Son needs Health Insurance-what sounds most practical?


#1

Hi, I may be asking a stupid question but I would appreciate some of your insight.
I'll try to be brief...

I'm a single mother in college living at home with my parents. I do not work. My son is 16 months old. His father and I have a court order established. We have joint legal custody and he is supposed to be paying child support and providing medical insurance.

Problem is, his father is not paying child support (never has) and is not providing health insurance. I asked him about it (CS & HS) not too long ago and he said something about the high costs of health insurance and "I will continue to look into it." There's really no point in asking him about it again because I know I will just receive the same answer.

If I petition the courts to have CS & HS enforced I am not sure what good that is going to do. May rack up court fees (that my parents-not I- will end up paying off) and cause drama.

Should I just go get a job and take care of the health insurance myself? My little sister has already agreed to watch my son while I go to work so there's no issue with finding a babysitter.

Thank you for your help. God bless :)


#2

Most, if not all, states offer very low-cost health insurance for children up to 18 years of age.

In all honesty, unless you have a college degree or a very useful skill, getting a job where you can afford the health insurance they provide (provided they offer it) is likely to take up most of your income. Low paying jobs that offer health insurance usually do so at nearly half of the person's income and usually require full time employment. That doesn't work too well with having a little one and doing well in your college classes.

I would look into what your state can offer (even if it's Medicaid/welfare) and stay home to raise your little one in the mean time, using your sister's offer for when you need to take an extra class or two.


#3

You should look into assistance programs provided by your state. This will have the added benefit that the state will try to recover their money from the father, so that you will not have to pay for lawyers and courts yourself.


#4

[quote="ThereseOfRoses, post:2, topic:230969"]
Most, if not all, states offer very low-cost health insurance for children up to 18 years of age.

In all honesty, unless you have a college degree or a very useful skill, getting a job where you can afford the health insurance they provide (provided they offer it) is likely to take up most of your income. Low paying jobs that offer health insurance usually do so at nearly half of the person's income and usually require full time employment. That doesn't work too well with having a little one and doing well in your college classes.

I would look into what your state can offer (even if it's Medicaid/welfare) and stay home to raise your little one in the mean time, using your sister's offer for when you need to take an extra class or two.

[/quote]

I agree, look into state subsidized health care for your child. It is very easy to qualify for. And if I were you, I wouldn't have qualms about taking it. In my opinion, health care is unaffordable because of policies of the "state". We could have affordable health care in this country, but we don't. Take the help.


#5

[quote="jenlovesyu, post:1, topic:230969"]
I'm a single mother in college living at home with my parents. I do not work. My son is 16 months old. His father and I have a court order established. We have joint legal custody and he is supposed to be paying child support and providing medical insurance.

[/quote]

Hi, this is not an easy situation for you and my heart goes out to you as you try to take care of your son and make a better life for the both of you. I commend your courage and your family for being supportive of you.

Yes, your son needs health insurance. You need to be the one to look into it because your son's father is not taking responsibility. You have several possible venues to obtain insurance:
1) Your college likely offers coverage for students and it may offer for dependents. Larger schools include this for grad students who often have families. This may be as simple as signing up in your college's health center.
2) If your parents have insurance through their workplaces, they may be able to include your son as a dependent because he lives there, they're providing more than half your financial support, and if their work policy allows it. This will take a little more paperwork.
3) Does your state have a subsidized child insurance program such as S-CHIP? Many, not all, do. At the very least look into a prescription drug program or group that your state likely offers - if nothing else, this will save you some money on scripts.
4) Finally, if none of these are available, I recommend getting a short-term plan for your son (and for you as well). These aren't cheap, but they're not usually terribly expensive. Shop around, talk to your auto insurance agent or your parents' homeowners' insurance agent. These also usually only last up to a year - they're meant for transitions, ie between jobs or finishing up school.

Lastly, your son's father. He's not abiding by the court's ruling at all? The problem with Court rulings is that you often have to take them back to Court to enforce them. I take it the father isn't exercising his custodial rights - certainly he could drop off a check for something when he picks up his son. You may also have the option of contacting your state's magistrate or probate board, or some equivalent, that oversees custodial arrangements. This may be in the office of child welfare, or of HHD, where they have authority to verify that a ruling is being obeyed. In some states, he could lose his driver's license or go to jail for unpaid child support.


#6

Check out whatever you can get from the state.

Aside from that. You obviously have a computer. Go to http//www.esurance.com

Put in your info and see what kind of quotes you can get.

I pay $78.00 a month for each of my boys ... you could get a lower costing plan if you accept a higher deductable. or Higher co-pays...

Keep all of your invoices for this.

At some point, I would have the fathers wages garnished. If he's not paying, and has a job his job can pay you directly. He should know that will cause him problems. Because it's a clear statement he doesn't take care of his responsibilities. People that don't take care of their responsibilities... also don't get promoted... You can probably have this court ordered, and not actually pay too much $$... I'd check into that too.

Good luck!


#7

I don't think the court will charge you a lot to get that order enforced. Of course the problem is that a lot of deadbeat dads will go off the books if/when their wages are garnished for child support. Or simply disappear and have nothing whatsoever to do with their child or children after that. But talk to your lawyer who wrote the order in the first place and always ask the cost of anything you do through the lawyer's office.

So unfortunately you are caught between a rock and a hard place. I would look into the college's insurance first. You may well be covered and your son may be able to be covered for a little extra money. If they can insure your son, it will be the easiest and best way. That is a large group insurance so would be cheaper and they would have to take you without going through a long questionnaire and a phone interview.

2nd best would be through the state. Your son will probably be eligible for Medicaid, but it does get harder and harder to find doctors who will take Medicaid because they don't get reimbursed for their costs.

Any insurance you could get privately will be for catastrophic illness only, with a high deductible. You would not be able to afford the kind of insurance that is provided through a group such as an employer. We have 2 policies because Humana rejected our younger son, but BCBS took him. It's a $5,000 deductible per person, $7500/year family, or something pretty close to that. So you can see that nearly everything is on us. If there was a chronic illness or an accident, we'd be OK after the deductible. But a private policy is not a lock - they can reject you or your son for their own reasons, or add an up-charge depending on what conditions you have.


#8

You could look into a HSA (health savings account). I do not know a lot about how they work, but basically it’s a high deductible insurance policy that also acts as a savings account that you can built up your out-of-pocket expenses but the premiums are not bad. It would be at least worth looking into.


#9

Depending on where you are but maybe even under the new heathcare bill, if you are under 25, you and the baby can get insurance through your parents.

The States offer medicaid or other low cost health insurance programs (and when I say low cost I mean low cost, I am on one where I only pay a $5 copay). It is a pain to sign up and recertify, but you will get the best health insurance that way. Go to or contact your local social services.

Hope that helps.


#10

If your son's father is a responsible guy who's just a dawdler then don't do court. If he's lazy and irresponsible than go the legal route.

If the father cannot pay then let the state step in. The state resourses shouldn't be taken simply becuase you don't want to cause drama.

Thing is that you are living with your parents, have food and a roof over your head. The father of your child is around, enough to let him have joint custody. Just because the state is there dosn't mean it should be the first resource. Hand the responsibility over to the man who created the kid, even if it means garnishment of wages.

I am happy to pay taxes for people who need a hand up, who need help. I don't want to pay taxes for people who "don't want to cause drama" in their lives.

And if your little sister can watch your son, I'd suggest getting a job, even if you don't make much. You can save for a place of your own so if something (heaven forbid) happens to your parents you can afford an apartment.


#11

[quote="Nanny_PK, post:8, topic:230969"]
You could look into a HSA (health savings account). I do not know a lot about how they work, but basically it's a high deductible insurance policy that also acts as a savings account that you can built up your out-of-pocket expenses but the premiums are not bad. It would be at least worth looking into.

[/quote]

That's what we have, what I was describing. The policy basically doesn't cover anything under $5000. You get a tax-free account but you can only use it to pay back medical expenses, so what you are getting is a pre-tax reimbursement. That's not very helpful to someone who can't pay the expenses in the first place. I think we had to deposit a certain amount just to open the account. The insurance policies are not that cheap and since they are not with a group, the insurance companies can refuse you for any reason.


#12

[quote="jenlovesyu, post:1, topic:230969"]
Hi, I may be asking a stupid question but I would appreciate some of your insight.
I'll try to be brief...

I'm a single mother in college living at home with my parents. I do not work. My son is 16 months old. His father and I have a court order established. We have joint legal custody and he is supposed to be paying child support and providing medical insurance.

Problem is, his father is not paying child support (never has) and is not providing health insurance. I asked him about it (CS & HS) not too long ago and he said something about the high costs of health insurance and "I will continue to look into it." There's really no point in asking him about it again because I know I will just receive the same answer.

If I petition the courts to have CS & HS enforced I am not sure what good that is going to do. May rack up court fees (that my parents-not I- will end up paying off) and cause drama.

Should I just go get a job and take care of the health insurance myself? My little sister has already agreed to watch my son while I go to work so there's no issue with finding a babysitter.

Thank you for your help. God bless :)

[/quote]

Your child has a right to be supported by his father. Most states have an agency assigned to collect and enforce child support. That service is provided free of charge. In Texas and most states, it is the Office of the Attorney General that provides that service. In some other states, it is the local prosecutor's office. Don't let him get away without supporting his child. It is his legal and moral obligation.

Most states have an inexpensive insurance program for working parents. It's usually goes by the acronym CHIPS.


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.