When parents are no longer together, disputes sometimes arise regarding who is supposed to pay medical expenses on behalf of the child. In a lot of cases, Judges adopt what is know as the 30/30 rule for unreimbursed medical expenses. The 30/30 rule is a term used to explain repayment of medical expenses.
Often, both parents are not at every medical appointment to be able to split the bill. So, what happens? How does a parent get reimbursed?
The 30/30 rule provides a mechanism to request and obtain reimbursement.
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The first step is a parent pays a medical expenses for the child. The parent obtains a receipt or proof of payment for the medical expenses. Within 30 days of making that payments, the parent who paid the medical bill must submit the proof of payment to the other parent for reimbursement.
Within 30 days of receiving proof of the payment, the non-payment parent must dispute the charge or pay their share, usually 50%, of the amount paid.
If a parent does not provide the proof of payment within 30 days, it is viewed as a waiver of the request for reimbursement.
If a parent does not pay or dispute the charge within 30 days, it can be viewed as contempt for failure to comply with the Court’s Orders. The Court can issue Orders for the payment and attorney fees if a parent has to go to Court to obtain reimbursement.
If parents are both at a medical appointment, the prudent thing to do would be to ask the medical provider to divide the unreimbursed expense and for each parent to pay their share directly to the medical provider. In the case of large medical bills like surgical expenses or braces, parents can often work with the medical provider in advance to set up their own payment arrangements for their half of the unreimbursed medical expense.
When a rule like the 30/30 rule is not adopted, one parent may sit on medical bills for a long period of time and the balance grows which means that out of the blue a large sum may be due and owing to the other parent. To avoid that happening, the 30/30 stops this from happening.