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SOUTH CAROLINA
FIRST THINGS FIRST Campaign. Child Support Services
A Division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services

Child Support and The Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) that took effect in 2014 requires the vast majority of the citizens of the United States to be covered by medical insurance or face fees of up to $285.00 per family, administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for not having coverage. The fee will continue to increase each year coverage is not obtained. For 2015, the maximum fee increases to $975.00 per family. The key point is that the IRS will expect all child(ren) claimed on a tax return to be covered by medical insurance whether it is by the noncustodial parent, custodial parent, or even a step-parent. If the child is not covered when the parent claiming the child as a dependent files his/her 2014 tax return in early 2015, the person claiming the child as a dependent faces being penalized by the IRS.

How do I know if my child(ren) and I are covered by medical insurance?
If you and/or your child(ren) are covered by an individual marketplace policy, health insurance coverage through an employer provided by you or someone else (other parent, step-parent, etc.), Medicare, Medicaid, Childrenís Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or TRICARE (military insurance), then you and/or your child(ren) are covered by medical insurance according to the ACA.

What do I do if I and/or my child(ren) are not covered by medical insurance?
If you realize that there is no medical insurance coverage, go to the Healthcare.gov website at www.healthcare.gov and follow the steps that are required to determine eligibility for Medicaid and/or CHIP. You may also call 1-800-318-2596. If it looks like you may qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, contact your local county DSS office. to apply. If you are not sure, then contact your local county DSS office for assistance.

What do I do if I and/or my child(ren) do not qualify for Medicaid/CHIP?
If you determine you and/or your child do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, then you should go back to the Healthcare.gov website, or call 1-800-318-2596 and follow the steps to apply for insurance. (For the hearing impaired, call TTY 1-855-889-4325.)

What do I do if the IRS is going to penalize me for not having medical insurance?
If you are being assessed a fee by the IRS for not having medical insurance coverage for yourself and/or your child(ren), you may want to contact the IRS and inquire about filing a hardship exemption. The telephone number is 1-800-829-1040, option 4.

Can I go back to court for a modification since I am paying for medical insurance now?
Maybe. You must first request a review for modification based on a change of circumstances. If, during the modification review, the child support amount would increase by 20%, an administrative conference for modification will be scheduled. To request a review through DSS Child Support Services, call our Customer Service line at 1-800-768-5858. If you are not an existing DSS Child Support customer, you will need to open a case by completing an application and paying the required application fee. You can obtain an application by calling our Regional Child Support Offices, County Department of Social Services Offices and County Clerks of Court Offices.

Will I be responsible for a tax penalty if the noncustodial parent fails to enroll the child in healthcare coverage as ordered by the court?
Generally, no. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published guidance on hardship exemptions that will relieve certain custodial parents of the individual mandate penalty. If the child is not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, and someone other than the custodial parent has been ordered to provide healthcare coverage, the custodial parent will not face a penalty from the IRS. However, the exemption does not apply in cases where the child(ren) is eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, or both the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent have been ordered to provide healthcare coverage for the child.

How can I apply for a hardship exemption if the noncustodial parent fails to provide healthcare coverage?
To claim this exemption, a custodial parent must complete and submit an exemption application in the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov.

Will the noncustodial parent be responsible for a tax penalty if (s)he fails to enroll the child in healthcare coverage as ordered by the court? The noncustodial parent would be subject to the penalty only if (s)he also claims the child as a dependent for tax purposes.






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