BILL NUMBER: SB 580	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Senator Wright

                        FEBRUARY 27, 2009

   An act to amend Sections 3751, 3753, and 4059 of the Family Code,
relating to child support.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 580, as introduced, Wright. Child support: health insurance.
   Existing law requires that a parent maintain health insurance
coverage for a supported child when that insurance is available at no
cost or at a reasonable cost to the parent. Existing law declares
health insurance coverage for a supported child to be reasonable in
cost if it is group health insurance, as specified.
   This bill would specify that the parent must maintain private
health insurance coverage for the child, and the insurance must be
accessible to the child, as provided. The bill would also declare the
rebuttable presumption that the health insurance coverage is
reasonable in cost if the cost to the responsible parent providing
medical support does not exceed 5% of his or her gross income or some
other reasonable alternative income-based numeric standard
determined by the Department of Child Support Services. The bill
would also specify that if private health insurance coverage is not
available at the time the order is entered or modified, the court
shall order cash medical support, as defined, until health insurance
coverage becomes available at a reasonable cost and is accessible to
the child.
   Existing law provides that the cost of the health insurance is in
addition to the child support amount ordered with allowance for the
costs of health insurance actually obtained given due consideration.
   This bill would additionally provide that the cost of the cash
medical support is in addition to the child support amount ordered,
with allowance for the cash medical support actually obtained given
due consideration.
   Existing law computes the annual net disposable income of each
parent by deducting from his or her annual gross income the actual
amounts attributable to specified items, including deductions for
health insurance or health plan premiums for the parent and for any
children the parent has an obligation to support and deductions for
state disability insurance premiums.
   This bill would include among those deductions cash medical
support. The bill would also make related, conforming changes.
   The bill would become operative on January 1, 2011.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 3751 of the Family Code is amended to read:
   3751.  (a) (1) Support orders issued or modified pursuant to this
chapter shall include a provision requiring the child support obligor
to keep the agency designated under Title IV-D of the Social
Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.) informed of whether the
obligor has health insurance coverage at a reasonable cost and, if
so, the health insurance policy information.
   (2) In any case in which an amount is set for current support, the
court shall require that  private  health insurance
coverage for a supported child shall be maintained by either or both
parents if that insurance is available at no cost or at a reasonable
cost to the parent. Health insurance coverage shall be rebuttably
presumed to be reasonable in cost if  it is
employment-related group health insurance or other group health
insurance, regardless of the service delivery mechanism. The actual
cost of the health insurance to the obligor shall be considered in
determining whether the cost of insurance is reasonable 
 the cost to the responsible parent providing medical support
does not exceed 5 percent of his or her gross income or some other
reasonable alternative income-based numeric standard determined by
the Department of Child Support Services. Health insurance coverage
must be accessible to the child. The Department of Child Support
Services is responsible for determining a standard of accessibility
 . If the court determines that the cost of health insurance
coverage is not reasonable, the court shall state its reasons on the
record.
   (b) If the court determines that health insurance coverage is not
available at no cost or at a reasonable cost, the court's order for
support shall contain a provision that specifies that health
insurance coverage shall be obtained if it becomes available at no
cost or at a reasonable cost.  If private health insurance
coverage is not available at the time the order is entered or
modified, the court shall order cash medical support until health
insurance coverage becomes available at a reasonable cost and is
accessible to the child   .  Upon health insurance
coverage at no cost or at a reasonable cost becoming available to a
parent, the parent shall apply for that coverage.
   (c) The court's order for support shall require the parent who, at
the time of the order or subsequently, provides health insurance
coverage for a supported child to seek continuation of coverage for
the child upon attainment of the limiting age for a dependent child
under the health insurance coverage if the child meets the criteria
specified under Section 1373 of the Health and Safety Code or Section
10277 or 10278 of the Insurance Code and that health insurance
coverage is available at no cost or at a reasonable cost to the
parent or parents, as applicable. 
   (d) For the purposes of this section, "cash medical support" means
an amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of health insurance
provided by a public entity or by another parent through employment
or otherwise, or for other medical costs not covered by insurance.

  SEC. 2.  Section 3753 of the Family Code is amended to read:
   3753.   (a)    The cost of the  private
 health insurance  or cash medical support  shall be in
addition to the child support amount ordered under Article 2
(commencing with Section 4050), with allowance for the costs of
health insurance  and cash medical support  actually
obtained given due consideration under subdivision (d) of Section
4059. 
   (b) For the purposes of this section, "cash medical support" means
an amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of health insurance
provided by a public entity or by another parent through employment
or otherwise, or for other medical costs not covered by insurance.

  SEC. 3.  Section 4059 of the Family Code is amended to read:
   4059.  The annual net disposable income of each parent shall be
computed by deducting from his or her annual gross income the actual
amounts attributable to the following items or other items permitted
under this article:
   (a) The state and federal income tax liability resulting from the
parties' taxable income. Federal and state income tax deductions
shall bear an accurate relationship to the tax status of the parties
(that is, single, married, married filing separately, or head of
household) and number of dependents. State and federal income taxes
shall be those actually payable (not necessarily current withholding)
after considering appropriate filing status, all available
exclusions, deductions, and credits. Unless the parties stipulate
otherwise, the tax effects of spousal support shall not be considered
in determining the net disposable income of the parties for
determining child support, but shall be considered in determining
spousal support consistent with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section
4330) of Part 3.
   (b) Deductions attributed to the employee's contribution or the
self-employed worker's contribution pursuant to the Federal Insurance
Contributions Act (FICA), or an amount not to exceed that allowed
under FICA for persons not subject to FICA, provided that the
deducted amount is used to secure retirement or disability benefits
for the parent.
   (c) Deductions for mandatory union dues and retirement benefits,
provided that they are required as a condition of employment.
   (d) Deductions for  private    health insurance
 or   ,  health plan premiums  , or
cash medical support  for the parent and for any children the
parent has an obligation to support and deductions for state
disability  insurance  premiums.
   (e) Any child or spousal support actually being paid by the parent
pursuant to a court order, to or for the benefit of any person who
is not a subject of the order to be established by the court. In the
absence of a court order, any child support actually being paid, not
to exceed the amount established by the guideline, for natural or
adopted children of the parent not residing in that parent's home,
who are not the subject of the order to be established by the court,
and of whom the parent has a duty of support. Unless the parent
proves payment of the support, no deduction shall be allowed under
this subdivision.
   (f) Job-related expenses, if allowed by the court after
consideration of whether the expenses are necessary, the benefit to
the employee, and any other relevant facts.
   (g) A deduction for hardship, as defined by Sections 4070 to 4073,
inclusive, and applicable published appellate court decisions. The
amount of the hardship shall not be deducted from the amount of child
support, but shall be deducted from the income of the party to whom
it applies. In applying any hardship under paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a) of Section 4071, the court shall seek to provide
equity between competing child support orders. The Judicial Council
shall develop a formula for calculating the maximum hardship
deduction and shall submit it to the Legislature for its
consideration on or before July 1, 1995. 
   (h)(h)  For the purposes of this section, "cash medical support"
means an amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of health
insurance provided by a public entity or by another parent through
employment or otherwise, or for other medical costs not covered by
insurance. 
  SEC. 4.  This act shall become operative on January 1, 2011.