781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

Post-Divorce Health Coverage: Whatever happened to the Qualified Medical Child Support Order?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Post-Divorce Health Coverage: Whatever happened to the Qualified Medical Child Support Order?

In a recent case, the parties were having problems with the flow of medical benefits, paper, information and cash. As they discussed remedies, it occurred to me "What about a "QMSCO"? I hesitated to raise it, concerned that the lawyers involved just might not have ever heard of one. I was fairly certain neither had ever used one of these obscure federal instruments. I was right on the second point.

The Qualified Medical Child Support Order was created by Congress in a 1993 amendment to ERISA. It established the obligation of employment based retirement plans to extend medical insurance coverage to dependent children of participant employees as a matter of federal law. While this basic policy was not new to Massachusetts, some of the structural aspects of the law were new here.

For example, with a QMSCO in place a medical insurance carrier can be required to recognize the rights of an alternate payee. In other words, if a state divorce judgment requires that coverage extend to children after divorce, it shall be so as a matter of federal law, too. Then, to the extent that the state judgment vests responsibility children in a non-employee spouse, that spouse may then stand in for the employee as the beneficiary for logistical purposes. That is, the custodial parent becomes the recipient of claim forms, notice of benefit changes, application for benefits for a child and the recipient of any insurance reimbursements.

The effect of a QMSCO is to cut out the employee as conduit of paperwork and cash if the parties agree and/or the state court so orders. Efficiency and reduced need for interaction between ex-spouses seems the result. Gone, too, are the frustrations of medical carriers who refuse to speak with inquiring parents, saying that they will only speak to the employee.

We can count the number of QMSCO's that we have seen as lawyers, judge and divorce mediators on one of our hands. We wonder why?



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

lawyers Major League Baseball Arbitration divorce mediator Divorce Agreements Massachusetts divorce lawyers arbitration traditional negotiations Levine Dispute Resolution Center Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth disputes Cohabitation Divorce divorce lawyers self-adjusting alimony dispute resolution divorce agreement Baseball Players divorce and family law Massachusetts alimony LDRC how baseball arbitration works Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act litigation Family Law Arbitration fraud facilitated negotiations rehabilitative alimony family law divorce litigation Baseball family support Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly mediation family law arbitrators health coverage med-arb separation Defense of Marriage Act Baseball Arbitration divorce process conciliation lawyer-attended mediation family law arbitrator pre-ARA alimony divorce judgment Levine Dispute Resolutions special master IRC §2704 Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC divorce mediation family and probate law disputes arbitrator medical benefits divorce mediators annulment family mediation alimony divorced alimony reform legislation divorce arbitrator COLA Massachusetts alimony law MLB labor agreement Chouteau Levine SJC med/arb divorce arbitrators alimony statute Child Support Guidelines alimony orders divorce and family law mediators General term alimony divorce arbitration Massachusetts alimony and child support Matrimonial Arbitration Same Sex Marriage Alimony Reform Act Obamacare child support health insurance divorce mediations family law mediation support orders private dispute resolution Massachusetts divorce mediators DOMA Massachusetts lawyers The Seven Sins of Alimony Boston Self-adjusting alimony orders resolve disputes arbitrators Uniform Arbitration Act mediations high-risk methodology lawyer Levine Dispute Resolution mediators mediator