Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

Proposed National Medical Support Notice To Cover More American Children

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Today the U.S. Department of Labor is proposing rules that would implement provisions of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 that are intended to help children gain access to coverage under their noncustodial parents’ employer-based group health plans.

The proposal provides a simple and uniform National Medical Support Notice that will assist states in carrying out their responsibilities in child support enforcement and administrators of group health plans in determining if medical child support orders are qualified under section 609(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also is proposing rules under the Social Security Act implementing the use of the National Medical Support Notice by state agencies that administer child support enforcement programs.

These proposed rules would affect group health plans, participants and their children and state child support enforcement agencies. Medical child support orders require noncustodial parents to include their children under employer-based health insurance coverage. The orders are established and enforced by the state child support enforcement agencies.

In announcing the proposal and how it affects the plan community, Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman said, “Our goal is to develop rules that help the states fulfill their responsibilities while minimizing the cost and burdens to group health plans affected by these notices. Ultimately, our efforts should result in more health care coverage for children.”

In developing the National Medical Support Notice proposal, the departments were assisted by a working group established to identify impediments to medical child support enforcement. The group, which includes representatives of employers and plan sponsors and administrators, will submit a report to the secretaries of labor and health and human services in early 2000.

The agency is seeking written comments about the proposed rules by February 14, 2000. If adopted, this regulation would become effective on Oct. 1, 2001. Persons interested in submitting written comments may send them to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S.. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N-5669, Washington, D.C. 20210, Attention: Medical Support Notice.

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Internet. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202.693.7773 or TTY 202.693.7755.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Phone Number: 202.219.8921

Employee Benefits Security Administration
November 15, 1999
Release Number