Request for Comments on Proposed Instructions for Completing the OCSE-157 Form
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: May 18, 2011
ATTACHMENT: Instructions for Completing the Child Support Enforcement Annual Data Report Form OCSE-157
Federal Register Notice
TO: ALL STATE AND TRIBAL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Request for Comments on Proposed Instructions for Completing the OCSE-157 Form
The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has made minor revisions to the OCSE-157 form instructions pertaining to the definition of medical support. As of May 13, 2011, a notice for public comment has been posted to the Federal Register. The current form, which expires on September 30, 2011, can be accessed on our website. Tribal child support programs are not required to use this form.
Below are the proposed modifications to the OCSE-157 form instructions. The changes reflect the intent to be consistent with the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) (P.L. 111-3), the Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152), and Secretary Sebelius’ goal of enrolling all eligible uninsured children in Medicaid and CHIP by 2014. As such, these changes will provide states with the option to define medical support to include private health insurance as well as other publicly-funded health care coverage such as Medicaid, CHIP, and other state coverage plans, and cash medical support. Revisions to the instructions will also reduce the burden of states having to verify and document those cases where health insurance is not available at a reasonable cost.
Changes to OCSE-157 Form Instructions:
- Medical Support--The definition of medical support has been revised to include publicly-funded health care coverage such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other state coverage plans.
- Line 21a—Cases Open at the End of the Fiscal Year in Which Medical Support is Ordered and Provided—The instructions for this line have been revised to include cases with publicly-funded health care coverage such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other state coverage plans. The following text will be deleted from the instructions for this line as it no longer applies: “If private health insurance is ordered, states cannot include cash medical support payments, unless it is documented that private health insurance is not available to the non-custodial parent at a reasonable cost. Publicly-funded health insurance is included only if there is documentation that private health insurance coverage is unavailable at a reasonable cost and a parent is ordered by a court or administrative process to provide a cash medical support payment to help pay the cost of Medicaid or State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).”
- Line 22—Cases Open at the End of the Fiscal Year Where Health Insurance is Ordered—The following sentence has been deleted from the instructions for this line: “States may exclude cases where the unavailability of health insurance at a reasonable cost is confirmed.”
- Other medical support lines including lines 23, 33, 34, and 35 will remain unchanged (except that Line 33 will no longer be optional per phase-in requirements).
As previously communicated in OCSE-AT-10-02, state IV-D agencies will not be penalized if OCSE is unable to certify that the state IV-D agency is in compliance with federal medical support regulations which were amended by a Final Rule published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2008 (73 FR 42416) and disseminated via OCSE-AT-08-08. This suspension provides relief to states by permitting them to avoid making new investments in medical support enforcement to comply with regulatory requirements that may soon become obsolete as OCSE develops further guidance.
State IV-D agencies must continue to provide medical child support enforcement services in compliance with all statutory requirements, including Sections 452(f) and 466(a)(19) of the Social Security Act. In addition, all medical support line items on the OCSE-157 will continue to be reported for compliance and statistical purposes. However, audits have been temporarily suspended as previously communicated in OCSE-AT-10-10.
If you wish to comment on the changes, please follow the instructions for public comment in the Federal Register notice. When commenting, please be sure to reference the OMB number associated with the form: i.e., OMB 0970-0177. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of the Federal Register notice.
Office of Child Support Enforcement