In any case where a party carries insurance on behalf of a minor child, the other party may want access to the medical explanation of benefits and other notices regarding the minor child’s health care. More than ever both parents are taking a more active role in managing their children’s health insurance and out of pocket medical expenses, and it makes sense for both parties to be able to review medical records for their minor child. However, due to certain laws that are in place, it can be difficult for one parent to gain access to the minor child’s medical records, billing information and explanation of benefits when they are covered by the other parent.
A Qualified Medical Child Support Order (or, a “QMCSO”) is designed to partially address some of these issues when it comes to medical insurance benefits. Parties can agree to enter a QMCSO to designate the parent that does not carry the coverage as an “agent” for the minor child. This allows the parent that is not covered by the plan to contact the health insurance provider on behalf of the minor child and obtain certain information pertinent to the minor child’s health care. This can get rid of a lot of the “back and forth” divorced parents (or parents that are no longer in a relationship) have to go through to communicate these medical insurance issues with one another. The Order is sent to the health insurance provider and the parent that is not covered under the plan’s health insurance can access a lot of records and information that they otherwise would not be able to access. QMCSO’s are under used in domestic relations cases in Illinois and can be a vital tool to keeping the peace between parents that no longer are involved with each other.