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all surrounding counties, call today for a consultation.269-381-4471


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