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Technical Amendments Legislation Pertaining to Medical Child Support Orders

IM-97-07

Published: December 10, 1997
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Medical Support
Types:
Policy, Information Memorandums (IM), Statutes/Legislation
Tags:
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)

INFORMATION MEMORANUM

OCSE-IM-97-07
December 10, 1997

TO: STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PLANS APPROVED UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS

SUBJECT: Technical Amendments Legislation Pertaining to Medical Child Support Orders

ATTACHMENT: Attached is a copy of the statutory technical amendments affecting medical child support orders

BACKGROUND: The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33), enacted on August 5, 1997, amended provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1966 (PRWORA) relating to medical child support orders. The following is a brief summary of each provision:

o Privacy Safeguards

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which is administered by the Department of Labor, requires that a qualified medical child support order include the name and address of the custodial parent as the alternate beneficiary. This technical amendment allows the name and address of an official of a State or political subdivision to be substituted for the name and address of the custodial parent as the alternate beneficiary. This change allows the plan administrator to send mail, including payments, to the appropriate government office, keeping the custodial parent's address confidential. This change was made to protect custodial parents and children who are at risk of being harmed or abused.
(Section 5611 amendments relating to section 303 of PRWORA - ERISA 29 U.S.C. 1169(A)(3)(a))

o Administrative Notices

An administrative notice issued pursuant to an administrative process in connection with a qualified medical child support order will have the same effect as the order itself.
(Section 5612 amendment relating to section 381 of PRWORA - ERISA 29 U.S.C. 1169(A)(2)(b))

o Elimination of Requirement that Orders Specify Affected Plans

Eliminates the requirement that a qualified medical child support order must stipulate the name of every plan to which the order applies.
(Section 5613 amendment relating to section 382 of PRWORA - ERISA 29 U.S.C.
1169(a)(3))

INQUIRIES TO: ACF Regional Administrators

David Gray Ross
Deputy Director
Office of Child Support Enforcement

ERISA Amendments Relating to Medical Child Support Orders/Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33)

Sec. 5611. Amendments Relating to Section 303 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1966 (PRWORA).

(a) Privacy Safeguards for Medical Child Support Orders. -

Section 609(a)(3)(A) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (29 U.S.C.1169(a)(3)(A) is amended by adding at the end the following: "except that, to the extent provided in the order, the name and mailing address of an official of a State or a political subdivision thereof may be substituted for the mailing address of any such alternate recipient."

(b) Payment to State Official Treated as Satisfaction of Plan's Obligation. -

Section 609(a) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 1169(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

"(9) Payment to State Official Treated as Satisfaction of Plan's Obligation to Make Payment to alternate Recipient. -

Payment of benefits by a group health plan to an official of a State or a political subdivision thereof whose name and address have been substituted for the name and address of an alternate recipient in a qualified medical child support order, pursuant to paragraph (3)(A), shall be treated, for purposes of this title, as payment of benefits to the alternate recipient."

(c) Effective Date. -

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to medical child support orders issued on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

Sec. 5612. Amendment Relating to Section 381 of PRWORA.

(a) Clarification of Effect of Administrative Notices. -

Section 609(a)(2)(B) of the ERISA (29 U.S.C. 1169(a)(2)(B)) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: "For purposes of this subparagraph, an administrative notice which is issued pursuant to an administrative process referred to in subclause (II) of the preceding sentence and which has the effect of an order described in clause (i) or (ii) of the preceding sentence shall be treated as such an order.".

(b) Effective Date. - The amendment made by this section shall be effective as if included in the enactment of section 381 of PRWORA (Pub.L.104-193; 110 Stat. 2257).

Sec. 5613. Amendments Relating to Section 382 of PRWORA.

(a) Elimination of Requirement That Orders Specify Affected Plans.-

Section 609(a)(3) of ERISA (29 U.S.C. 1169(a)(3) is amended-

(1) in subparagraph (B), by striking "by the plan";

(2) by adding "and" at the end of subparagraph (B);

(3) in subparagraph (C), by striking ",and" and inserting a period; and

(4) by striking subparagraph (D).

(b) Clarification of Applicability of Orders. -

Section 609(a)(1) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 1169(a)(1) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: "A qualified medical child support order with respect to any participant or beneficiary shall be deemed to apply to each group health plan which has received such order, from which the participant or beneficiary is eligible to receive benefits, and with respect to which the requirements of paragraph (4) are met."

(c) Effective Date. -

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to medical child support orders issued on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

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