By: Harris S.B. No. 793
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 relating to the enforcement of certain child support and medical
1-2 support obligations; appropriating certain federal funds.
1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-4 ARTICLE 1. POWERS AND DUTIES OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
1-5 SECTION 1.01. Subchapter A, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
1-6 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
1-7 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.0011 to read as
1-9 Sec. 231.0011. DEVELOPMENT OF STATEWIDE INTEGRATED SYSTEM
1-10 FOR CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The
1-11 attorney general, as the Title IV-D agency for the State of Texas
1-12 shall have final approval authority on any contract or proposal for
1-13 delivery of Title IV-D services under this section and in
1-14 coordination with the Texas Judicial Council, the Office of Court
1-15 Administration of the Texas Judicial System, the federal Office of
1-16 Child Support Enforcement, and state, county, and local officials,
1-17 shall develop and implement a statewide integrated system for child
1-18 support and medical support enforcement, employing federal, state,
1-19 local, and private resources to:
1-20 (1) unify child support registry functions;
1-21 (2) record and track all child support orders entered
1-22 in the state;
1-23 (3) establish an automated enforcement process which
1-24 will use delinquency monitoring, billing, and other enforcement
2-1 techniques to ensure the payment of current support;
2-2 (4) incorporate existing enforcement resources into
2-3 the system to obtain maximum benefit from state and federal
2-4 funding; and
2-5 (5) ensure accountability for all participants in the
2-6 process, including state, county, and local officials, private
2-7 contractors, and the judiciary.
2-8 (b) The attorney general shall convene a workgroup to
2-9 determine a process and develop a timetable for implementation of a
2-10 unified registry system and to identify any barriers to completion
2-11 of the project. The workgroup shall include representatives of the
2-12 judiciary, district clerks, and domestic relations offices, as well
2-13 as other interested agencies, organizations, and individuals. The
2-14 workgroup shall report the results of its deliberations to the
2-15 governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of
2-16 representatives, and attorney general on or before January 15,
2-18 (c) The attorney general shall, in cooperation with the
2-19 workgroup established by this section, develop technical standards
2-20 for participation in the unified child support system, including
2-21 standard required data elements for effective monitoring of child
2-22 support and medical support orders and for the imposition of
2-23 interest on delinquent child support.
2-24 (d) Counties and other providers of child support services
2-25 shall be required, as a condition of participation in the unified
2-26 system, to enter into a contract with the attorney general, to
2-27 comply with all federal requirements for the Title IV-D program,
3-1 and to maintain at least the current level of funding for
3-2 activities which are proposed to be included in the integrated
3-3 child support system.
3-4 (e) The attorney general shall identify federal
3-5 requirements, apply for necessary federal waivers, and provide
3-6 technical system requirements and other information concerning
3-7 participation in the system to counties and other providers of
3-8 child support services not later than January 15, 1996. Counties
3-9 shall notify the attorney general of existing resources and options
3-10 for participation not later than May 1, 1996.
3-11 (f) Not later than June 1, 1996, the attorney general shall
3-12 produce a procurement and implementation plan for hardware and
3-13 software necessary to implement in phases a unified statewide
3-14 registry and enforcement system.
3-15 (g) Effective January 15, 1996, the attorney general may
3-16 contract with any county meeting technical system requirements
3-17 necessary to comply with federal law for provision of Title IV-D
3-18 services in that county. All new cases in which support orders are
3-19 entered in such county after the effective date of a monitoring
3-20 contract shall be Title IV-D cases. Any other case in the county,
3-21 subject to federal requirements and the agreement of the county and
3-22 the attorney general, may be included as a Title IV-D case. Any
3-23 obligee under a support order may refuse Title IV-D enforcement
3-24 services unless required to accept such services pursuant to other
3-26 (h) Counties participating in the unified enforcement system
3-27 shall monitor all child support registry cases and on delinquency
4-1 may, subject to the approval of the Title IV-D agency, provide
4-2 enforcement services through:
4-3 (1) direct provision of services by county personnel;
4-4 (2) subcontracting all or portions of the services to
4-5 private entities or attorneys; or
4-6 (3) such other methods as may be approved by the Title
4-7 IV-D agency.
4-8 (i) The attorney general shall undertake a least-cost review
4-9 of its child support operations and shall use the information
4-10 developed in such review to determine what, if any, contribution of
4-11 program funds generated through other Title IV-D activities should
4-12 be made to the participating counties. The attorney general, in
4-13 cooperation with the counties and the federal Office of Child
4-14 Support Enforcement shall develop a cost allocation methodology to
4-15 assist the counties in identifying county contributions which may
4-16 qualify for federal financial participation.
4-17 (j) The attorney general may phase in the integrated child
4-18 support registry and enforcement system, and the requirement to
4-19 implement the system shall be contingent on the receipt of locally
4-20 generated funds and federal reimbursement. Locally generated funds
4-21 include but are not limited to funds contributed by counties and
4-23 (k) The attorney general shall adopt rules to implement this
4-25 (l) Participation in the statewide integrated system for
4-26 child support and medical support enforcement by a county is
4-27 voluntary, and nothing in this section shall be construed to
5-1 mandate participation.
5-2 SECTION 1.02. Subsections (b) and (d), Section 231.109,
5-3 Family Code, as added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th
5-4 Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, are amended to read as follows:
5-5 (b) The Title IV-D agency may contract with private
5-6 attorneys, other private entities, or political subdivisions of the
5-7 state to provide services in Title IV-D cases <
represent this state
5-8 or another state in an action brought under the authority of
5-9 federal law and this chapter>.
5-10 (d) An attorney employed to provide Title IV-D services < by
5-11 the Title IV-D agency or as otherwise provided by this chapter>
5-12 represents the interest of the state and not the interest of any
5-13 other party. The provision of services by an attorney under this
5-14 chapter does not create an attorney-client relationship between the
5-15 attorney and any other party. The agency shall, at the time an
5-16 application for child support services is made, inform the
5-17 applicant that neither the Title IV-D agency nor any attorney who
5-18 provides services under this chapter is the applicant's attorney
5-19 and that the attorney providing services under this chapter does
5-20 not provide legal representation to the applicant.
5-21 SECTION 1.03. Subchapter B, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
5-22 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
5-23 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.113 to read as
5-25 Sec. 231.113. ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS IN PUBLIC
5-26 ASSISTANCE CASES. To the extent possible, the Title IV-D agency
5-27 shall enforce a child support obligation in a case involving a
6-1 child who receives financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human
6-2 Resources Code, not later than the first anniversary of the date
6-3 the agency receives from the Texas Department of Human Services the
6-4 information the department is required to provide to assist in the
6-5 enforcement of that obligation.
6-6 SECTION 1.04. Section 231.202, Family Code, as added by H.B.
6-7 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
6-8 amended to read as follows:
6-9 Sec. 231.202. AUTHORIZED COSTS AND FEES IN TITLE IV-D CASES.
6-10 In a Title IV-D case filed under this title, the Title IV-D agency
6-11 shall pay:
6-12 (1) filing fees and fees for issuance and service of
6-13 process as provided by Chapter 110 of this code and by Sections
6-14 51.317, 51.318(b)(2), and 51.319(4), Government Code;
6-15 (2) fees for transfer as provided by Chapter 110;
6-16 (3) fees for the issuance and delivery of orders and
6-17 writs of income withholding in the amounts provided by Chapter 110;
6-19 (4) a fee of $45 for each item of process to each
6-20 individual on whom service is required, including service by
6-21 certified or registered mail, to be paid to a sheriff, constable,
6-22 or clerk whenever service of process is required< ; and>
6-23 < (5) mileage costs incurred by a sheriff or constable
6-24 when traveling out of the county to execute an outstanding warrant
6-25 or capias, to be reimbursed at a rate not to exceed the rate
6-26 provided for mileage incurred by state employees in the General
6-27 Appropriations Act>.
7-1 SECTION 1.05. Section 231.209, Family Code, as added by H.B.
7-2 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
7-3 amended to read as follows:
7-4 Sec. 231.209. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES NOT AFFECTED BY THIS
7-5 SUBCHAPTER. Without regard to this subchapter and specifically
7-6 Section 231.205, the Title IV-D agency may pay the costs for:
7-7 (1) the services of an official court reporter for the
7-8 preparation of statements of facts;
7-9 (2) < and> the costs for the publication of citation
7-10 served by publication; and
7-11 (3) mileage or other reasonable travel costs incurred
7-12 by a sheriff or constable when traveling out of the county to
7-13 execute an outstanding warrant or capias, to be reimbursed at a
7-14 rate not to exceed the rate provided for mileage or other costs
7-15 incurred by state employees in the General Appropriations Act.
7-16 SECTION 1.06. Section 231.304, Family Code, as added by H.B.
7-17 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
7-18 amended by amending Subsections (b) and (h) and by adding
7-19 Subsections (j), (k), (l), and (m) to read as follows:
7-20 (b) The Title IV-D agency, the Texas Department of Human
7-21 Services, the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, and the Texas
7-22 Employment Commission shall create and develop a voluntary ENHR
7-23 program to provide a means for employers to assist in the state's
7-24 efforts to prevent fraud in the welfare, workers' compensation, and
7-25 unemployment insurance programs, locate absent parents who owe
7-26 child support, and collect support from those parents by reporting
7-27 information concerning newly hired and rehired employees directly
8-1 to a centralized state database < the child support enforcement
8-2 program>. In order to encourage use of the ENHR program, employer
8-3 reporting requirements shall be simplified and standardized.
8-4 (h) Subject to approval of the agencies involved and any
8-5 requirements of federal law, the centralized database shall make
8-6 the information on < For> each employee reported under the ENHR
8-7 program available for:
8-8 (1) purposes directly connected with the
8-9 administration of a plan or program for unemployment benefits,
8-10 workers' compensation benefits, child support, or public
8-12 (2) an investigation or a civil or criminal
8-13 prosecution relating to the administration of such plan or program;
8-15 (3) the administration of any other federal or
8-16 federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in
8-17 kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need< ,
8-18 the Title IV-D agency shall retain the information only if the
8-19 agency is responsible for establishing, enforcing, or collecting a
8-20 support obligation or debt of the employee or reporting to a court,
8-21 domestic relations office, or a friend of the court the location of
8-22 a parent who is denying possession of or access to a person with a
8-23 valid possession order. If the agency does not have any of those
8-24 responsibilities, the agency may not create a record regarding the
8-25 employee and the information contained in the notice shall be
8-26 promptly destroyed>.
8-27 (j) An employer participating in the ENHR program is
9-1 strongly encouraged to report information about health insurance
9-2 coverage available through the employer in which a dependent child
9-3 may be enrolled under Subchapter D, Chapter 154.
9-4 (k) To expand the ENHR program, the Title IV-D agency shall
9-5 work closely with the Texas Employment Commission, the Texas
9-6 Workers' Compensation Commission, the comptroller, the Texas
9-7 Department of Commerce, the secretary of state, and employer
9-8 groups. Efforts to expand the program shall include:
9-9 (1) regularly sending to employers solicitations for
9-10 participation in the program and promotional information about the
9-11 program that includes information on:
9-12 (A) the program's impact on child support and
9-13 medical support enforcement;
9-14 (B) savings in public assistance payments
9-15 attributable to the program;
9-16 (C) benefits to employers and taxpayers of the
9-17 fraud prevention aspects of the program;
9-18 (D) participation requirements; and
9-19 (E) awards available for business participation;
9-21 (2) developing a public awareness program that:
9-22 (A) stresses the importance of securing
9-23 financial support for all children; and
9-24 (B) informs the public about the ENHR program.
9-25 (l) The affected agencies may pool resources, develop a cost
9-26 allocation plan, determine the most cost-effective means of
9-27 establishing and funding the required database, and issue rules,
10-1 solicit bids, or enter into contracts to carry out the purposes of
10-2 this section.
10-3 (m) The affected agencies shall implement the plan to create
10-4 the ENHR database, if cost-effective, using existing funding and
10-5 considering savings and revenue gains that may result from the use
10-6 of such system.
10-7 SECTION 1.07. Subchapter D, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
10-8 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
10-9 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.305 to read as
10-11 Sec. 231.305. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON CHILD SUPPORT
10-12 FOR CHILDREN RECEIVING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. (a) The Title IV-D
10-13 agency and the Texas Department of Human Services by rule shall
10-14 adopt a memorandum of understanding governing the establishment and
10-15 enforcement of court-ordered child support in cases involving
10-16 children who receive financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human
10-17 Resources Code. The memorandum shall require the agency and the
10-18 department to:
10-19 (1) develop procedures to ensure that the information
10-20 the department is required to collect to establish and enforce
10-21 child support:
10-22 (A) is collected from the person applying to
10-23 receive the financial assistance at the time the application is
10-25 (B) is accurate and complete when the department
10-26 forwards the information to the agency; and
10-27 (C) is not information previously reported to
11-1 the agency;
11-2 (2) develop procedures to ensure that the agency does
11-3 not duplicate the efforts of the department in gathering necessary
11-5 (3) clarify each agency's responsibilities in the
11-6 establishment and enforcement of child support; and
11-7 (4) develop guidelines for use by eligibility workers
11-8 and child support enforcement officers in obtaining from an
11-9 applicant the information required to establish and enforce child
11-10 support for that child.
11-11 (b) The Title IV-D agency and the Texas Department of Human
11-12 Services semiannually shall review and renew or modify the
11-13 memorandum as necessary.
11-14 ARTICLE 2. ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL
11-15 SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
11-16 SECTION 2.01. Section 101.005, Family Code, as added by H.B.
11-17 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
11-18 amended to read as follows:
11-19 Sec. 101.005. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW OFFICER. "Child support
11-20 review officer" means an individual designated and trained by a
11-21 child support agency to conduct reviews under this title < who has
11-22 received family law mediation training>.
11-23 SECTION 2.02. Section 102.007, Family Code, as added by H.B.
11-24 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
11-25 amended to read as follows:
11-26 Sec. 102.007. STANDING OF TITLE IV-D AGENCY. In providing
11-27 services authorized by Chapter 231, the Title IV-D agency or a
12-1 political subdivision contracting with the attorney general to
12-2 provide Title IV-D services under this title may file a child
12-3 support action authorized under this title, including a suit for
12-4 modification or a motion for enforcement.
12-5 SECTION 2.03. Subchapter D, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
12-6 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
12-7 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.306 to read as
12-9 Sec. 231.306. MAXIMIZING MEDICAL SUPPORT ESTABLISHMENT AND
12-10 COLLECTION BY THE TITLE IV-D AGENCY. (a) On the installation of
12-11 an automated child support enforcement system, the Title IV-D
12-12 agency is strongly encouraged to:
12-13 (1) maximize the collection of medical support; and
12-14 (2) establish cash medical support orders for children
12-15 eligible for medical assistance under the state Medicaid program
12-16 for whom private insurance coverage is not available.
12-17 (b) In this section, "medical support" has the meaning
12-18 assigned by Section 101.020.
12-19 SECTION 2.04. Subchapter E, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
12-20 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
12-21 Session, 1995, is amended to read as follows:
12-22 SUBCHAPTER E. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS TO ESTABLISH OR
12-23 ENFORCE SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
12-24 Sec. 231.401. Purpose. The purpose of the child support
12-25 review process authorized by this subchapter is to provide child
12-26 support agencies an opportunity to resolve routine child support
12-27 actions through < negotiation,> agreement of the parties< ,> or
13-1 uncontested orders.
13-2 Sec. 231.402. AGREEMENTS ENCOURAGED. To the extent
13-3 permitted by this subchapter, child support agencies shall make the
13-4 child support review process understandable to all parties and
13-5 shall encourage agreements < through mediation>.
13-6 Sec. 231.403. Bilingual Forms Required. A notice or other
13-7 form used to implement the child support review process shall be
13-8 printed in both Spanish and English.
13-9 Sec. 231.404. INTERPRETER REQUIRED. If a party
13-10 participating in a negotiation conference does not speak English or
13-11 is hearing impaired, the child support agency shall provide for
13-12 interpreter services at no charge to the parties.
13-13 Sec. 231.405. Initiating Child Support Review. < (a) A
13-14 child support agency may review and assess the financial resources
13-15 of a child's parent or of a person presumed or alleged to be the
13-16 child's father from whom child support is requested to determine
13-17 the resources that are available for the support of the child and
13-18 to determine what action is appropriate.>
13-19 < (b)> An administrative action under this subchapter may be
13-20 initiated by issuing a notice of child support review to each party
13-21 entitled to notice < the parents and to the presumed or alleged
13-22 father of a child>.
13-23 Sec. 231.406. CONTENTS OF NOTICE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW.
13-24 (a) The notice of child support review must:
13-25 (1) describe the procedure for a child support review;
13-26 (2) inform the recipient that the recipient < is not
13-27 required to participate in the child support review and> may be
14-1 represented by legal counsel during the review process or at a
14-2 court hearing;
14-3 (3) inform the recipient that the recipient may refuse
14-4 to participate or cease participation in the child support review
14-5 process, but that the refusal by the recipient to participate will
14-6 not prevent the completion of the process or the filing of a child
14-7 support review order < during any stage of the review but that the
14-8 review will continue to completion and that afterward the recipient
14-9 may request a court hearing>;
14-10 (4) include an affidavit of financial resources; and
14-11 (5) include a request that the recipient designate, on
14-12 a form provided by the child support agency, an address for mailing
14-13 any additional notice to the recipient.
14-14 (b) In addition to the information required by Subsection
14-15 (a), the notice of child support review must inform the recipient
14-17 (1) the information requested on the form must be
14-18 returned to the child support agency not later than the 15th day
14-19 after the date the notice is received or delivered; and
14-20 (2) if the requested information is not returned as
14-21 required, the child support agency:
14-22 (A) may proceed with the review using the
14-23 information that is available to the agency; and
14-24 (B) may file a legal action without further
14-25 notice to the recipient, except as otherwise required by law.
14-26 Sec. 231.407. Notice by Mail. (a) A notice required in an
14-27 administrative action under this subchapter must be delivered or
15-1 served by first class mail or certified mail on each party entitled
15-2 to citation or notice as provided by Chapter 102.
15-3 (b) < If notice is served by mail, three days must be added
15-4 to the time in which the person is required to respond.>
15-5 < (c)> This section does not apply to notice required on
15-6 filing of a child support review order or to later judicial
15-8 Sec. 231.408. Administrative Subpoena in Child Support
15-9 Review. (a) In a child support review under this subchapter, a
15-10 child support agency may issue an administrative subpoena to < a
15-11 parent, a person presumed or alleged to be the father of a child
15-12 for whom support is requested, or> any individual or organization
15-13 believed to have information on the financial resources of the
15-14 parent or presumed or alleged father.
15-15 (b) A court may compel compliance with an administrative
15-16 subpoena and award attorney's fees and costs to a child support
15-17 agency enforcing an administrative subpoena on proof that an
15-18 individual or organization failed to comply with the subpoena
15-19 without good cause.
15-20 Sec. 231.409. SCHEDULING AND CONDUCTING NEGOTIATION
15-21 CONFERENCE. (a) The child support agency may schedule a
15-22 negotiation conference without a request from a party.
15-23 (b) The child support agency shall schedule a negotiation
15-24 conference on the timely request of a party < person who completes
15-25 and returns an affidavit of financial resources>.
15-26 (c) A negotiation conference, or any part of a negotiation
15-27 conference, may be conducted by telephone conference call, by video
16-1 conference, or in person. The negotiation conference may be
16-2 adjourned for a reasonable time to permit mediation of issues that
16-3 cannot be resolved by the parties and the child support agency.
16-4 Sec. 231.410. TIME FOR NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
16-5 REQUIRED. < (a) A child support review or negotiation conference
16-6 under this subchapter shall be conducted not later than the 45th
16-7 day after the date all notices of child support review have been
16-8 sent to the parties to the action.>
16-9 < (b)> All parties entitled to notice of the negotiation
16-10 conference shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the
16-11 negotiation conference not later than the 10th day before the date
16-12 of the negotiation conference.
16-13 Sec. 231.411. RESCHEDULING NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
16-14 REQUIRED. A negotiation conference may be rescheduled or adjourned
16-15 on the request of any party at the discretion of the child support
16-16 review officer. All parties must be given notice of the
16-17 rescheduling not later than the third day before the date of the
16-18 rescheduled negotiation conference.
16-19 Sec. 231.412. INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED AT
16-20 NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE. At the beginning of the negotiation
16-21 conference, the child support review officer shall review with the
16-22 < inform all> parties participating in the conference information
16-23 provided in the notice of child support review and inform the
16-24 parties < in attendance> that:
16-25 (1) the purpose of the negotiation conference is to
16-26 provide an opportunity < attempt> to reach an agreement on a
16-27 < regarding> child support order < payments>;
17-1 (2) < a party does not have to participate in the
17-2 negotiation conference and may request a court hearing;>
17-3 < (3) a party may be represented by an attorney chosen
17-4 by the party;>
17-5 < (4) the parties may stop participating in the
17-6 negotiation conference at any time but that the child support
17-7 review will continue until completed, and, if a child support
17-8 review order is issued, a party may request a court hearing;>
17-9 < (5)> if the parties reach an agreement, the review
17-10 officer will prepare an agreed review order < for the parties'
17-12 (3) < (6)> a party does not have to sign a review order
17-13 prepared by the child support review officer; and
17-14 (4) < (7) even though> a party < signs an agreed review
17-15 order, the party> may request a court hearing at any time before
17-16 the 20th day after the date a petition for confirmation of the
17-17 order is filed < child support review order is confirmed by a
17-19 Sec. 231.413. DETERMINING SUPPORT AMOUNT; MODIFICATION.
17-20 (a) A child support agency may use any information obtained by the
17-21 agency from the parties or any other source and shall apply the
17-22 child support guidelines provided by this code to determine the
17-23 appropriate amount of child support.
17-24 (b) If the child support agency determines that the support
17-25 amount in an existing child support order is not in substantial
17-26 compliance with the guidelines, the child support agency shall
17-27 issue an appropriate child support review order, including a review
18-1 order that has the effect of modifying an existing order for child
18-2 support without the necessity of filing a motion to modify.
18-3 Sec. 231.414. Record Not Required. (a) For the purposes of
18-4 this subchapter, documentary evidence relied on by the child
18-5 support review officer, including an < a written> affidavit of a
18-6 party, together with< , the written findings, and> the child support
18-7 review order is < from a negotiation conference are> a sufficient
18-8 record of the proceedings.
18-9 (b) A child support agency is not required to make any other
18-10 record or transcript of the negotiation conference.
18-11 Sec. 231.415. ISSUANCE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER OR
18-12 FINDING THAT NO ORDER SHOULD BE ISSUED; EFFECT. (a) If the
18-13 negotiation conference does not result in agreement by all parties
18-14 to the < an agreed> child support review order, the review officer
18-15 shall promptly issue and sign a final decision in the form of a
18-16 child support review order< ,> or a determination that a child
18-17 support review order should not be issued, not later than the fifth
18-18 day after the date of the negotiation conference.
18-19 (b) If < On the day that a child support review order is
18-20 issued or> a determination is made that a child support order will
18-21 not be issued, each party to a child support review proceeding
18-22 shall be furnished immediately by hand delivery or by mail notice
18-23 of < a copy of the order or> the determination.
18-24 (c) A determination that a child support order should not be
18-25 issued must include a statement of the reasons that an order is not
18-26 being issued and does not affect the right of the agency or a party
18-27 to request any other remedy provided by law.
19-1 Sec. 231.416. VACATING CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. (a) The
19-2 review officer may vacate a child support review order on the
19-3 officer's own motion at any time before the order is filed with the
19-5 (b) A new negotiation conference, with notice to all
19-6 parties, may < shall> be scheduled or the officer may make a
19-7 determination that a child support review order should not be
19-8 issued and give notice of that determination as provided by this
19-9 subchapter < to take place not later than the 10th day after the
19-10 date the child support review order was vacated>.
19-11 Sec. 231.417. CONTENTS OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER.
19-12 (a) An agreed child support review order must contain all
19-13 provisions that are appropriate for an order under this title.
19-14 (b) A child support review order that is not agreed to must
19-15 include child support and medical support provisions, including a
19-16 determination of arrearages or retroactive support.
19-17 (c) A child support review order providing for the
19-18 enforcement of an order may not contain a provision that imposes
19-19 incarceration or a fine or contains a finding of contempt.
19-20 (d) A child support review order that establishes or
19-21 modifies an amount of previously ordered support must include the
19-22 findings required by Section 154.130.
19-23 (e) A child support review order that is not agreed to by
19-24 all the parties may specify and reserve for the court at the
19-25 confirmation hearing unresolved issues relating to conservatorship
19-26 or possession of a child.
19-27 Sec. 231.418. ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF AGREED CHILD SUPPORT
20-1 REVIEW ORDER. If a negotiation conference results in an agreement
20-2 < by all parties>, the < a> child support review order must be signed
20-3 by each party who agrees to the order, must contain the provisions
20-4 required by Section 231.417, < all parties to the action> and, as to
20-5 each party in agreement with the order, must contain:
20-6 (1) a waiver by the < each> party of the right to
20-7 service < and> of process and < the right to> a court hearing and the
20-8 making of a record on the petition for confirmation;
20-9 (2) the mailing address of the < each> party; and
20-10 (3) the following statement printed on the order in
20-11 boldface or in all capital letters:
20-12 "I KNOW THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN THIS < AGREED>
20-13 CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. I KNOW THAT I HAVE A RIGHT
20-14 TO BE PERSONALLY SERVED WITH THE PETITION FOR
20-15 CONFIRMATION OF THIS ORDER < HAVE A COURT HEAR EVIDENCE
20-16 AND MAKE A DECISION IN THIS MATTER>. I KNOW THAT I
20-17 HAVE A RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND AND WITHDRAW MY
20-18 AGREEMENT TO THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER AND REQUEST THAT A
20-19 COURT DECIDE THIS MATTER BY FILING A REQUEST FOR COURT
20-20 HEARING AT ANY TIME BEFORE THE 20TH DAY AFTER THE DATE
20-21 THE PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION OF THE ORDER IS FILED
20-22 WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT. I KNOW THAT IF I FAIL TO
20-23 FILE A REQUEST FOR A COURT HEARING A COURT MAY CONFIRM
20-24 AND APPROVE THIS ORDER WITHOUT A HEARING, AND THE ORDER
20-25 WILL BECOME A VALID COURT ORDER. I KNOW THAT IF I DO
20-26 NOT OBEY THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER I MAY BE HELD IN
20-27 CONTEMPT OF COURT."
21-1 Sec. 231.419. FILING OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION. (a) The
21-2 child support agency shall file a petition for confirmation with
21-3 the clerk of the court having continuing jurisdiction of the child
21-4 who is the subject of the order.
21-5 (b) If there is not a court of continuing jurisdiction, the
21-6 child support agency shall file the petition for confirmation with
21-7 the clerk of a court having jurisdiction under this title.
21-8 Sec. 231.420. CONTENTS OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION;
21-9 DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE TO BE FILED WITH PETITION. (a) A petition
21-10 for confirmation shall < must> include the final child support
21-11 review order as an attachment to the petition.
21-12 (b) Documentary evidence relied on by the child support
21-13 agency, including, if applicable, a < verified written report of a
21-14 paternity testing expert concerning the results of paternity
21-15 testing conducted in the case or a> statement of paternity or a
21-16 written report of a parentage testing expert, shall be filed with
21-17 the clerk as exhibits to the petition, but are not required to be
21-18 served on the parties. The petition must identify the exhibits
21-19 that are filed with the clerk.
21-20 Sec. 231.421. DUTIES OF CLERK OF COURT. (a) On the filing
21-21 of a petition for confirmation, the clerk of court shall endorse on
21-22 the petition the date and time that the petition is filed < and sign
21-23 the endorsement>.
21-24 (b) If the petition is for an original action, the clerk
21-25 shall endorse the appropriate court and cause number on the
21-27 (c) If the petition is to confirm an agreed child support
22-1 review order under this subchapter, the child support agency
22-2 < clerk> shall mail to each party that agreed to the order, at the
22-3 address shown on the order, a copy of the petition with < and
22-4 written notice of the filing of the petition that states> the
22-5 court, filing date, and cause number of the case. The clerk shall
22-6 note on the docket that the notice was mailed. The child support
22-7 agency shall file a certificate of service showing the date of the
22-8 mailing to each party.
22-9 (d) The < If the petition is to confirm an order other than
22-10 an agreed order, the> clerk shall issue service of citation,
22-11 including a copy of the petition and the child support review
22-12 order, to each party entitled to service who has not waived
22-14 (e) A clerk of a district court is entitled to collect in a
22-15 child support review case the fees authorized in a Title IV-D case
22-16 by this chapter < a fee for:>
22-17 < (1) the filing of a petition under this section as
22-18 provided by Section 51.317(b)(1), Government Code;>
22-19 < (2) the issuance of notice or process as provided by
22-20 Section 51.317(b)(4), Government Code; and>
22-21 < (3) service of notice or citation as provided by
22-22 Section 51.319(4), Government Code, or as otherwise provided by
22-24 Sec. 231.422. FORM TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING. (a) A court
22-25 shall consider any responsive pleading that is intended as an
22-26 objection to confirmation of a child support review order,
22-27 including a general denial, as a request for a court hearing.
23-1 (b) The < A> child support agency shall:
23-2 (1) < attach a copy of a form to request a court
23-3 hearing to each party's copy of the petition for confirmation of a
23-4 child support review order;>
23-5 < (2)> make available to each clerk of court copies of
23-6 the form to request a court hearing; and
23-7 (2) < (3)> provide the form to request a court hearing
23-8 to a party to the child support review proceeding on request.
23-9 (c) The clerk shall furnish the form to a party to a
23-10 proceeding under this subchapter on the request of the party.
23-11 Sec. 231.423. TIME TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING< ; HEARING SUA
23-12 SPONTE>. < (a)> A party may file a request for a court hearing not
23-13 later than the 20th day after the date the petition for
23-14 confirmation of a child support review order is served or mailed as
23-15 provided by this subchapter < an agreed administrative order is
23-16 filed or not later than the Monday following the 20th day after the
23-17 date the party received service of citation in a case involving the
23-18 confirmation of any other type of order>.
23-19 < (b) If the court finds that confirmation of a child support
23-20 review order without a hearing would not be in the best interests
23-21 of a child who is the subject of the order, the court may schedule
23-22 a hearing. The order setting the hearing on the confirmation of
23-23 the order shall state the court's specific reasons for conducting
23-24 the hearing.>
23-25 Sec. 231.424. CONFIRMATION WITHOUT HEARING. Not later than
23-26 the 30th day after the date a petition for confirmation that
23-27 includes waivers by all parties is filed or after the date of
24-1 service is made on the last party required to be served for a
24-2 petition for confirmation that does not include waivers, whichever
24-3 is later, the court shall confirm the child support review order by
24-4 signing an order of confirmation unless a party has filed a timely
24-5 request for hearing or the court has scheduled a hearing.
24-6 Sec. 231.425. EFFECT OF REQUEST FOR HEARING; PLEADING.
24-7 (a) A request for hearing or an order setting a hearing on
24-8 confirmation stays confirmation of the order pending the hearing.
24-9 (b) At a hearing on confirmation, all issues in the child
24-10 support review order shall be heard in a trial de novo.
24-11 (c) The petition for confirmation and the child support
24-12 review order constitute a sufficient pleading by the child support
24-13 agency for relief on any issue addressed in the petition and order.
24-14 (d) The request for hearing may limit the scope of the de
24-15 novo hearing by specifying the issues that are in dispute.
24-16 Sec. 231.426. TIME FOR COURT HEARING. A court shall hold a
24-17 hearing on the confirmation of a child support review order not
24-18 later than the 30th day after the date the < court determines that a
24-19 hearing should be held or the> last party to be served files a
24-20 timely request for a court hearing.
24-21 Sec. 231.427. ORDER AFTER HEARING; EFFECT OF CONFIRMATION
24-22 ORDER. (a) After the hearing on the confirmation of a child
24-23 support review order, the court shall:
24-24 (1) if the court finds that the order should be
24-25 confirmed, immediately sign a confirmation order and enter the
24-26 order as an order of the court;
24-27 (2) if the court finds that the relief granted in the
25-1 child support review order is inappropriate, sign an appropriate
25-2 order at the conclusion of the hearing or as soon after the
25-3 conclusion of the hearing as is practical and enter the order as an
25-4 order of the court; or
25-5 (3) if the court finds that all relief should be
25-6 denied, enter an order that denies relief and includes specific
25-7 findings explaining the reasons that relief is denied.
25-8 (b) On the signing of a confirmation order by the judge of
25-9 the court, the child support review order becomes a final order
25-10 < judgment> of the court.
25-11 Sec. 231.428. SPECIAL CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCEDURES
25-12 RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENTAGE < PATERNITY>. (a) If the
25-13 parentage < paternity> of a child has not been established < by court
25-14 order>, the notice of child support review served on the parties
25-15 must include an allegation that the recipient < alleged father> is a
25-16 < the> biological parent < father> of the child. The notice shall
25-17 inform the parties that the alleged father of the child may sign a
25-18 statement of paternity and that any party may request that
25-19 scientifically accepted parentage < paternity> testing be conducted
25-20 to assist in determining the identities of < whether the alleged
25-21 father is> the child's parents < father>.
25-22 (b) A negotiation conference shall be conducted to resolve
25-23 any issues of support in an action in which all parties agree as to
25-24 < that the alleged father is> the child's parentage < biological
25-26 (c) If a party denies parentage < that the alleged father is
25-27 the child's biological father or, in the case of a presumed father,
26-1 if either party files a verified denial of paternity>, the child
26-2 support agency may schedule parentage < paternity> testing. If
26-3 either party fails or refuses to participate in administrative
26-4 parentage testing, the child support agency may file a child
26-5 support review order with a request for court-ordered parentage
26-6 testing. The court shall follow the procedures and may impose the
26-7 sanctions provided by this code to obtain compliance with the
26-8 parentage testing order. The court shall confirm the child support
26-9 review order as a temporary or final order of the court only after
26-10 an opportunity for parentage testing has been provided.
26-11 (d) If parentage < paternity> testing does not exclude the
26-12 alleged parent and < father from being the child's father and a
26-13 party continues to deny that the alleged father is the child's
26-14 biological father, the child support agency may schedule a
26-15 negotiation conference as provided by this subchapter. If> the
26-16 results of a verified written report of a parentage < paternity>
26-17 testing expert meet the requirements of Chapter 160 for issuing a
26-18 temporary order, the child support agency may issue a child support
26-19 review order.
26-20 (e) If the results of parentage < paternity> testing exclude
26-21 an < the> alleged parent < or presumed father> from being the
26-22 biological parent < father> of the child, the child support agency
26-23 shall issue a child support review order that declares that the
26-24 excluded person < alleged or presumed father> is not a parent < the
26-25 father> of the child.
26-26 (f) Any party may file a petition for confirmation of a
26-27 child support review order issued under this section.
27-1 Sec. 231.429. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE LAW NOT APPLICABLE.
27-2 The child support review process under this chapter is not governed
27-3 by the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code.
27-4 Sec. 231.430. EXPIRATION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
27-5 expires September 1, 1997.
27-6 Sec. 231.431. STUDY OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS. The
27-7 attorney general as the Title IV-D agency shall conduct a study to
27-8 determine and compare the cost of child support enforcement through
27-9 use of the child support review process authorized by this
27-10 subchapter and the cost of child support enforcement by the
27-11 attorney general through use of other enforcement mechanisms
27-12 available under this chapter. The attorney general shall report
27-13 the results of this study to the governor and the legislature not
27-14 later than September 1, 1996, and shall include in the report
27-15 recommendations regarding statutory amendments for improving
27-16 judicial and administrative processes for child support
27-17 enforcement. This section expires September 2, 1996.
27-18 SECTION 2.05. Subsection (a), Section 71.035, Government
27-19 Code, is amended to read as follows:
27-20 (a) The council shall gather judicial statistics and other
27-21 pertinent information from the several state judges and other court
27-22 officials of this state. In addition, the council shall implement
27-23 a monthly tracking system to ensure accountability for counties and
27-24 courts which participate in the statewide integrated system for
27-25 child support and medical support enforcement established under
27-26 Section 231.0011, Family Code. As a duty of office, the district
27-27 clerks and county clerks serving the affected courts shall report
28-1 monthly such information as may be required by the council,
28-2 including, at a minimum, the time required to enforce cases from
28-3 date of delinquency, from date of filing, and from date of service
28-4 until date of disposition. Such information as is necessary to
28-5 complete the report and not directly within the control of the
28-6 district or county clerk, such as date of delinquency, shall be
28-7 provided to the clerk by the child support registry or by the
28-8 enforcement agency providing Title IV-D enforcement services in the
28-9 court. The monthly report shall be transmitted to the Office of
28-10 Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System no later than the
28-11 20th day of the month following the month reported, in such form as
28-12 may be prescribed by the Office of Court Administration, which may
28-13 include electronic data transfer. Copies of such reports shall be
28-14 maintained in the office of the appropriate district or county
28-15 clerk for a period of at least two years and shall be available to
28-16 the public for inspection and reproduction.
28-17 ARTICLE 3. INTERAGENCY COOPERATION AND STUDIES
28-18 SECTION 3.01. MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STATEWIDE
28-19 INTEGRATED SYSTEM FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The attorney
28-20 general shall establish a work group to monitor the progress toward
28-21 implementation of the statewide integrated system for child support
28-22 and medical support enforcement established by Section 1.01 of this
28-23 Act and determine the effect of that effort as it relates to:
28-24 (1) maximizing federal assistance for county-based
28-25 child support collection efforts; and
28-26 (2) replacing the existing state child support
28-27 enforcement application system with an automatic enforcement system
29-1 that does not require an applicant to file a complaint.
29-2 (b) The work group established by this section shall report
29-3 its findings and recommendations to the attorney general and shall
29-4 notify the governor, the comptroller, and the legislature of the
29-5 filing of the report not later than September 1, 1996, and annually
29-7 SECTION 3.02. AGREEMENT FOR CASH INCENTIVES FOR MEDICAL
29-8 ASSISTANCE. (a) The attorney general as the Title IV-D agency and
29-9 the Texas Department of Health shall negotiate an agreement
29-10 regarding the payment by the department of a cash incentive to the
29-11 agency for each child eligible for medical assistance under the
29-12 state Medicaid program that the agency causes to be enrolled in a
29-13 private health insurance plan and for payment of a portion of the
29-14 state share of costs recovered or saved as a result of the efforts
29-15 of the agency.
29-16 (b) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Health
29-17 shall report to the legislature the results of negotiations
29-18 conducted under this section not later than October 1, 1996.
29-19 SECTION 3.03. STUDY ON MEDICAL SUPPORT. (a) The attorney
29-20 general, the state Medicaid administrator, and the commissioner of
29-21 insurance shall initiate a study regarding establishment of a
29-22 health insurance purchasing alliance to purchase insurance coverage
29-23 for children for whom a child support obligation is established or
29-24 enforced under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security
29-25 Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.).
29-26 (b) Not later than October 1, 1996, the attorney general,
29-27 the state Medicaid administrator, and the commissioner of insurance
30-1 shall prepare and file a report summarizing the results of the
30-2 study required by this section and shall give notice of filing the
30-3 report to the:
30-4 (1) governor;
30-5 (2) lieutenant governor;
30-6 (3) speaker of the house of representatives;
30-7 (4) attorney general; and
30-8 (5) commissioner of health and human services.
30-9 SECTION 3.04. USE OF PRIVATE ENTITIES TO ASSIST IN CHILD
30-10 SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The Office of the Attorney General is
30-11 strongly encouraged to expand the cost-effective use of private
30-12 contractors to perform Title IV-D program functions.
30-13 (b) The Office of the Attorney General shall, not later than
30-14 July 1, 1996, perform a cost analysis such as that used by the
30-15 State Council on Competitive Government, for a standardized
30-16 comparison of similar activities performed by private firms and the
30-17 Office of the Attorney General. If the costs of the Office of the
30-18 Attorney General for identified activities of the Title IV-D agency
30-19 are higher than a private contractor's costs and the contractor
30-20 could deliver services as effectively as the Title IV-D agency, the
30-21 agency may consider the contractor to perform the activities. This
30-22 section does not limit the authority of the Title IV-D agency to
30-23 contract for services.
30-24 (c) The attorney general shall coordinate with the State
30-25 Council on Competitive Government and may employ private
30-26 consultants to develop the methodology and evaluate the activities
30-27 being considered for privatization.
31-1 (d) The attorney general shall report the results of the
31-2 efforts made under this section and notify the governor, the
31-3 comptroller, and the legislature of the filing of the report not
31-4 later than December 1, 1996.
31-5 ARTICLE 4. HEALTH INSURANCE
31-6 SECTION 4.01. Chapter 3, Insurance Code, is amended by
31-7 adding Subchapter J to read as follows:
31-8 SUBCHAPTER J. MEDICAL CHILD SUPPORT
31-9 Art. 3.96-1. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
31-10 (1) "Child" has the meaning assigned by Section
31-11 101.003(a) and (b), Family Code.
31-12 (2) "Child support agency" has the meaning assigned by
31-13 Section 101.004, Family Code.
31-14 (3) "Custodial parent" means:
31-15 (A) a managing conservator of a child or a
31-16 possessory conservator of a child who is a parent of the child; or
31-17 (B) a guardian of the person of a child, or
31-18 another custodian of a child if the guardian or custodian is
31-19 designated by a court or administrative agency of this or another
31-21 (4) "Health insurer" means any insurance company,
31-22 group hospital service corporation, or health maintenance
31-23 organization that delivers or issues for delivery an individual,
31-24 group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy or insurance
31-25 agreement, a group hospital service contract, or an evidence of
31-26 coverage that provides benefits for medical or surgical expenses
31-27 incurred as a result of an accident or sickness.
32-1 (5) "Insurer" means:
32-2 (A) a health insurer;
32-3 (B) a governmental entity subject to:
32-4 (i) Article 3.51-1, 3.51-2, 3.51-4,
32-5 3.51-5, or 3.51-5A of this code; or
32-6 (ii) Section 1, Chapter 123, Acts of the
32-7 60th Legislature, Regular Session, 1967 (Article 3.51-3, Vernon's
32-8 Texas Insurance Code);
32-9 (C) a multiple employer welfare arrangement, as
32-10 that term is defined by Article 3.95-1 of this code; or
32-11 (D) a group health plan, as defined by Section
32-12 607(1), Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C.
32-13 Section 1167).
32-14 (6) "Medical assistance" means medical assistance
32-15 under the state Medicaid program.
32-16 Art. 3.96-2. DENIAL OF ENROLLMENT PROHIBITED. An insurer
32-17 may not deny enrollment of a child under the health insurance
32-18 coverage of the child's parent on the ground that the child:
32-19 (1) has a preexisting condition;
32-20 (2) was born out of wedlock;
32-21 (3) is not claimed as a dependent on the parent's
32-22 federal income tax return;
32-23 (4) does not reside with the parent or in the
32-24 insurer's service area; or
32-25 (5) is or has been an applicant for or recipient of
32-26 medical assistance.
32-27 Art. 3.96-3. ENROLLMENT REQUIRED. (a) If a parent eligible
33-1 for dependent health coverage through an insurer is required by a
33-2 court or administrative order to provide health coverage for a
33-3 child, the insurer shall permit the parent to enroll the child
33-4 without regard to any enrollment period restriction.
33-5 (b) If a parent eligible for dependent health coverage
33-6 through an insurer is required by a court or administrative order
33-7 to provide health coverage for a child and fails to apply to obtain
33-8 the health insurance coverage for the child, the insurer shall
33-9 enroll the child on application of a custodial parent of the child,
33-10 a child support agency having a duty to collect or enforce support
33-11 for the child, or the child.
33-12 Art. 3.96-4. CANCELLATION OR NONRENEWAL PROHIBITED. (a) An
33-13 insurer may not cancel or refuse to renew insurance coverage of a
33-14 child entitled to enrollment or enrolled under this subchapter
33-15 unless satisfactory written evidence is filed with the insurer that
33-16 shows that:
33-17 (1) the court order or administrative order that
33-18 required the coverage is no longer in effect; or
33-19 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
33-20 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
33-21 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
33-22 cancellation or nonrenewal.
33-23 (b) As used in this section, "a child entitled to enrollment
33-24 or enrolled under this subchapter" does not include a child whose
33-25 eligibility has terminated because the parent eligible for
33-26 dependent health coverage is no longer eligible for such coverage.
33-27 Art. 3.96-5. NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF CONTINUATION OR
34-1 CONVERSION COVERAGE. If dependent health coverage being terminated
34-2 pursuant to Subsection (b), Article 3.96-4, of this code contains
34-3 provisions for the continuation or conversion of such coverage for
34-4 the child, the insurer shall notify the custodial parent and the
34-5 child support agency of the costs and other requirements for
34-6 extending or converting such coverage and shall enroll or continue
34-7 enrollment of the child on application of a parent of the child, a
34-8 child support agency, or the child.
34-9 Art. 3.96-6. EFFECT OF ASSIGNMENT OF MEDICAL SUPPORT RIGHTS
34-10 TO STATE AGENCY; INFORMATION. (a) An insurer may not impose
34-11 requirements on a state agency that has been assigned the rights of
34-12 an individual eligible for medical assistance and covered for
34-13 health benefits from the insurer that are different from the
34-14 requirements applicable to an agent or assignee of any other
34-15 covered individual.
34-16 (b) An insurer shall provide to a state agency providing
34-17 medical assistance, or to a child support agency enforcing medical
34-18 support, information as necessary to facilitate reimbursement of
34-19 medical services provided to or paid on behalf of a child.
34-20 Art. 3.96-7. RIGHTS OF CUSTODIAL PARENT AND ADULT CHILD.
34-21 (a) If a child receives health insurance coverage through the
34-22 insurer of a parent of the child, that insurer must provide
34-23 information and documents to each custodial parent or an adult
34-24 child as necessary for the child to obtain benefits through that
34-25 coverage, including:
34-26 (1) the name of the insurer;
34-27 (2) the number of the policy;
35-1 (3) a copy of the policy and schedule of benefits;
35-2 (4) a health insurance membership card;
35-3 (5) claim forms; and
35-4 (6) any other information or document necessary to
35-5 submit a claim in accordance with the insurer's policies and
35-7 (b) The insurer shall permit a custodial parent, a health
35-8 care provider, adult child, or a state agency that has been
35-9 assigned medical support rights to submit claims for covered
35-10 services without the approval of the insured parent.
35-11 (c) The insurer shall make payments on covered claims
35-12 submitted in accordance with this article directly to the custodial
35-13 parent, health care provider, adult child, or state agency making
35-14 the claim.
35-15 Art. 3.96-8. SERVICE AREA RESTRICTIONS PROHIBITED. An
35-16 insurer may not enforce otherwise applicable provisions that would
35-17 deny, limit, or reduce payment for claims for a covered child who
35-18 lives outside the insurer's coverage territory but inside the
35-19 United States.
35-20 Art. 3.96-9. PENALTIES; REMEDIES. An insurer that violates
35-21 this subchapter is subject to the same penalties, and an injured
35-22 party has the same rights and remedies, as those provided by
35-23 Section 16, Article 21.21, of this code.
35-24 Art. 3.96-10. RULES. The commissioner shall adopt
35-25 reasonable rules as necessary to implement this subchapter and the
35-26 requirements of 42 U.S.C. Section 1396a(a)(60), including rules
35-27 defining acts that constitute unfair or deceptive practices under
36-1 Section 13, Article 21.21, of this code.
36-2 SECTION 4.02. Section 101.012, Family Code, as added by H.B.
36-3 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
36-4 amended to read as follows:
36-5 Sec. 101.012. EMPLOYER. "Employer" means a person,
36-6 corporation, partnership, workers' compensation insurance carrier,
36-7 governmental entity, and the United States, and includes, for
36-8 purposes of enrolling dependents in a group health insurance plan,
36-9 a union, trade association, or other similar organization.
36-10 SECTION 4.03. Section 154.184, Family Code, as added by H.B.
36-11 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
36-12 amended to read as follows:
36-13 Sec. 154.184. EFFECT OF ORDER. (a) Receipt of < For
36-14 purposes of enrolling a child in a health insurance program under
36-15 this subchapter,> a medical support order requiring that health
36-16 insurance be provided for a child shall be considered a change in
36-17 the family circumstances of the employee or member, for health
36-18 insurance purposes, < covered person> equivalent to the birth or
36-19 adoption of a child < by the covered person>.
36-20 (b) The < On receipt of the order by the employer, the> child
36-21 shall be automatically enrolled for the first 31 days after the
36-22 receipt of the order by the employer on the same terms and
36-23 conditions as apply to any other < a> dependent child.
36-24 (c) The < On receipt of the order by the employer, the>
36-25 employer shall notify the insurer of the automatic enrollment.
36-26 (d) During the 31-day period, the employer and insurer shall
36-27 complete all necessary forms and procedures to make the enrollment
37-1 permanent or shall report in accordance with this subchapter the
37-2 reasons the coverage cannot be made permanent < policyholder shall
37-3 apply for coverage for the child in accordance with the medical
37-4 support order>.
37-5 SECTION 4.04. Section 154.186, Family Code, as added by H.B.
37-6 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
37-7 amended to read as follows:
37-8 Sec. 154.186. NOTICE TO EMPLOYER. The obligee, obligor, or
37-9 a child support < local domestic relations office, or Title IV-D>
37-10 agency may send a < certified> copy of the order requiring an
37-11 employee to provide health insurance coverage for a < the> child to
37-12 the employer < by certified mail, return receipt requested. The
37-13 order is binding on the employer on receipt>.
37-14 SECTION 4.05. Section 154.187, Family Code, as added by H.B.
37-15 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
37-16 amended by amending Subsections (a) and (c) and by adding
37-17 Subsection (g) to read as follows:
37-18 (a) An order to an employer directing that health insurance
37-19 coverage be provided to a child of an employee or member is binding
37-20 on the employer on receipt. If the employee or member is eligible
37-21 for dependent health coverage for the child, the < On receipt of an
37-22 order directing that health insurance coverage be extended to a
37-23 child of an employee, an> employer shall immediately enroll the
37-24 child in a health insurance plan < available to the employee. If
37-25 the employer is not able to immediately enroll the child, the
37-26 employer shall enroll the child at the next available enrollment
37-27 period as a dependent of the employee>. If dependent coverage is
38-1 not available to the employee or member through the employer's
38-2 health insurance plan or< ,> the employer < is responsible for
38-3 providing notice of this fact but> is not responsible or otherwise
38-4 liable for providing such coverage, the employer shall provide
38-5 notice to the sender in accordance with Subsection (c).
38-6 (c) An employer who has received an order under this
38-7 subchapter shall provide to the sender, by first class mail not
38-8 later than the 30th day after the date the employer receives the
38-9 order, a statement that the child:
38-10 (1) has been enrolled in a health insurance plan; or
38-11 (2) < will be enrolled in a health insurance plan at
38-12 the next available enrollment period and provide the expected date
38-13 of such enrollment; or>
38-14 < (3)> cannot be enrolled in a health insurance plan
38-15 and provide the reason why coverage cannot be provided.
38-16 (g) An employer who fails to enroll a child, fails to
38-17 withhold or remit premiums or cash medical support, or
38-18 discriminates in hiring or employment on the basis of a medical
38-19 support order shall be subject to the penalties and fines in
38-20 Subchapter C, Chapter 158.
38-21 SECTION 4.06. Section 154.192, Family Code, as added by H.B.
38-22 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
38-23 amended to read as follows:
38-24 Sec. 154.192. CANCELLATION OR ELIMINATION OF INSURANCE
38-25 COVERAGE FOR CHILD < HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION>. (a) Unless
38-26 the employee or member ceases to be eligible for dependent coverage
38-27 or the employer has eliminated dependent health coverage for all of
39-1 the employer's employees or members, the employer may not cancel or
39-2 eliminate coverage of a child enrolled under this subchapter until
39-3 the employer is provided satisfactory written evidence that:
39-4 (1) the court order or administrative order requiring
39-5 the coverage is no longer in effect; or
39-6 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
39-7 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
39-8 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
39-9 cancellation or elimination of the employer's coverage. < This
39-10 subchapter does not require a health maintenance organization to
39-11 provide coverage to a child who resides outside the geographic
39-12 service area.>
39-13 SECTION 4.07. Subsection (a), Section 158.206, Family Code,
39-14 as added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
39-15 Session, 1995, is amended to read as follows:
39-16 (a) An employer receiving an order or writ of withholding,
39-17 including an order directing that health insurance be provided to a
39-18 child, who complies with the order or writ is not liable to the
39-19 obligor for the amount of income withheld and paid as provided in
39-20 the order or writ.
39-21 ARTICLE 5. EFFECTIVE DATE AND TRANSITION PROVISIONS; EMERGENCY
39-22 SECTION 5.01. (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1995.
39-23 (b) Subchapter J, Chapter 3, Insurance Code, as added by
39-24 Section 4.01 of this Act, applies only to an insurance policy or
39-25 evidence of coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or
39-26 renewed on or after January 1, 1996. A policy or evidence of
39-27 coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed before
40-1 January 1, 1996, is governed by the law as it existed immediately
40-2 before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in
40-3 effect for that purpose.
40-4 (c) The Office of the Attorney General may exercise the
40-5 contracting authority granted in Section 231.0011, Family Code, as
40-6 added by Section 1.01 of this Act, to provide for a phased
40-7 implementation of the statewide integrated system for child support
40-8 and medical support enforcement, and shall implement the system to
40-9 the extent that locally generated funds and federal reimbursement
40-10 related to such funds are sufficient to pay for implementation.
40-11 (d) The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial
40-12 System may phase in the monthly report required by Section 71.035,
40-13 Government Code, as amended by Section 2.05 of this Act, to
40-14 correspond with the phased implementation of the statewide
40-15 integrated system for child support and medical support enforcement
40-16 described in Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by Section
40-17 1.01 of this Act.
40-18 (e) If before implementing any provision of this Act, the
40-19 attorney general, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas
40-20 Department of Human Services, or another affected agency determines
40-21 that a waiver or authorization from a federal agency is necessary
40-22 for implementation of that provision, the affected agency shall
40-23 promptly apply for a waiver, and the provision shall take effect
40-24 when necessary waivers have been granted. A copy of each waiver
40-25 request shall be provided to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
40-26 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
40-27 (f) For the purpose of implementing the integrated system
41-1 established by Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by Section
41-2 1.01 of this Act and Section 71.035, Government Code, as amended by
41-3 Section 2.05 of this Act, all funds received from the federal
41-4 government as reimbursement for expenses directly related to the
41-5 integrated system, including the federal match for locally
41-6 generated funds, shall be in excess of any amount appropriated to
41-7 the attorney general by other Acts of the 74th Legislature, and are
41-8 hereby appropriated to the attorney general for the fiscal years
41-9 ending August 31, 1996, and August 31, 1997.
41-10 SECTION 5.02. Not later than December 1, 1996, the attorney
41-11 general shall report to the legislature an estimate of the cost
41-12 savings to the state and effectiveness of the expansion of child
41-13 support enforcement services and of privatization efforts.
41-14 SECTION 5.03. (a) The Office of the Attorney General, in
41-15 conjunction with the Texas Department of Human Services, shall
41-16 develop and implement a plan to assign a representative to work
41-17 with department eligibility workers in department offices or
41-18 facilities that are located in the same geographic region as
41-19 offices or facilities of the attorney general. The plan shall:
41-20 (1) include a schedule for implementation; and
41-21 (2) provide that the Office of the Attorney General
41-22 may make a work assignment under this subsection only if the
41-23 anticipated increased collection of child support for public
41-24 assistance cases is greater than the cost of placing the
41-25 representative in a department office or facility.
41-26 (b) Not later than October 1, 1995, the attorney general
41-27 shall complete the plan required by this section and send notice of
42-1 filing the completed plan to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
42-2 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
42-3 (c) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Human
42-4 Services shall prepare the initial memorandum of understanding
42-5 required by Section 1.07 of this Act not later than December 1,
42-7 SECTION 5.04. The change in law made by Subchapter E,
42-8 Chapter 231, Family Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a
42-9 child support review for which notice is given on or after the
42-10 effective date of this Act. A child support review for which
42-11 notice is given before that date is governed by the law in effect
42-12 at the time notice was given, and the former law is continued in
42-13 effect for that purpose.
42-14 SECTION 5.05. (a) Section 3.01 of this Act expires
42-15 September 2, 1997.
42-16 (b) Subsection (b), Section 3.02, and Section 3.03 of this
42-17 Act expire January 1, 1997.
42-18 SECTION 5.06. The importance of this legislation and the
42-19 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
42-20 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
42-21 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
42-22 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.