Inclusion of Self-Insurers in the Federal Insurance Match
POLICY INTERPRETATION QUESTIONS
DATE: February 20, 2008
TO: State and Tribal IV-D Directors
FROM: Margot Bean, Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement
SUBJECT: Inclusion of Self-insurers in the Federal Insurance Match
The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has received inquiries asking for clarity of the term “insurer” as used in section 452(l) of the Social Security Act (the Act).
QUESTION 1: For the purpose of the Federal Insurance Match, does the term “insurer” include self-insurers?
RESPONSE 1: The Act reads “The Secretary, through the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS), may compare information concerning individuals owing past-due support with information maintained by insurers (or their agents) concerning insurance claims, settlements, awards, and payments; and furnish information resulting from the data matches to State agencies responsible for collecting child support from the individuals.”
OCSE’s interpretation of the statute is that the term “insurer” includes self-insured entities. A reading of the Federal Insurance Match law that excludes self-insured entities from the scope of the law would be inconsistent with the statutory framework Congress has constructed for the purpose of the IV-D Child Support Enforcement Program, i.e. to identify income and assets that may be used to collect child support.
QUESTION 2: Does the nonliability provision of the Act include self-insurers?
RESPONSE 2: Section 452(l)(2) reads, “An insurer (including any agent of the insurer) shall not be liable under any Federal or State law to any person for any disclosure provided for under this subsection, or for any other action taken in good faith in accordance with this subsection.”
As stated in Response #1, OCSE’s interpretation of the statute is that the term insurer includes self-insured entities. Therefore, the nonliability provision would also be applicable to self-insurers.
This nonliability provision is similar to the provision governing a financial institution disclosing a financial record of an individual to the FPLS. See Section 466(a)(17)(C)(iii) and Section 469A(a) of the Act.
ACF OCSE Regional Program Managers
Tribal IV-D Directors