Health Insurance Assignment Order
It wasn’t bad enough that your wages were garnished. Now your employer is telling you that another chunk of your salary is going to be taken out to cover health insurance for your kids. But your kids are already covered through your ex. But your kids are already on Medical. But the cost is too high! Neither one is relevant as far your employer is concerned. As long as the cost does not go above 50% of your income, your employer HAS to add your kids to the available health insurance coverage. There is nothing you can do about it, right? Not quite.
The rule is that you have to provide health insurance as long as it is available to you at a reasonable cost. Reasonable cost did not used to be defined. However, a couple of years ago, the Family Code was amended to define it as follows: there is a “rebuttable presumption” that the cost is reasonable as long as it does not “exceed 5 percent” of your income to add the children. Family Code §3751(a)(2). So the 5% does NOT include the cost of health insurance for you. But only what it costs to add them.
You also have to note that the 5% is not a blanket rule but a rebuttable presumption. In other words, an obligor can have a higher than a 5% cost and the court can still make the obligor provide health insurance coverage. The 5% showing simply creates a presumption that the cost is unreasonable, and then the party seeking the coverage (the other parent or the DCSS) has to rebut that presumption. So, again, note that under Family Code section 3761, there is no requirement that the employer calculate the 5% for the purpose of determining whether the dependent ought to be added or not. That is a judicial function if the obligor objects to the cost.
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The process to quash the health insurance assignment is to request a hearing with the court. While not that complicated, the DCSS has attorneys representing the county’s interest, it is always recommended to have an attorney on your side to dispute the health insurance assignment order. If you need help please call our office. Since it is a relatively routine process, we can provide affordable rates and possibly even flat rates to take care of this matter for you. While we are reviewing your paycheck, we can also review to see if you should file for modification.
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