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States Harmless from Penalties for Failure to Comply with Medical Support Final Rule State Plan Requirements


Published: June 7, 2010
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Case Management, Medical Support, Federal Reporting, State Plan
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT)



DATE: June 07, 2010

TO:State Agencies Administrating Child Support Enforcement Plans under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and Other Interested Individuals

SUBJECT: Holding States Harmless from Penalties for Failure to Comply with Medical Support Final Rule State Plan Requirements

BACKGROUND: As a condition of receiving federal financial participation, the state IV-D agency must have an approved state plan describing the nature and scope of its child support program which meets all federal requirements.

Due to recent passage of nation health insurance reform legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (P.L. 111-148), the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is analyzing medical child support enforcement statute and rules to identify any modifications necessary to reconcile medical support requirements with the health insurance reform legislation. While health insurance reform legislation does not amend Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (the Act), it enacts policies that will substantially improve children’s health care coverage and establish parents’ shared responsibility for their children’s coverage.

CONTENT: As OCSE works to update medical support rules based on the health insurance reform legislation, 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 pertains to state plan preprint pages 2.8, 2.15, and 3.11.

The purpose of this suspension is to relieve states from making new investments in medical support enforcement to comply with regulatory requirements that may soon become obsolete as OCSE develops further guidance. During this time, it is important that state IV-D agencies continue to provide medical child support enforcement services in compliance with all statutory requirements, including Sections 452(f) and 466(a)(19) of the Act.

All federal reporting requirements remain in effect although audits of medical support data are temporarily suspended.

OCSE will issue policy guidance and a rulemaking schedule in coming months; this may include interim regulations and other rulemaking.

RELATED REFERENCES: Sections 452(f) and 466(a)(19) of the Act, 45 CFR Parts 302, 303, and 308, AT-08-08, AT-08-14

EFFECTIVE DATE: This action transmittal is effective immediately.

INQUIRIES: Please contact your ACF/OCSE Regional Program Manager if you have any questions.

Vicki Turetsky
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers Tribal IV-D Directors