Niagara Falls, NY asked in Family Law for New York

Q: Is there a timeframe in NY state in which custodial parents have to submit medical bills to noncustodial parent?

Custodial parent told noncustodial parent about child getting braces in Sept 2021. Noncustodial parent asked for itemized bill to see what their portion (50/50) would be. Custodial parent never sent any bills. Feb 2024 custodial parent demands $580 by text with pictures of bills dating back to 2021, with most recent being April 2023. Isn’t there a 30-day law for them to supply bills to noncustodial parent, then they have 30 days to pay?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: No.

New York's Article 4 of the Family Court Act has no provision for deadlines of bills for unreimbursed medical expenses. Therefore, the determination of whether a bill is "reasonable" falls on the support magistrate doing the enforcement. Some magistrates will limit the look back period of prior bills and others may not. Some may cap the amounts while others may not.

The issue presented in this question is especially pressing given the poor coverage available to Americans via the Affordable Care Act. For those parents who have poor levels of coverage, an unreimbursed expense can be a percentage of the "deductible" which could approach $6,000 annually in many cases.

This means the scheme created to reimburse the custodial parent for trivial co-pays in prior years under prior health plans has become obsolete given the poor state of health insurance coverage of today. Today, a non-custodial parent could be liable for half of the annual deductible along with the various co-pays and co-charges that a child's physician visits can generate, and the look back period can be totally vague and awaiting a rude awakening in a child support court.

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