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Recommendation 1 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-3
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should require each State to maximize the enrollment of children in appropriate health care coverage; the first recourse should be appropriate private coverage of either parent. ("Appropriate coverage" is defined in Recommendation 8.)
Recommendation 2 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-4
Each State's child support guidelines should show how the cost of health care coverage will be allocated between the parents.
Recommendation 3 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-5
Each State should develop mechanisms that require both parents to disclose information about actual and potential private health care coverage in order to help the decision maker determine whether private coverage is available to either parent.
Recommendation 4 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-5
States should use existing automated databases providing information about private health care coverage available through employers or use insurers' databases. Such databases need not contain information about the types of benefits offered, only whether dependent coverage is offered by an employer. For further details about the development of or modification to such databases, see Recommendation 64.
Recommendation 5 (Federal Guidance), Page: 3-6
To further expand the ability of IV-D agencies to obtain information about actual and potential health care coverage available to both parents, OCSE should inform these agencies that §466(c)(1)(C) gives the agencies the authority to request health care benefits information from employers before they establish a medical support order. In conjunction with this, the DOL should inform plan administrators subject to ERISA that they must respond to such IV-D requests when they are made for the purpose of drafting a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO). (See Recommendation 29.)
Recommendation 6 (Federal Legislation), Page: 3-7
If the child is presently enrolled in either parent's private health care coverage and the coverage is accessible to the child, that coverage should be maintained. If, however, one of the parents has more appropriate coverage (as determined in accord with Recommendation 8 through Recommendation 11) and either parent requests that the child be enrolled in this plan, the decision maker shall determine whether or not to maintain the existing coverage based upon the best interests of the child.
Recommendation 7 (Best Practice), Page: 3-9
DOL and HHS should request the NAIC to encourage insurance providers with limited coverage areas to enter coordination agreements under which children who are covered under a geographically inaccessible plan can obtain services from a plan that is geographically accessible to them. Child support enforcement should publicize the availability of such plans and encourage States to take into account the possibility that out-of-area coverage may be available when assessing whether a particular plan is accessible to the child.
Recommendation 8 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-10
If a child is not enrolled in private coverage, the decision maker shall determine whether one or both parents are able to obtain appropriate coverage for the child based on three factors: (1) comprehensiveness of the plan, (2) access to services, and (3) affordability. Each factor should be assessed individually and then considered together in accord with Recommendation 13.
If a child has special needs, the decision maker should consider this circumstance in conjunction with the needs of the primary plan member and other dependents (see Recommendation 12).
Coverage is comprehensive if it includes at least medical and hospital coverage; provides for preventive, emergency, acute, and chronic care; and imposes reasonable deductibles and co-payments. In determining which coverage is more comprehensive when both parents have such coverage, the decision maker should consider the following: basic dental coverage, orthodontics, eyeglasses, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment.
Coverage is accessible if the covered children can obtain services from a plan provider with reasonable effort by the custodial parent. When the only health care option available through the noncustodial parent is a plan that limits service coverage to providers within a defined geographic area, the decision maker should determine whether the child lives within the plan's service area. If the child does not live within the plan's service area, the decision maker should determine whether the plan has a reciprocal agreement that permits the child to receive coverage at no greater cost than if the child resided in the plan's service area. The decision maker should also determine if primary care is available within the lesser of 30 minutes or 30 miles of the child's residence. If primary care services are not available within these constraints, the coverage should be deemed inaccessible. In lieu of the 30 miles/30 minutes standard, States may adopt an alternative standard for time and distance, such as the standard that the State uses to administer programs such as Medicaid managed care services or to regulate managed care provider networks.
In determining accessibility, the decision maker should also assess whether one can reasonably expect the coverage to remain effective for at least one year, based on the employment history of the parent who is to provide the coverage.
Reasonable cost should be assessed based on Recommendation 9 through Recommendation 11.
Recommendation 9 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-14
The Federal regulation that deems all employment-related or group-based coverage to be reasonable in cost should be replaced with a standard based on the cost of coverage relative to the income of the parent who provides the coverage. Except as noted in Recommendation 10 and Recommendation 11, if the cost of providing private coverage does not exceed five percent of the gross income of the parent who provides coverage, then the cost should be deemed reasonable.
Recommendation 10 (Best Practice), Page: 3-15
No parent whose net income is at or below 133 percent of the Federal poverty level should be ordered to provide private coverage, unless that parent has access to private coverage that does not require an employee contribution to obtain coverage.
Recommendation 11 (Best Practice), Page: 3-15
No parent whose resident child is covered by Medicaid, based on that parent's income, should be ordered to provide private coverage, unless the parent has access to private coverage that does not require an employee contribution to obtain coverage.
Recommendation 12 (Federal Guidance), Page: 3-16
The decision maker must consider a child's special medical needs when deciding which form of private or public coverage is appropriate under Recommendation 8 through Recommendation 11. HHS should identify governmental agencies that are currently studying issues involving children with special needs and should coordinate with these agencies in the development of a common definition of "special needs" children. HHS should provide guidance to State IV-D agencies on how best to use the decision making matrix set out in Recommendation 13 when a special needs child is involved. HCFA should require Medicaid agencies to identify whether there is a special needs child in any case they refer to the IV-D program pursuant to the child support cooperation requirement of the Medicaid program.
Recommendation 13 (Federal Legislation), Page: 3-20
After determining that a child is not enrolled in private health care coverage, and that at least one parent could enroll the child in private coverage, the decision maker should determine which plan is most appropriate for the child (as defined in Recommendation 8) by evaluating the plan(s) in the following manner:
Step 1. Determine whether the child has access to the services provided under the coverage.
Step 2. Determine whether the cost of the coverage is reasonable.
Step 3. Determine whether the coverage is comprehensive.
Step 4. If, after following steps 1-3, the decision maker finds that only the custodial parent has accessible, affordable, and comprehensive coverage, that coverage should be ordered, with appropriate allocation of cost, as determined by the State child support guidelines. (See Recommendation 2)
If, after following steps 1-3, the decision maker finds that only the noncustodial parent has accessible, affordable, and comprehensive coverage, that coverage should be ordered, with appropriate allocation of cost, as determined by the State child support guidelines. (See Recommendation 2)
Step 5. If, after following steps 1-3, it is determined that accessible, affordable, comprehensive coverage is available to both parents, then coverage available to the custodial parent should be ordered unless (1) either parent expresses a preference for coverage available through the noncustodial parent; or (2) the noncustodial parent is already carrying dependent's coverage for other children, either under a child support order for those children or because the children reside in his current household, and the cost of contributing toward the premiums associated with the custodial parent's coverage is significant. If either of the exceptions applies, the decision maker should make an assessment of what is in the best interests of the child and order coverage accordingly.
If neither parent has family health coverage, see Recommendation 14 and Recommendation 15.
Recommendation 14 (Best Practice), Page: 3-22
When neither parent has access to private health care coverage at reasonable cost but a step-parent does, enrolling the children in the step-parent's coverage should be considered under certain conditions. These conditions are: (a) the coverage is accessible to the children; (b) the step-parent is willing to provide such coverage; and (c) there are no employer/insurer constraints for enrollment of the child.
When these conditions are met, the parent who is married to the step-parent should be ordered to provide health care coverage for the children. The order should specify that this obligation may be met by enrolling the children in the step-parent's health care coverage. Moreover, the order must make it clear that if the obligated parent and the step-parent later commence proceedings for a separation or divorce, the obligated parent has responsibility for obtaining information about the cost and availability of COBRA coverage for the children and enrolling the children in this coverage. The order should also specify that if COBRA (or other) coverage is not available or affordable, the obligated parent must immediately seek modification of the medical provisions of the child support order. As an alternative, the custodial parent should seek publicly-funded coverage in order to minimize any lapse in coverage for the children.
Recommendation 15 (Best Practice), Page: 3-24
When neither parent can provide comprehensive, accessible, affordable private health care coverage, the decision maker should explore the possibility of providing coverage to the child through Medicaid or the SCHIP. If the child is ineligible for Medicaid or SCHIP, the decision maker should explore whether there is any available lower-cost, child-only plan, such as Sacramento IV-D Kids.
Recommendation 16 (Federal Legislation), Page: 3-25
To facilitate enrollment of eligible children in public coverage, Federal law should require State IV-D agencies to: (1) provide parents with information about the Medicaid and SCHIP programs, as well as any other subsidized coverage that may be available to the child; and (2) refer the family to the appropriate program for possible enrollment.
Recommendation 17 (Federal Legislation), Page: 3-26
Congress should amend §1920A of the Social Security Act to include IV-D agencies among the "qualified entities" that may enroll children in Medicaid for a presumptive eligibility period, based on preliminary information that indicates that the child is income-eligible for Medicaid.
Recommendation 18 (Federal Guidance), Page: 3-26
Provided that Congress amends the Social Security Act to allow State IV-D agencies to presumptively enroll children in Medicaid, OCSE and HCFA should strongly encourage all States to exercise this option or to take other steps to facilitate Medicaid enrollment, including placing Medicaid or SCHIP staff in IV-D offices, providing application forms to potentially eligible families, and arranging eligibility appointments.
Recommendation 19 (Best Practice, Federal Legislation), Page: 3-28
Part A (Best Practice): States should grant authority to the decision maker to order the noncustodial parent to contribute toward the State cost of providing coverage under Medicaid and SCHIP. Provided, however, no contribution should be ordered from any noncustodial parent whose net income (as defined by the State to determine Medicaid eligibility) is less than 133 percent of poverty.
Part B (Federal Legislation): Congress should amend §467 of the Social Security Act to provide that the amount the noncustodial parent may be ordered to contribute toward the monthly cost of coverage under Medicaid or SCHIP shall be the lesser of: (1) the estimated cost of enrolling the child in Medicaid or SCHIP; (2) five percent of the noncustodial parent's gross income; or (3) the amount indicated by a sliding fee schedule, developed by the State, which takes into account ability to pay and average Medicaid/SCHIP costs for dependent children.
Recommendation 20 (Federal Legislation), Page: 3-31
Congress should amend Title IV-D of the Social Security Act to preclude State IV-D agencies from attempting to recover Medicaid-covered prenatal, birthing, and perinatal expenses from the noncustodial parent.
Recommendation 21 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-32
The States should give the decision maker authority to order either or both parents to contribute toward: (1) the cost of any co-payments, deductibles, or costs associated with the ordered health care coverage; and (2) any uncovered medical expenses incurred by the child.
Recommendation 22 (Federal Regulation), Page: 3-33
To the extent that unreimbursed costs are not included in the State's basic child support guideline formula, those costs should be apportioned pro rata between the parties.
Recommendation 23 (Best Practice), Page: 3-33
Since the extent of unreimbursed costs is unknown at the time an order is established, each State should develop protocols that permit the court or administrative agency to reduce such expenses to a judgment based on the language of the order. These protocols should include time limits for the parent who has paid the expenses to claim reimbursement and time limits for the obligated parent to pay these expenses, as well as simple pro se procedures for making or contesting such claims. The protocols should also include procedures to enforce collection from the noncustodial parent.
Recommendation 24 (Best Practice), Page: 3-34
State child support guidelines should require that the medical support provisions of a child support order for private or public health care coverage clearly explain the obligation of each parent in meeting the child's health care needs. Although not necessary to be qualified under §609(a) of ERISA, orders should address, as fully as possible, each of the following issues:
Recommendation 25 (Federal Guidance), Page: 3-35
To facilitate implementation of Recommendation 24, the DOL and HHS should develop model language regarding health care coverage for inclusion in child support orders. The model language, which would not be mandatory, would alert attorneys, child support workers, and court personnel to common issues that should be addressed in such orders.
Recommendation 26 (Technical Assistance), Page: 3-35
Following adoption of the recommendations of the Medical Child Support Working group, DOL and HHS should provide training and technical assistance to courts to facilitate implementation of the recommendations, particularly those relating to the decision-making matrix and enrolling children in Medicaid and SCHIP.
Recommendation 27 (Federal Guidance), Page: 4-4
DOL and HHS should: (1) make it clear that the Notice is deemed to be a Qualified Medical Support Order only if issued by IV-D agencies, and (2) explain how the QMCSO process works for private parties. (See Recommendation 25.)
Recommendation 28 (Technical Assistance), Page: 4-5
The DOL and HHS should collaborate with State IV-D agencies and organizations representing employers, plan administrators, and payroll agents to develop automated State IV-D systems that can produce the National Medical Support Notices and distribute these Notices and their responses to affected parties.
Recommendation 29 (Federal Regulation), Page: 4-8
HHS and DOL should publish the National Medical Support Notice in final form no later than September 1, 2000 to allow States sufficient time to implement automated processes by October 1, 2001.
Recommendation 30 (Education/Technical Assistance), Page: 4-9
The DOL and HHS should develop strategies to educate and reach out to all categories of constituents who have a need for, or interest in, the National Medical Support Notice, including the following categories of constituents:
Recommendation 31 (Education and Technical Assistance), Page: 4-9
DOL and HHS should reach out to courts and administrative authorities to educate them regarding the Notice and the health coverage data required for completion.
Recommendation 32 (Education/Technical Assistance), Page: 4-9
The DOL and HHS should draft an easy-to-understand booklet similar to HHS's The Employer's Desk Guide to Child Support and DOL's booklet on Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) under ERISA. The booklet should explain the National Medical Support Notice and the DOL's views and interpretations of ERISA's Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) provisions.
Recommendation 33 (Federal Guidance), Page: 4-9
The DOL should inform employers, insurers, and plan administrators that when a noncustodial parent carries health care coverage for a child, and the provider of services or the custodial parent of such child submits the claim, 42 USC §1396g(a)(5) requires the insurer to pay the person or entity that submits the claim to the same extent the employee is entitled to be paid.
Recommendation 34 (Technical Assistance), Page: 4-10
The DOL and HHS should develop and make available to States a suggested model "Notice of Release" that State IV-D agencies may issue to employers when a noncustodial parent's obligation to provide health care coverage terminates.
Recommendation 35 (Federal Legislation), Page: 4-11
Congress should enact legislation requiring health care plans to send a copy of any COBRA notice related to a child's loss of health coverage to the State IV-D agency if the health care plan received any QMCSO, including the National Medical Support Notice for that child, from the IV-D agency.
Recommendation 36 (Federal Regulation), Page: 4-12
If some or all of the options under a health care plan are limited to specified geographic service areas, such as those covered by specific zip codes, then:
Recommendation 37 (Federal Regulation), Page: 4-12
If the plan administrator cannot determine a child's zip code or location from the Notice because a Substitute Official's address is used, the plan administrator should be instructed to contact the IV-D agency and provide sufficient information to permit the agency to decide whether or not the coverage is accessible as defined in Recommendation 8.
Recommendation 38 (Best Practice), Page: 4-12
In situations in which the IV-D agency is advised that a choice is required with regard to plan options, the agency should do the following:
Recommendation 39 (Federal Regulation), Page: 4-13
If an employee is in a waiting period that will expire within 90 days after the receipt date of the Notice, then the plan administrator should: (1) determine whether the Notice is a qualified order, and (2) notify the IV-D agency and the parents of the date on which coverage will begin.
If the waiting period expires more than 90 days after the receipt of the Notice, or if the duration of the waiting period is determined by some measure other than the passage of time (for example, the completion of a certain number of hours worked), then once the plan administrator has determined that the Notice is a qualified order, the plan administrator would describe the waiting period on the portion of the Notice returned to the IV-D agency (Part B), and the employer would notify the plan administrator when the employee is eligible to enroll in the plan and when a NMSN is in effect with respect to one or more children of the employee. The plan administrator then notifies both parents.
Recommendation 40 (Best Practice/Guidance/Technical Assistance/Notice Comments), Page: 4-14
Where the court determines that a pattern of misappropriation of insurance payments exists, the court may, at its discretion, order the insurer to pay all claims for reimbursement directly to the provider of services. This provision should be binding on all parties.
Recommendation 41 (Technical Assistance), Page: 4-14
The DOL and HHS should work with agencies that administer health plans for Federal workers and the military (OPM and DOD) to develop procedures that will recognize the Notice as a means to enroll children in their plans. (See Recommendation 42 and Recommendation 43.)
Recommendation 42 (Federal Legislation), Page: 4-14
Congress should enact legislation that would allow Federal agencies to enroll Federal employees and their dependents in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program without the employee's consent if the employee is ordered to provide such coverage for his or her dependent(s).
Recommendation 43 (Federal Regulation), Page: 4-14
Congress should enact legislation to allow the U.S. military to enroll its employees and their dependents in Tri-Care without the employee's consent if the employee is ordered to provide such coverage for his or her dependents.
Recommendation 44 (Federal Legislation), Page: 5-5
When the decision maker requires the custodial parent to provide coverage for the children, the parent should verify that the children have been enrolled within a reasonable time, to be determined by the State. When the child support enforcement agency provides enforcement services, and the children are not enrolled as ordered, the child support enforcement agency should take appropriate steps to enforce the order against the custodial parent. However, any notice that is sent to the parent should ask the custodial parent to contact the child support enforcement agency if she did not provide health care coverage because of some financial difficulty, a change in employment, other change in circumstances, and/or the noncustodial parent's failure to comply with an order that required him/her to pay a portion of the premium.
Recommendation 45 (Federal Regulation), Page: 5-6
The Secretaries of HHS and DOL should request the Department of Commerce to review the current provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which specifies limits on wage garnishment for family support payments, 15 U.S.C. §167(b)(2)(A) and (B). The Department should clarify whether the lower wage garnishment applies only to individuals who have an order to support a spouse or one or more children outside of their households and are also supporting a spouse and/or child within their household.
Recommendation 46 (Best Practice), Page: 5-7
The current Federal wage-withholding limits should be maintained, but the Federal OCSE should advise the States that they can set lower limits, as long as they are not so low that they make it impossible to order the parent to provide health care coverage, in addition to child support, when it is available at reasonable cost.
Recommendation 47 (Best Practice), Page: 5-8
In any case where the amount of the parent's current child support payments exceeds Federal wage withholding limits, the decision maker should examine the calculation of the noncustodial parent's disposable income to determine whether the parent is reducing their disposable income through excessive withholding or other reductions in gross income that are not contemplated by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA).
Recommendation 48 (Best Practice), Page: 5-9
If the cost of providing private health care coverage increases a parent's child support obligation so that the amount exceeds Federal wage-withholding limits, the decision maker should have the authority to direct the custodial parent to apply for the Medicaid or SCHIP. If the child is found eligible, the decision maker may require the noncustodial parent to contribute toward the cost of coverage consistent with Recommendation 19.
Recommendation 49 (Federal Regulation), Page: 5-11
A Federal policy on the priority of allocation by employers of funds collected through wage withholding should be promulgated. Employers should first attribute withheld funds to current cash support (alimony and child support), then to health care premiums and other current medical support, then to arrears (cash or medical) and then to other obligations. Decision makers should have the flexibility under State law to deviate on a case-by-case basis and provide that health care premiums will be paid first when that is in the best interest of the child.
Recommendation 50 (Federal Guidance), Page: 6-4
HCFA should continue to encourage joint Medicaid/SCHIP applications to streamline the application process.
Recommendation 51 (Federal Guidance), Page: 6-6
HCFA should provide guidance to States to make children who lose health care coverage pursuant to a medical support order an exception to the SCHIP "crowd out" provision by eliminating the waiting period for these children. In particular, guidance would include eliminating the waiting period when the custodial parent loses court- or agency-ordered dependent health coverage due to the noncustodial parent's failure to comply with an obligation to reimburse the custodial parent for the premiums.
Recommendation 52 (Federal Regulation), Page: 6-7
HCFA should issue SCHIP regulations that allow a child to be eligible for SCHIP if the child is enrolled in a group health plan but does not have reasonable access to care under that plan.
Recommendation 53 (Federal Guidance), Page: 6-8
HCFA should provide guidance to States that IV-D-eligible children are also eligible to participate in SCHIP if private health care coverage is available to them but they are not enrolled in such coverage because the services available through that coverage are not appropriate that is, they are not accessible, comprehensive, or affordable as those terms are defined in Recommendation 8.
Recommendation 54 (Administrative Action), Page: 6-10
The Secretary of HHS should convene a Working Group to develop protocols for implementing the recommendations concerning the enrollment of IV-D children in public rather than private health care coverage, particularly in interstate cases. This group should be comprised of staff from OCSE, HCFA, the Office of the Secretary, State Child Support, Medicaid, and SCHIP agencies as well representatives of other appropriate agencies and the courts.
Among the tasks of this Working Group should be:
Recommendation 55 (Best Practice), Page: 6-11
State child support enforcement and SCHIP agencies should establish effective ways of communicating with each other.
Recommendation 56 (Best Practice), Page: 6-12
In IV-D cases, when coverage is provided through Medicaid or SCHIP and information provided by the parties or obtained through New Hire Reporting indicates that private dependent health care coverage may now be available, it should be determined whether that coverage is appropriate for the child (as defined in Recommendation 8). If private dependent health care coverage is available and appropriate, the order should be modified as needed and a National Medical Support Notice should be sent to the employer and the child should be enrolled.
Recommendation 57 (Technical Assistance), Page: 6-14
State IV-D agencies, as well as the Federal OCSE, should monitor, evaluate, and report on current State initiatives related to the development of State databases and computer matches with other sources of information about private coverage. Where States have developed these matches, it is essential that the matched information be shared with the IV-D agency. If certain States have obtained successful results through these matches, Child Support Enforcement should hold them up as a best practice. (See Recommendation 5.)
Recommendation 58 (Federal Legislation), Page: 6-16
Congress should repeal §1902(a)(25)(F) of the Social Security Act to allow State Medicaid agencies to cost-avoid claims where the third party coverage is derived through a noncustodial parent's obligation to provide medical coverage.
Recommendation 59 (Federal Guidance), Page: 6-17
DOL and HHS should request the IRS to confirm that a child enrolled in a plan pursuant to a QMCSO would be considered a "dependent child" for purposes of the COBRA provisions, and therefore would be considered a "qualified beneficiary." In the event that such a child would not be considered a "qualified beneficiary," COBRA should be amended to provide that such children are qualified beneficiaries.
Recommendation 60 (Federal Guidance/Federal Legislation), Page: 6-21
DOL and HHS should request the IRS to provide interpretive guidance regarding whether the expiration of the period covered by the Qualified Medical Child Support Order is a COBRA qualifying event in ERISA §603(5) (a dependent child ceasing to be a dependent child under the generally applicable requirements of the plan). This interpretation would make it possible for the child support enforcement agency or custodial parent to elect COBRA continuation coverage to prevent a child from losing coverage for these reasons. If the current statute does not permit this interpretation, we recommend that Congress amend §603(5).
Recommendation 61 (Federal Regulation), Page: 6-21
The DOL should issue regulation(s) that make it clear that ERISA §701(f)(1)(C)(ii) (special enrollment for individuals losing other coverage) permits a child to be specially enrolled in a new plan, after prior coverage obtained through a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) is terminated, if the coverage ends during the period covered by the order or at the end of the period covered by the order. This would permit a child to enroll in other available coverage provided by either parent, if coverage is terminated for some reason related to the medical support order.
Recommendation 62 (Federal Legislation), Page: 6-21
Congress should amend ERISA §701(f)(2)(A)(iii) to include children enrolled pursuant to a QMCSO among the categories of dependents who, if certain other requirements are met, must be given special enrollment rights.
Recommendation 63 (Federal Legislation), Page: 6-23
Provided that Congress makes the following changes to §1908 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §1396g-1), Congress should also amend §1908 to state explicitly that the laws it requires States to pass as a condition of participation in the Medicaid program apply to all children (regardless of whether they are eligible for assistance under the State Medicaid plan), and should amend §609 of ERISA to incorporate the requirements of the amended §1908. The necessary changes are:
Recommendation 64 (Federal Regulation), Page: 6-24
The term "family health coverage" should be defined in regulations and guidelines to include health coverage that provides benefits to dependents, including a dependent-only policy.
Recommendation 65 (Federal Legislation), Page: 7-6
Congress should amend Federal law to provide for 90 percent enhanced Federal Financial Participation to State IV-D agencies for a five-year period to facilitate the implementation of the Title IV-D medical support requirements, contained in §401 of CSPIA 1998, and additional Federal requirements that result from the Working Group's recommendations. This funding may be capped.
Recommendation 66 (Federal Legislation), Page: 7-8
Congress should amend Federal law to require that the medical support incentive measure is developed in conjunction with the implementation of CSPIA 1998 §401 requirements and additional requirements that may be imposed by law or regulation, based on the recommendations of the Working Group. The measure should also take into account the findings of the research and demonstration grants undertaken by States and funded by HHS.
Recommendation 67 (Federal Legislation), Page: 7-10
Congress should amend Federal law to require HHS to publish the medical support performance incentive measure in final form within three years of the date the 90 percent FFP goes into effect. Implementation of the medical support performance incentive measure shall begin upon publication, including the collection and submission by the States to OCSE of all data necessary to calculate the measure. The medical support performance incentive measure shall be included in the calculation of incentive payments due States beginning 2 years after publication. This five-year time period shall run concurrent with that set forth in Recommendation 65.
Recommendation 68 (Research and Demonstration), Page: 7-11
HHS should study the savings and cost avoidance to the Medicaid program when IV-D secures and enforces a medical child support order for private insurance for Medicaid-eligible children. HHS should also study alternate methodologies to supplement funding for the child support enforcement program based on such Medicaid program savings and avoided costs. If HHS does not have sufficient funds to meet the cost of such a study, it should seek an additional appropriation from Congress.
Recommendation 69 (Research and Demonstration), Page: 8-4
The Federal OCSE should conduct a study of the 11 States that ask employers to submit health care coverage information as part of their New Hire Reporting process. The study should analyze the costs and benefits of these efforts from the point of view of employers and States, consider the privacy issues raised by such an information exchange, and identify any precautions taken to protect the privacy of case participants. The results shall be communicated to the States and to the Congress.
If HHS does not have sufficient resources available to fund these studies and/or demonstration projects, the agency should seek an additional appropriation from Congress.
Recommendation 70 (Research and Demonstration), Page: 8-6
HHS should undertake projects that will examine various aspects of the intersections of child and medical support enforcement. These projects will encourage States to implement the Working Group's recommendations and promote further innovations to expand health care coverage for children. The projects may be, but should not be limited to, §1115 demonstrations and Child Support Enforcement State program improvement grants projects. These grants might examine issues such as:
If HHS does not have sufficient resources available to fund these studies and/or demonstration projects, the agency should seek an additional appropriation from Congress.
Recommendation 71 (Research and Demonstration), Page: 8-10
The HHS should seek Congressional appropriation to fund demonstration projects for a minimum of three to five years to encourage states to adopt public-private partnership health care models for children who are eligible for IV-D services. The HHS should provide information to the States regarding how to establish a public-private model (such as Sacramento IV-D Kids) that is combined with SCHIP/Medicaid program to make private insurance available for individual children at a group rate. Model programs will have features such as the following:
Recommendation 72 (Federal Legislation), Page: 8-11
The Administration should convene a national policy and coordination group that will act through the Federal agencies to provide oversight on health care programs that affect children. The policy group should establish a mechanism or process to encourage dialogue and ensure coordination on health care program issues, especially those impacting children. This process will ensure that interested groups, such as Child Support Enforcement, providers, and payers, help in developing and implementing national objectives concerning health care coverage for children. The group will help ensure that policies, objectives, guidelines, and regulations are consistent, and that these initiatives are designed with consideration for their impacts on all affected parties.
Recommendation 73 (Administrative Action), Page: 8-12
All Federal and State regulatory agencies should develop mechanisms for reviewing proposed health care programs and mandates and incorporating programs and mandates for subsequent periodic review.
Review mechanisms should focus on:
Recommendation 74 (Technical Assistance), Page: 8-14
The HHS should collaborate with the DOL, Department of Education, and other Federal agencies involved in health care, health care benefits, child support, and tax policies, to develop consumer education programs in order to help contain health care costs.
These consumer education programs could be promoted through tax incentives, grants, private foundation awards, and advocacy groups. The programs would focus on:
Recommendation 75 (Legislative Action), Page: 8-15
Amend Tax Code to Extend Exclusion: The exclusion from income for health care costs under §105 and §106 should be extended to step-parents, grandparents, and other individuals who accept responsibility for obtaining or providing health care coverage for children, regardless of whether the child qualifies as a dependent of that individual under other provisions of the tax code.
Recommendation 76 (Administrative Action), Page: 8-16
The Administration should establish an interagency group to evaluate the impact of tax and health care policy on the provision of children's health care coverage. This group, drawn from the Federal Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor should recommend and help develop tax laws that support the goal of securing health care coverage for all children.
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Last updated: 11/27/00