S.B. No. 793
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 work group 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 work group shall include representatives of
2-12 the judiciary, district clerks, and domestic relations offices, as
2-13 well as other interested agencies, organizations, and individuals.
2-14 The work group 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 work
2-19 group established by this section, develop technical standards for
2-20 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 Sections 231.113 and 231.114 to
5-24 read as follows:
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 Sec. 231.114. REPORTS OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS TO CONSUMER
6-7 REPORTING AGENCIES. (a) The Title IV-D agency shall make
6-8 information available in accordance with this section to a consumer
6-9 reporting agency regarding the amount of child support owed and the
6-10 amount paid by an obligor in a Title IV-D case.
6-11 (b) Before disclosing the information to consumer reporting
6-12 agencies, the Title IV-D agency shall send the obligor a notice by
6-13 mail to the obligor's last known address. The notice must include:
6-14 (1) the information to be released, including the
6-15 amount of the obligor's child support obligation and delinquency,
6-16 if any, that will be reported;
6-17 (2) the procedure available for the obligor to contest
6-18 the accuracy of the information; and
6-19 (3) a statement that the information will be released
6-20 if the obligor fails to contest the disclosure before the 30th day
6-21 after the date of mailing of the notice.
6-22 (c) If the obligor does not contest the disclosure within
6-23 the period specified by Subsection (b), the Title IV-D agency shall
6-24 make the information available to the consumer reporting agency.
6-25 (d) The Title IV-D agency shall regularly update the
6-26 information released to a consumer reporting agency under this
6-27 section to ensure the accuracy of the released information.
7-1 (e) The Title IV-D agency may charge a consumer reporting
7-2 agency a reasonable fee for making information available under this
7-3 section, including all applicable mailing costs.
7-4 (f) In this section:
7-5 (1) "Consumer reporting agency" means any person that
7-6 regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling
7-7 or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on
7-8 consumers for monetary fees, for dues, or on a cooperative
7-9 nonprofit basis, to furnish consumer reports to third parties.
7-10 (2) "Obligor" means any person required to make
7-11 payments under the terms of a support order for a child.
7-12 (3) "Title IV-D case" means a case in which services
7-13 are being provided by the Title IV-D agency under Part D of Title
7-14 IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et
7-15 seq.) seeking to locate an absent parent, determine parentage, or
7-16 establish, modify, enforce, or monitor a child support obligation.
7-17 SECTION 1.04. Section 231.202, Family Code, as added by H.B.
7-18 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
7-19 amended to read as follows:
7-20 Sec. 231.202. AUTHORIZED COSTS AND FEES IN TITLE IV-D CASES.
7-21 In a Title IV-D case filed under this title, the Title IV-D agency
7-22 shall pay:
7-23 (1) filing fees and fees for issuance and service of
7-24 process as provided by Chapter 110 of this code and by Sections
7-25 51.317, 51.318(b)(2), and 51.319(4), Government Code;
7-26 (2) fees for transfer as provided by Chapter 110;
7-27 (3) fees for the issuance and delivery of orders and
8-1 writs of income withholding in the amounts provided by Chapter 110;
8-3 (4) a fee of $45 for each item of process to each
8-4 individual on whom service is required, including service by
8-5 certified or registered mail, to be paid to a sheriff, constable,
8-6 or clerk whenever service of process is required< ; and>
8-7 < (5) mileage costs incurred by a sheriff or constable
8-8 when traveling out of the county to execute an outstanding warrant
8-9 or capias, to be reimbursed at a rate not to exceed the rate
8-10 provided for mileage incurred by state employees in the General
8-11 Appropriations Act>.
8-12 SECTION 1.05. Section 231.209, Family Code, as added by H.B.
8-13 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
8-14 amended to read as follows:
8-15 Sec. 231.209. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES NOT AFFECTED BY THIS
8-16 SUBCHAPTER. Without regard to this subchapter and specifically
8-17 Section 231.205, the Title IV-D agency may pay the costs for:
8-18 (1) the services of an official court reporter for the
8-19 preparation of statements of facts;
8-20 (2) < and> the costs for the publication of citation
8-21 served by publication; and
8-22 (3) mileage or other reasonable travel costs incurred
8-23 by a sheriff or constable when traveling out of the county to
8-24 execute an outstanding warrant or capias, to be reimbursed at a
8-25 rate not to exceed the rate provided for mileage or other costs
8-26 incurred by state employees in the General Appropriations Act.
8-27 SECTION 1.06. Section 231.304, Family Code, as added by H.B.
9-1 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
9-2 amended by amending Subsections (b) and (h) and by adding
9-3 Subsections (j), (k), (l), and (m) to read as follows:
9-4 (b) The Title IV-D agency, the Texas Department of Human
9-5 Services, the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, and the Texas
9-6 Employment Commission shall create and develop a voluntary ENHR
9-7 program to provide a means for employers to assist in the state's
9-8 efforts to prevent fraud in the welfare, workers' compensation, and
9-9 unemployment insurance programs, locate absent parents who owe
9-10 child support, and collect support from those parents by reporting
9-11 information concerning newly hired and rehired employees directly
9-12 to a centralized state database < the child support enforcement
9-13 program>. In order to encourage use of the ENHR program, employer
9-14 reporting requirements shall be simplified and standardized.
9-15 (h) Subject to approval of the agencies involved and any
9-16 requirements of federal law, the centralized database shall make
9-17 the information on < For> each employee reported under the ENHR
9-18 program available for:
9-19 (1) purposes directly connected with the
9-20 administration of a plan or program for unemployment benefits,
9-21 workers' compensation benefits, child support, or public
9-23 (2) an investigation or a civil or criminal
9-24 prosecution relating to the administration of such plan or program;
9-26 (3) the administration of any other federal or
9-27 federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in
10-1 kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need< ,
10-2 the Title IV-D agency shall retain the information only if the
10-3 agency is responsible for establishing, enforcing, or collecting a
10-4 support obligation or debt of the employee or reporting to a court,
10-5 domestic relations office, or a friend of the court the location of
10-6 a parent who is denying possession of or access to a person with a
10-7 valid possession order. If the agency does not have any of those
10-8 responsibilities, the agency may not create a record regarding the
10-9 employee and the information contained in the notice shall be
10-10 promptly destroyed>.
10-11 (j) An employer participating in the ENHR program is
10-12 strongly encouraged to report information about health insurance
10-13 coverage available through the employer in which a dependent child
10-14 may be enrolled under Subchapter D, Chapter 154.
10-15 (k) To expand the ENHR program, the Title IV-D agency shall
10-16 work closely with the Texas Employment Commission, the Texas
10-17 Workers' Compensation Commission, the comptroller, the Texas
10-18 Department of Commerce, the secretary of state, and employer
10-19 groups. Efforts to expand the program shall include:
10-20 (1) regularly sending to employers solicitations for
10-21 participation in the program and promotional information about the
10-22 program that includes information on:
10-23 (A) the program's impact on child support and
10-24 medical support enforcement;
10-25 (B) savings in public assistance payments
10-26 attributable to the program;
10-27 (C) benefits to employers and taxpayers of the
11-1 fraud prevention aspects of the program;
11-2 (D) participation requirements; and
11-3 (E) awards available for business participation;
11-5 (2) developing a public awareness program that:
11-6 (A) stresses the importance of securing
11-7 financial support for all children; and
11-8 (B) informs the public about the ENHR program.
11-9 (l) The affected agencies may pool resources, develop a cost
11-10 allocation plan, determine the most cost-effective means of
11-11 establishing and funding the required database, and issue rules,
11-12 solicit bids, or enter into contracts to carry out the purposes of
11-13 this section.
11-14 (m) The affected agencies shall implement the plan to create
11-15 the ENHR database, if cost-effective, using existing funding and
11-16 considering savings and revenue gains that may result from the use
11-17 of such system.
11-18 SECTION 1.07. Subchapter D, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
11-19 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
11-20 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.305 to read as
11-22 Sec. 231.305. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON CHILD SUPPORT
11-23 FOR CHILDREN RECEIVING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. (a) The Title IV-D
11-24 agency and the Texas Department of Human Services by rule shall
11-25 adopt a memorandum of understanding governing the establishment and
11-26 enforcement of court-ordered child support in cases involving
11-27 children who receive financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human
12-1 Resources Code. The memorandum shall require the agency and the
12-2 department to:
12-3 (1) develop procedures to ensure that the information
12-4 the department is required to collect to establish and enforce
12-5 child support:
12-6 (A) is collected from the person applying to
12-7 receive the financial assistance at the time the application is
12-9 (B) is accurate and complete when the department
12-10 forwards the information to the agency; and
12-11 (C) is not information previously reported to
12-12 the agency;
12-13 (2) develop procedures to ensure that the agency does
12-14 not duplicate the efforts of the department in gathering necessary
12-16 (3) clarify each agency's responsibilities in the
12-17 establishment and enforcement of child support; and
12-18 (4) develop guidelines for use by eligibility workers
12-19 and child support enforcement officers in obtaining from an
12-20 applicant the information required to establish and enforce child
12-21 support for that child.
12-22 (b) The Title IV-D agency and the Texas Department of Human
12-23 Services semiannually shall review and renew or modify the
12-24 memorandum as necessary.
12-25 SECTION 1.08. Subsection (c), Section 231.108, Family Code,
12-26 as added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
12-27 Session, 1995, is amended to read as follows:
13-1 (c) The Title IV-D agency may use or release information
13-2 from the files and records, including information that results from
13-3 a communication made by a recipient of financial assistance under
13-4 Chapter 31, Human Resources Code, or by an applicant for or
13-5 recipient of services under this chapter, for purposes directly
13-6 connected with the administration of the child support, paternity
13-7 determination, parent locator, or aid to families with dependent
13-8 children programs. The Title IV-D agency may release information
13-9 from the files and records to a consumer reporting agency in
13-10 accordance with Section 231.114.
13-11 ARTICLE 2. ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL
13-12 SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
13-13 SECTION 2.01. Section 101.005, Family Code, as added by H.B.
13-14 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
13-15 amended to read as follows:
13-16 Sec. 101.005. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW OFFICER. "Child support
13-17 review officer" means an individual designated and trained by a
13-18 child support agency to conduct reviews under this title < who has
13-19 received family law mediation training>.
13-20 SECTION 2.02. Section 102.007, Family Code, as added by H.B.
13-21 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
13-22 amended to read as follows:
13-23 Sec. 102.007. STANDING OF TITLE IV-D AGENCY. In providing
13-24 services authorized by Chapter 231, the Title IV-D agency or a
13-25 political subdivision contracting with the attorney general to
13-26 provide Title IV-D services under this title may file a child
13-27 support action authorized under this title, including a suit for
14-1 modification or a motion for enforcement.
14-2 SECTION 2.03. Subchapter D, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
14-3 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
14-4 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.306 to read as
14-6 Sec. 231.306. MAXIMIZING MEDICAL SUPPORT ESTABLISHMENT AND
14-7 COLLECTION BY THE TITLE IV-D AGENCY. (a) On the installation of
14-8 an automated child support enforcement system, the Title IV-D
14-9 agency is strongly encouraged to:
14-10 (1) maximize the collection of medical support; and
14-11 (2) establish cash medical support orders for children
14-12 eligible for medical assistance under the state Medicaid program
14-13 for whom private insurance coverage is not available.
14-14 (b) In this section, "medical support" has the meaning
14-15 assigned by Section 101.020.
14-16 SECTION 2.04. Subchapter E, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
14-17 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
14-18 Session, 1995, is amended to read as follows:
14-19 SUBCHAPTER E. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS TO ESTABLISH OR
14-20 ENFORCE SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
14-21 Sec. 231.401. Purpose. The purpose of the child support
14-22 review process authorized by this subchapter is to provide child
14-23 support agencies an opportunity to resolve routine child support
14-24 actions through < negotiation,> agreement of the parties< ,> or
14-25 uncontested orders.
14-26 Sec. 231.402. AGREEMENTS ENCOURAGED. To the extent
14-27 permitted by this subchapter, child support agencies shall make the
15-1 child support review process understandable to all parties and
15-2 shall encourage agreements < through mediation>.
15-3 Sec. 231.403. Bilingual Forms Required. A notice or other
15-4 form used to implement the child support review process shall be
15-5 printed in both Spanish and English.
15-6 Sec. 231.404. INTERPRETER REQUIRED. If a party
15-7 participating in a negotiation conference does not speak English or
15-8 is hearing impaired, the child support agency shall provide for
15-9 interpreter services at no charge to the parties.
15-10 Sec. 231.405. Initiating Child Support Review. < (a) A
15-11 child support agency may review and assess the financial resources
15-12 of a child's parent or of a person presumed or alleged to be the
15-13 child's father from whom child support is requested to determine
15-14 the resources that are available for the support of the child and
15-15 to determine what action is appropriate.>
15-16 < (b)> An administrative action under this subchapter may be
15-17 initiated by issuing a notice of child support review to each party
15-18 entitled to notice < the parents and to the presumed or alleged
15-19 father of a child>.
15-20 Sec. 231.406. CONTENTS OF NOTICE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW.
15-21 (a) The notice of child support review must:
15-22 (1) describe the procedure for a child support review;
15-23 (2) inform the recipient that the recipient < is not
15-24 required to participate in the child support review and> may be
15-25 represented by legal counsel during the review process or at a
15-26 court hearing;
15-27 (3) inform the recipient that the recipient may refuse
16-1 to participate or cease participation in the child support review
16-2 process, but that the refusal by the recipient to participate will
16-3 not prevent the completion of the process or the filing of a child
16-4 support review order < during any stage of the review but that the
16-5 review will continue to completion and that afterward the recipient
16-6 may request a court hearing>;
16-7 (4) include an affidavit of financial resources; and
16-8 (5) include a request that the recipient designate, on
16-9 a form provided by the child support agency, an address for mailing
16-10 any additional notice to the recipient.
16-11 (b) In addition to the information required by Subsection
16-12 (a), the notice of child support review must inform the recipient
16-14 (1) the information requested on the form must be
16-15 returned to the child support agency not later than the 15th day
16-16 after the date the notice is received or delivered; and
16-17 (2) if the requested information is not returned as
16-18 required, the child support agency:
16-19 (A) may proceed with the review using the
16-20 information that is available to the agency; and
16-21 (B) may file a legal action without further
16-22 notice to the recipient, except as otherwise required by law.
16-23 Sec. 231.407. Notice by Mail. (a) A notice required in an
16-24 administrative action under this subchapter must be delivered or
16-25 served by first class mail or certified mail on each party entitled
16-26 to citation or notice as provided by Chapter 102.
16-27 (b) < If notice is served by mail, three days must be added
17-1 to the time in which the person is required to respond.>
17-2 < (c)> This section does not apply to notice required on
17-3 filing of a child support review order or to later judicial
17-5 Sec. 231.408. Administrative Subpoena in Child Support
17-6 Review. (a) In a child support review under this subchapter, a
17-7 child support agency may issue an administrative subpoena to < a
17-8 parent, a person presumed or alleged to be the father of a child
17-9 for whom support is requested, or> any individual or organization
17-10 believed to have information on the financial resources of the
17-11 parent or presumed or alleged father.
17-12 (b) A court may compel compliance with an administrative
17-13 subpoena and award attorney's fees and costs to a child support
17-14 agency enforcing an administrative subpoena on proof that an
17-15 individual or organization failed to comply with the subpoena
17-16 without good cause.
17-17 Sec. 231.409. SCHEDULING AND CONDUCTING NEGOTIATION
17-18 CONFERENCE. (a) The child support agency may schedule a
17-19 negotiation conference without a request from a party.
17-20 (b) The child support agency shall schedule a negotiation
17-21 conference on the timely request of a party < person who completes
17-22 and returns an affidavit of financial resources>.
17-23 (c) A negotiation conference, or any part of a negotiation
17-24 conference, may be conducted by telephone conference call, by video
17-25 conference, as well as in person. The negotiation conference may
17-26 be adjourned for a reasonable time to permit mediation of issues
17-27 that cannot be resolved by the parties and the child support
18-2 Sec. 231.410. TIME FOR NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
18-3 REQUIRED. < (a) A child support review or negotiation conference
18-4 under this subchapter shall be conducted not later than the 45th
18-5 day after the date all notices of child support review have been
18-6 sent to the parties to the action.>
18-7 < (b)> All parties entitled to notice of the negotiation
18-8 conference shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the
18-9 negotiation conference not later than the 10th day before the date
18-10 of the negotiation conference.
18-11 Sec. 231.411. RESCHEDULING NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
18-12 REQUIRED. A negotiation conference may be rescheduled or adjourned
18-13 on the request of any party at the discretion of the child support
18-14 review officer. All parties must be given notice of the
18-15 rescheduling not later than the third day before the date of the
18-16 rescheduled negotiation conference.
18-17 Sec. 231.412. INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED AT
18-18 NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE. At the beginning of the negotiation
18-19 conference, the child support review officer shall review with the
18-20 < inform all> parties participating in the conference information
18-21 provided in the notice of child support review and inform the
18-22 parties < in attendance> that:
18-23 (1) the purpose of the negotiation conference is to
18-24 provide an opportunity < attempt> to reach an agreement on a
18-25 < regarding> child support order < payments>;
18-26 (2) < a party does not have to participate in the
18-27 negotiation conference and may request a court hearing;>
19-1 < (3) a party may be represented by an attorney chosen
19-2 by the party;>
19-3 < (4) the parties may stop participating in the
19-4 negotiation conference at any time but that the child support
19-5 review will continue until completed, and, if a child support
19-6 review order is issued, a party may request a court hearing;>
19-7 < (5)> if the parties reach an agreement, the review
19-8 officer will prepare an agreed review order < for the parties'
19-10 (3) < (6)> a party does not have to sign a review order
19-11 prepared by the child support review officer; and
19-12 (4) < (7) even though> a party < signs an agreed review
19-13 order, the party> may request a court hearing at any time before
19-14 the 20th day after the date a petition for confirmation of the
19-15 order is filed < child support review order is confirmed by a
19-17 Sec. 231.413. DETERMINING SUPPORT AMOUNT; MODIFICATION.
19-18 (a) A child support agency may use any information obtained by the
19-19 agency from the parties or any other source and shall apply the
19-20 child support guidelines provided by this code to determine the
19-21 appropriate amount of child support.
19-22 (b) If the child support agency determines that the support
19-23 amount in an existing child support order is not in substantial
19-24 compliance with the guidelines, the child support agency shall
19-25 issue an appropriate child support review order, including a review
19-26 order that has the effect of modifying an existing order for child
19-27 support without the necessity of filing a motion to modify.
20-1 Sec. 231.414. Record Not Required. (a) For the purposes of
20-2 this subchapter, documentary evidence relied on by the child
20-3 support review officer, including an < a written> affidavit of a
20-4 party, together with< , the written findings, and> the child support
20-5 review order is < from a negotiation conference are> a sufficient
20-6 record of the proceedings.
20-7 (b) A child support agency is not required to make any other
20-8 record or transcript of the negotiation conference.
20-9 Sec. 231.415. ISSUANCE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER OR
20-10 FINDING THAT NO ORDER SHOULD BE ISSUED; EFFECT. (a) If the
20-11 negotiation conference does not result in agreement by all parties
20-12 to the < an agreed> child support review order, the review officer
20-13 shall promptly issue and sign a final decision in the form of a
20-14 child support review order< ,> or a determination that a child
20-15 support review order should not be issued, not later than the fifth
20-16 day after the date of the negotiation conference.
20-17 (b) If < On the day that a child support review order is
20-18 issued or> a determination is made that a child support order will
20-19 not be issued, each party to a child support review proceeding
20-20 shall be furnished immediately by hand delivery or by mail notice
20-21 of < a copy of the order or> the determination.
20-22 (c) A determination that a child support order should not be
20-23 issued must include a statement of the reasons that an order is not
20-24 being issued and does not affect the right of the agency or a party
20-25 to request any other remedy provided by law.
20-26 Sec. 231.416. VACATING CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. (a) The
20-27 review officer may vacate a child support review order on the
21-1 officer's own motion at any time before the order is filed with the
21-3 (b) A new negotiation conference, with notice to all
21-4 parties, may < shall> be scheduled or the officer may make a
21-5 determination that a child support review order should not be
21-6 issued and give notice of that determination as provided by this
21-7 subchapter < to take place not later than the 10th day after the
21-8 date the child support review order was vacated>.
21-9 Sec. 231.417. CONTENTS OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER.
21-10 (a) An agreed child support review order must contain all
21-11 provisions that are appropriate for an order under this title.
21-12 (b) A child support review order that is not agreed to must
21-13 include child support and medical support provisions, including a
21-14 determination of arrearages or retroactive support.
21-15 (c) A child support review order providing for the
21-16 enforcement of an order may not contain a provision that imposes
21-17 incarceration or a fine or contains a finding of contempt.
21-18 (d) A child support review order that establishes or
21-19 modifies an amount of previously ordered support must include the
21-20 findings required by Section 154.130.
21-21 (e) A child support review order that is not agreed to by
21-22 all the parties may specify and reserve for the court at the
21-23 confirmation hearing unresolved issues relating to conservatorship
21-24 or possession of a child.
21-25 Sec. 231.418. ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF AGREED CHILD SUPPORT
21-26 REVIEW ORDER. If a negotiation conference results in an agreement
21-27 < by all parties>, the < a> child support review order must be signed
22-1 by each party who agrees to the order, must contain the provisions
22-2 required by Section 231.417, < all parties to the action> and, as to
22-3 each party in agreement with the order, must contain:
22-4 (1) a waiver by the < each> party of the right to
22-5 service < and> of process and < the right to> a court hearing and the
22-6 making of a record on the petition for confirmation;
22-7 (2) the mailing address of the < each> party; and
22-8 (3) the following statement printed on the order in
22-9 boldface or in all capital letters:
22-10 "I KNOW THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN THIS < AGREED>
22-11 CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. I KNOW THAT I HAVE A RIGHT
22-12 TO BE PERSONALLY SERVED WITH THE PETITION FOR
22-13 CONFIRMATION OF THIS ORDER < HAVE A COURT HEAR EVIDENCE
22-14 AND MAKE A DECISION IN THIS MATTER>. I KNOW THAT I
22-15 HAVE A RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND AND WITHDRAW MY
22-16 AGREEMENT TO THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER AND REQUEST THAT A
22-17 COURT DECIDE THIS MATTER BY FILING A REQUEST FOR COURT
22-18 HEARING AT ANY TIME BEFORE THE 20TH DAY AFTER THE DATE
22-19 THE PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION OF THE ORDER IS FILED
22-20 WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT. I KNOW THAT IF I FAIL TO
22-21 FILE A REQUEST FOR A COURT HEARING A COURT MAY CONFIRM
22-22 AND APPROVE THIS ORDER WITHOUT A HEARING, AND THE ORDER
22-23 WILL BECOME A VALID COURT ORDER. I KNOW THAT IF I DO
22-24 NOT OBEY THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER I MAY BE HELD IN
22-25 CONTEMPT OF COURT."
22-26 Sec. 231.419. FILING OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION. (a) The
22-27 child support agency shall file a petition for confirmation with
23-1 the clerk of the court having continuing jurisdiction of the child
23-2 who is the subject of the order.
23-3 (b) If there is not a court of continuing jurisdiction, the
23-4 child support agency shall file the petition for confirmation with
23-5 the clerk of a court having jurisdiction under this title.
23-6 Sec. 231.420. CONTENTS OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION;
23-7 DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE TO BE FILED WITH PETITION. (a) A petition
23-8 for confirmation shall < must> include the final child support
23-9 review order as an attachment to the petition.
23-10 (b) Documentary evidence relied on by the child support
23-11 agency, including, if applicable, a < verified written report of a
23-12 paternity testing expert concerning the results of paternity
23-13 testing conducted in the case or a> statement of paternity or a
23-14 written report of a parentage testing expert, shall be filed with
23-15 the clerk as exhibits to the petition, but are not required to be
23-16 served on the parties. The petition must identify the exhibits
23-17 that are filed with the clerk.
23-18 Sec. 231.421. DUTIES OF CLERK OF COURT. (a) On the filing
23-19 of a petition for confirmation, the clerk of court shall endorse on
23-20 the petition the date and time that the petition is filed < and sign
23-21 the endorsement>.
23-22 (b) If the petition is for an original action, the clerk
23-23 shall endorse the appropriate court and cause number on the
23-25 (c) If the petition is to confirm an agreed child support
23-26 review order under this subchapter, the child support agency
23-27 < clerk> shall mail to each party that agreed to the order, at the
24-1 address shown on the order, a copy of the petition with < and
24-2 written notice of the filing of the petition that states> the
24-3 court, filing date, and cause number of the case. The clerk shall
24-4 note on the docket that the notice was mailed. The child support
24-5 agency shall file a certificate of service showing the date of the
24-6 mailing to each party.
24-7 (d) The < If the petition is to confirm an order other than
24-8 an agreed order, the> clerk shall issue service of citation,
24-9 including a copy of the petition and the child support review
24-10 order, to each party entitled to service who has not waived
24-12 (e) A clerk of a district court is entitled to collect in a
24-13 child support review case the fees authorized in a Title IV-D case
24-14 by this chapter < a fee for:>
24-15 < (1) the filing of a petition under this section as
24-16 provided by Section 51.317(b)(1), Government Code;>
24-17 < (2) the issuance of notice or process as provided by
24-18 Section 51.317(b)(4), Government Code; and>
24-19 < (3) service of notice or citation as provided by
24-20 Section 51.319(4), Government Code, or as otherwise provided by
24-22 Sec. 231.422. FORM TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING. (a) A court
24-23 shall consider any responsive pleading that is intended as an
24-24 objection to confirmation of a child support review order,
24-25 including a general denial, as a request for a court hearing.
24-26 (b) The < A> child support agency shall:
24-27 (1) < attach a copy of a form to request a court
25-1 hearing to each party's copy of the petition for confirmation of a
25-2 child support review order;>
25-3 < (2)> make available to each clerk of court copies of
25-4 the form to request a court hearing; and
25-5 (2) < (3)> provide the form to request a court hearing
25-6 to a party to the child support review proceeding on request.
25-7 (c) The clerk shall furnish the form to a party to a
25-8 proceeding under this subchapter on the request of the party.
25-9 Sec. 231.423. TIME TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING< ; HEARING SUA
25-10 SPONTE>. < (a)> A party may file a request for a court hearing not
25-11 later than the 20th day after the date the petition for
25-12 confirmation of a child support review order is served or mailed as
25-13 provided by this subchapter < an agreed administrative order is
25-14 filed or not later than the Monday following the 20th day after the
25-15 date the party received service of citation in a case involving the
25-16 confirmation of any other type of order>.
25-17 < (b) If the court finds that confirmation of a child support
25-18 review order without a hearing would not be in the best interests
25-19 of a child who is the subject of the order, the court may schedule
25-20 a hearing. The order setting the hearing on the confirmation of
25-21 the order shall state the court's specific reasons for conducting
25-22 the hearing.>
25-23 Sec. 231.424. CONFIRMATION WITHOUT HEARING. Not later than
25-24 the 30th day after the date a petition for confirmation that
25-25 includes waivers by all parties is filed or after the date of
25-26 service is made on the last party required to be served for a
25-27 petition for confirmation that does not include waivers, whichever
26-1 is later, the court shall confirm the child support review order by
26-2 signing an order of confirmation unless a party has filed a timely
26-3 request for hearing or the court has scheduled a hearing.
26-4 Sec. 231.425. EFFECT OF REQUEST FOR HEARING; PLEADING.
26-5 (a) A request for hearing or an order setting a hearing on
26-6 confirmation stays confirmation of the order pending the hearing.
26-7 (b) At a hearing on confirmation, all issues in the child
26-8 support review order shall be heard in a trial de novo.
26-9 (c) The petition for confirmation and the child support
26-10 review order constitute a sufficient pleading by the child support
26-11 agency for relief on any issue addressed in the petition and order.
26-12 (d) The request for hearing may limit the scope of the de
26-13 novo hearing by specifying the issues that are in dispute.
26-14 Sec. 231.426. TIME FOR COURT HEARING. A court shall hold a
26-15 hearing on the confirmation of a child support review order not
26-16 later than the 30th day after the date the < court determines that a
26-17 hearing should be held or the> last party to be served files a
26-18 timely request for a court hearing.
26-19 Sec. 231.427. ORDER AFTER HEARING; EFFECT OF CONFIRMATION
26-20 ORDER. (a) After the hearing on the confirmation of a child
26-21 support review order, the court shall:
26-22 (1) if the court finds that the order should be
26-23 confirmed, immediately sign a confirmation order and enter the
26-24 order as an order of the court;
26-25 (2) if the court finds that the relief granted in the
26-26 child support review order is inappropriate, sign an appropriate
26-27 order at the conclusion of the hearing or as soon after the
27-1 conclusion of the hearing as is practical and enter the order as an
27-2 order of the court; or
27-3 (3) if the court finds that all relief should be
27-4 denied, enter an order that denies relief and includes specific
27-5 findings explaining the reasons that relief is denied.
27-6 (b) On the signing of a confirmation order by the judge of
27-7 the court, the child support review order becomes a final order
27-8 < judgment> of the court.
27-9 Sec. 231.428. SPECIAL CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCEDURES
27-10 RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENTAGE < PATERNITY>. (a) If the
27-11 parentage < paternity> of a child has not been established < by court
27-12 order>, the notice of child support review served on the parties
27-13 must include an allegation that the recipient < alleged father> is a
27-14 < the> biological parent < father> of the child. The notice shall
27-15 inform the parties that the alleged father of the child may sign a
27-16 statement of paternity and that any party may request that
27-17 scientifically accepted parentage < paternity> testing be conducted
27-18 to assist in determining the identities of < whether the alleged
27-19 father is> the child's parents < father>.
27-20 (b) A negotiation conference shall be conducted to resolve
27-21 any issues of support in an action in which all parties agree as to
27-22 < that the alleged father is> the child's parentage < biological
27-24 (c) If a party denies parentage < that the alleged father is
27-25 the child's biological father or, in the case of a presumed father,
27-26 if either party files a verified denial of paternity>, the child
27-27 support agency may schedule parentage < paternity> testing. If
28-1 either party fails or refuses to participate in administrative
28-2 parentage testing, the child support agency may file a child
28-3 support review order with a request for court-ordered parentage
28-4 testing. The court shall follow the procedures and may impose the
28-5 sanctions provided by this code to obtain compliance with the
28-6 parentage testing order. The court shall confirm the child support
28-7 review order as a temporary or final order of the court only after
28-8 an opportunity for parentage testing has been provided.
28-9 (d) If parentage < paternity> testing does not exclude the
28-10 alleged parent and < father from being the child's father and a
28-11 party continues to deny that the alleged father is the child's
28-12 biological father, the child support agency may schedule a
28-13 negotiation conference as provided by this subchapter. If> the
28-14 results of a verified written report of a parentage < paternity>
28-15 testing expert meet the requirements of Chapter 160 for issuing a
28-16 temporary order, the child support agency may issue a child support
28-17 review order.
28-18 (e) If the results of parentage < paternity> testing exclude
28-19 an < the> alleged parent < or presumed father> from being the
28-20 biological parent < father> of the child, the child support agency
28-21 shall issue a child support review order that declares that the
28-22 excluded person < alleged or presumed father> is not a parent < the
28-23 father> of the child.
28-24 (f) Any party may file a petition for confirmation of a
28-25 child support review order issued under this section.
28-26 Sec. 231.429. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE LAW NOT APPLICABLE.
28-27 The child support review process under this chapter is not governed
29-1 by the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code.
29-2 Sec. 231.430. EXPIRATION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
29-3 expires September 1, 1997.
29-4 Sec. 231.431. STUDY OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS. The
29-5 attorney general as the Title IV-D agency shall conduct a study to
29-6 determine and compare the cost of child support enforcement through
29-7 use of the child support review process authorized by this
29-8 subchapter and the cost of child support enforcement by the
29-9 attorney general through use of other enforcement mechanisms
29-10 available under this chapter. The attorney general shall report
29-11 the results of this study to the governor and the legislature not
29-12 later than September 1, 1996, and shall include in the report
29-13 recommendations regarding statutory amendments for improving
29-14 judicial and administrative processes for child support
29-15 enforcement. This section expires September 2, 1996.
29-16 SECTION 2.05. Subsection (a), Section 71.035, Government
29-17 Code, is amended to read as follows:
29-18 (a) The council shall gather judicial statistics and other
29-19 pertinent information from the several state judges and other court
29-20 officials of this state. In addition, the council shall implement
29-21 a monthly tracking system to ensure accountability for counties and
29-22 courts which participate in the statewide integrated system for
29-23 child support and medical support enforcement established under
29-24 Section 231.0011, Family Code. As a duty of office, the district
29-25 clerks and county clerks serving the affected courts shall report
29-26 monthly such information as may be required by the council,
29-27 including, at a minimum, the time required to enforce cases from
30-1 date of delinquency, from date of filing, and from date of service
30-2 until date of disposition. Such information as is necessary to
30-3 complete the report and not directly within the control of the
30-4 district or county clerk, such as date of delinquency, shall be
30-5 provided to the clerk by the child support registry or by the
30-6 enforcement agency providing Title IV-D enforcement services in the
30-7 court. The monthly report shall be transmitted to the Office of
30-8 Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System no later than the
30-9 20th day of the month following the month reported, in such form as
30-10 may be prescribed by the Office of Court Administration, which may
30-11 include electronic data transfer. Copies of such reports shall be
30-12 maintained in the office of the appropriate district or county
30-13 clerk for a period of at least two years and shall be available to
30-14 the public for inspection and reproduction.
30-15 ARTICLE 3. INTERAGENCY COOPERATION AND STUDIES
30-16 SECTION 3.01. MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STATEWIDE
30-17 INTEGRATED SYSTEM FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The attorney
30-18 general shall establish a work group to monitor the progress toward
30-19 implementation of the statewide integrated system for child support
30-20 and medical support enforcement established by Section 1.01 of this
30-21 Act and determine the effect of that effort as it relates to:
30-22 (1) maximizing federal assistance for county-based
30-23 child support collection efforts; and
30-24 (2) replacing the existing state child support
30-25 enforcement application system with an automatic enforcement system
30-26 that does not require an applicant to file a complaint.
30-27 (b) The work group established by this section shall report
31-1 its findings and recommendations to the attorney general and shall
31-2 notify the governor, the comptroller, and the legislature of the
31-3 filing of the report not later than September 1, 1996, and annually
31-5 SECTION 3.02. AGREEMENT FOR CASH INCENTIVES FOR MEDICAL
31-6 ASSISTANCE. (a) The attorney general as the Title IV-D agency and
31-7 the Texas Department of Health shall negotiate an agreement
31-8 regarding the payment by the department of a cash incentive to the
31-9 agency for each child eligible for medical assistance under the
31-10 state Medicaid program that the agency causes to be enrolled in a
31-11 private health insurance plan and for payment of a portion of the
31-12 state share of costs recovered or saved as a result of the efforts
31-13 of the agency.
31-14 (b) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Health
31-15 shall report to the legislature the results of negotiations
31-16 conducted under this section not later than October 1, 1996.
31-17 SECTION 3.03. STUDY ON MEDICAL SUPPORT. (a) The attorney
31-18 general, the state Medicaid administrator, and the commissioner of
31-19 insurance shall initiate a study regarding establishment of a
31-20 health insurance purchasing alliance to purchase insurance coverage
31-21 for children for whom a child support obligation is established or
31-22 enforced under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security
31-23 Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.).
31-24 (b) Not later than October 1, 1996, the attorney general,
31-25 the state Medicaid administrator, and the commissioner of insurance
31-26 shall prepare and file a report summarizing the results of the
31-27 study required by this section and shall give notice of filing the
32-1 report to the:
32-2 (1) governor;
32-3 (2) lieutenant governor;
32-4 (3) speaker of the house of representatives;
32-5 (4) attorney general; and
32-6 (5) commissioner of health and human services.
32-7 SECTION 3.04. USE OF PRIVATE ENTITIES TO ASSIST IN CHILD
32-8 SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The Office of the Attorney General is
32-9 strongly encouraged to expand the cost-effective use of private
32-10 contractors to perform Title IV-D program functions.
32-11 (b) The Office of the Attorney General shall, not later than
32-12 July 1, 1996, perform a cost analysis such as that used by the
32-13 State Council on Competitive Government, for a standardized
32-14 comparison of similar activities performed by private firms and the
32-15 Office of the Attorney General. If the costs of the Office of the
32-16 Attorney General for identified activities of the Title IV-D agency
32-17 are higher than a private contractor's costs and the contractor
32-18 could deliver services as effectively as the Title IV-D agency, the
32-19 agency may consider the contractor to perform the activities. This
32-20 section does not limit the authority of the Title IV-D agency to
32-21 contract for services.
32-22 (c) The attorney general shall coordinate with the State
32-23 Council on Competitive Government and may employ private
32-24 consultants to develop the methodology and evaluate the activities
32-25 being considered for privatization.
32-26 (d) The attorney general shall report the results of the
32-27 efforts made under this section and notify the governor, the
33-1 comptroller, and the legislature of the filing of the report not
33-2 later than December 1, 1996.
33-3 SECTION 3.05. CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTION PRIVATIZATION
33-4 COUNCIL. (a) To assist counties implementing the integrated
33-5 system of child support and medical support enforcement established
33-6 by Section 1.01 of this Act, the attorney general shall convene a
33-7 Child Support Privatization Council, which shall include
33-8 representatives of state and county officials, including fiscal
33-10 (b) The council shall assist the attorney general, subject
33-11 to federal approval, in implementing the provisions of this Act by
33-12 helping to:
33-13 (1) develop criteria and standards for the selection
33-14 of private collectors of child support to provide services under
33-15 subcontract with the participating counties;
33-16 (2) develop and provide for use by the counties a
33-17 model request for proposal for the selection of private child
33-18 support collectors, which shall take into account the funding and
33-19 cost-effectiveness of the program;
33-20 (3) establish guidelines and suggest minimum
33-21 qualifications of private collectors, which shall include a
33-22 recommendation that private collectors performing legal work should
33-23 be attorneys licensed to practice in this state with not less than
33-24 five years of experience in suits affecting the parent-child
33-26 (4) suggest procedures and models, consistent with
33-27 federal requirements for the Title IV-D program, for the effective
34-1 participation of private child support collectors in the unified
34-2 enforcement system; and
34-3 (5) engage in other activities necessary to encourage
34-4 the cost-effective utilization of private collectors in the
34-5 integrated system established by this Act.
34-6 SECTION 3.06. Subsection (b), Section 151.0036, Tax Code, is
34-7 amended to read as follows:
34-8 (b) "Debt collection service" does not include the
34-9 collection of:
34-10 (1) a judgment by an attorney or by a partnership or
34-11 professional corporation of attorneys if the attorney, partnership,
34-12 or corporation represented the person in the suit from which the
34-13 judgment arose; or
34-14 (2) court-ordered child support or medical child
34-16 ARTICLE 4. HEALTH INSURANCE
34-17 SECTION 4.01. Chapter 3, Insurance Code, is amended by
34-18 adding Subchapter J to read as follows:
34-19 SUBCHAPTER J. MEDICAL CHILD SUPPORT
34-20 Art. 3.96-1. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
34-21 (1) "Child" has the meaning assigned by Subsections
34-22 (a) and (b), Section 101.003, Family Code.
34-23 (2) "Child support agency" has the meaning assigned by
34-24 Section 101.004, Family Code.
34-25 (3) "Custodial parent" means:
34-26 (A) a managing conservator of a child or a
34-27 possessory conservator of a child who is a parent of the child; or
35-1 (B) a guardian of the person of a child, or
35-2 another custodian of a child if the guardian or custodian is
35-3 designated by a court or administrative agency of this or another
35-5 (4) "Health insurer" means any insurance company,
35-6 group hospital service corporation, or health maintenance
35-7 organization that delivers or issues for delivery an individual,
35-8 group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy or insurance
35-9 agreement, a group hospital service contract, or an evidence of
35-10 coverage that provides benefits for medical or surgical expenses
35-11 incurred as a result of an accident or sickness.
35-12 (5) "Insurer" means:
35-13 (A) a health insurer;
35-14 (B) a governmental entity subject to:
35-15 (i) Article 3.51-1, 3.51-2, 3.51-4,
35-16 3.51-5, or 3.51-5A of this code; or
35-17 (ii) Section 1, Chapter 123, Acts of the
35-18 60th Legislature, Regular Session, 1967 (Article 3.51-3, Vernon's
35-19 Texas Insurance Code);
35-20 (C) a multiple employer welfare arrangement, as
35-21 that term is defined by Article 3.95-1 of this code; or
35-22 (D) a group health plan, as defined by Section
35-23 607(1), Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C.
35-24 Section 1167).
35-25 (6) "Medical assistance" means medical assistance
35-26 under the state Medicaid program.
35-27 Art. 3.96-2. DENIAL OF ENROLLMENT PROHIBITED. An insurer
36-1 may not deny enrollment of a child under the health insurance
36-2 coverage of the child's parent on the ground that the child:
36-3 (1) has a preexisting condition;
36-4 (2) was born out of wedlock;
36-5 (3) is not claimed as a dependent on the parent's
36-6 federal income tax return;
36-7 (4) does not reside with the parent or in the
36-8 insurer's service area; or
36-9 (5) is or has been an applicant for or recipient of
36-10 medical assistance.
36-11 Art. 3.96-3. ENROLLMENT REQUIRED. (a) If a parent eligible
36-12 for dependent health coverage through an insurer is required by a
36-13 court or administrative order to provide health coverage for a
36-14 child, the insurer shall permit the parent to enroll the child
36-15 without regard to any enrollment period restriction.
36-16 (b) If a parent eligible for dependent health coverage
36-17 through an insurer is required by a court or administrative order
36-18 to provide health coverage for a child and fails to apply to obtain
36-19 the health insurance coverage for the child, the insurer shall
36-20 enroll the child on application of a custodial parent of the child,
36-21 a child support agency having a duty to collect or enforce support
36-22 for the child, or the child.
36-23 Art. 3.96-4. CANCELLATION OR NONRENEWAL PROHIBITED. (a) An
36-24 insurer may not cancel or refuse to renew insurance coverage of a
36-25 child entitled to enrollment or enrolled under this subchapter
36-26 unless satisfactory written evidence is filed with the insurer that
36-27 shows that:
37-1 (1) the court order or administrative order that
37-2 required the coverage is no longer in effect; or
37-3 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
37-4 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
37-5 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
37-6 cancellation or nonrenewal.
37-7 (b) As used in this section, "a child entitled to enrollment
37-8 or enrolled under this subchapter" does not include a child whose
37-9 eligibility has terminated because the parent eligible for
37-10 dependent health coverage is no longer eligible for such coverage.
37-11 Art. 3.96-5. NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF CONTINUATION OR
37-12 CONVERSION COVERAGE. If dependent health coverage being terminated
37-13 pursuant to Subsection (b), Article 3.96-4, of this code contains
37-14 provisions for the continuation or conversion of such coverage for
37-15 the child, the insurer shall notify the custodial parent and the
37-16 child support agency of the costs and other requirements for
37-17 extending or converting such coverage, and shall enroll or continue
37-18 enrollment of the child on application of a parent of the child, a
37-19 child support agency, or the child.
37-20 Art. 3.96-6. EFFECT OF ASSIGNMENT OF MEDICAL SUPPORT RIGHTS
37-21 TO STATE AGENCY; INFORMATION. (a) An insurer may not impose
37-22 requirements on a state agency that has been assigned the rights of
37-23 an individual eligible for medical assistance and covered for
37-24 health benefits from the insurer that are different from the
37-25 requirements applicable to an agent or assignee of any other
37-26 covered individual.
37-27 (b) An insurer shall provide to a state agency providing
38-1 medical assistance, or to a child support agency enforcing medical
38-2 support, information as necessary to facilitate reimbursement of
38-3 medical services provided to or paid on behalf of a child.
38-4 Art. 3.96-7. RIGHTS OF CUSTODIAL PARENT AND ADULT CHILD.
38-5 (a) If a child receives health insurance coverage through the
38-6 insurer of a parent of the child, that insurer must provide
38-7 information and documents to each custodial parent or an adult
38-8 child as necessary for the child to obtain benefits through that
38-9 coverage, including:
38-10 (1) the name of the insurer;
38-11 (2) the number of the policy;
38-12 (3) a copy of the policy and schedule of benefits;
38-13 (4) a health insurance membership card;
38-14 (5) claim forms; and
38-15 (6) any other information or document necessary to
38-16 submit a claim in accordance with the insurer's policies and
38-18 (b) The insurer shall permit a custodial parent, a health
38-19 care provider, adult child, or a state agency that has been
38-20 assigned medical support rights to submit claims for covered
38-21 services without the approval of the insured parent.
38-22 (c) The insurer shall make payments on covered claims
38-23 submitted in accordance with this article directly to the custodial
38-24 parent, health care provider, adult child, or state agency making
38-25 the claim.
38-26 Art. 3.96-8. SERVICE AREA RESTRICTIONS PROHIBITED. An
38-27 insurer may not enforce otherwise applicable provisions that would
39-1 deny, limit, or reduce payment for claims for a covered child who
39-2 lives outside the insurer's coverage territory but inside the
39-3 United States.
39-4 Art. 3.96-9. PENALTIES; REMEDIES. An insurer that violates
39-5 this subchapter is subject to the same penalties, and an injured
39-6 party has the same rights and remedies, as those provided by
39-7 Section 16, Article 21.21, of this code.
39-8 Art. 3.96-10. RULES. The commissioner shall adopt
39-9 reasonable rules as necessary to implement this subchapter and the
39-10 requirements of 42 U.S.C. Section 1396a(a)(60), including rules
39-11 defining acts that constitute unfair or deceptive practices under
39-12 Section 13, Article 21.21, of this code.
39-13 SECTION 4.02. Section 101.012, Family Code, as added by H.B.
39-14 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
39-15 amended to read as follows:
39-16 Sec. 101.012. EMPLOYER. "Employer" means a person,
39-17 corporation, partnership, workers' compensation insurance carrier,
39-18 governmental entity, and the United States, and includes, for
39-19 purposes of enrolling dependents in a group health insurance plan,
39-20 a union, trade association, or other similar organization.
39-21 SECTION 4.03. Section 154.184, Family Code, as added by H.B.
39-22 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
39-23 amended to read as follows:
39-24 Sec. 154.184. EFFECT OF ORDER. (a) Receipt of < For
39-25 purposes of enrolling a child in a health insurance program under
39-26 this subchapter,> a medical support order requiring that health
39-27 insurance be provided for a child shall be considered a change in
40-1 the family circumstances of the employee or member, for health
40-2 insurance purposes, < covered person> equivalent to the birth or
40-3 adoption of a child < by the covered person>.
40-4 (b) The < On receipt of the order by the employer, the> child
40-5 shall be automatically enrolled for the first 31 days after the
40-6 receipt of the order by the employer on the same terms and
40-7 conditions as apply to any other < a> dependent child.
40-8 (c) The < On receipt of the order by the employer, the>
40-9 employer shall notify the insurer of the automatic enrollment.
40-10 (d) During the 31-day period, the employer and insurer shall
40-11 complete all necessary forms and procedures to make the enrollment
40-12 permanent or shall report in accordance with this subchapter the
40-13 reasons the coverage cannot be made permanent < policyholder shall
40-14 apply for coverage for the child in accordance with the medical
40-15 support order>.
40-16 SECTION 4.04. Section 154.186, Family Code, as added by H.B.
40-17 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
40-18 amended to read as follows:
40-19 Sec. 154.186. NOTICE TO EMPLOYER. The obligee, obligor, or
40-20 a child support < local domestic relations office, or Title IV-D>
40-21 agency may send a < certified> copy of the order requiring an
40-22 employee to provide health insurance coverage for a < the> child to
40-23 the employer < by certified mail, return receipt requested. The
40-24 order is binding on the employer on receipt>.
40-25 SECTION 4.05. Section 154.187, Family Code, as added by H.B.
40-26 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
40-27 amended by amending Subsections (a) and (c) and by adding
41-1 Subsection (g) to read as follows:
41-2 (a) An order to an employer directing that health insurance
41-3 coverage be provided to a child of an employee or member is binding
41-4 on the employer on receipt. If the employee or member is eligible
41-5 for dependent health coverage for the child, the < On receipt of an
41-6 order directing that health insurance coverage be extended to a
41-7 child of an employee, an> employer shall immediately enroll the
41-8 child in a health insurance plan < available to the employee. If
41-9 the employer is not able to immediately enroll the child, the
41-10 employer shall enroll the child at the next available enrollment
41-11 period as a dependent of the employee>. If dependent coverage is
41-12 not available to the employee or member through the employer's
41-13 health insurance plan or< ,> the employer < is responsible for
41-14 providing notice of this fact but> is not responsible or otherwise
41-15 liable for providing such coverage, the employer shall provide
41-16 notice to the sender in accordance with Subsection (c).
41-17 (c) An employer who has received an order under this
41-18 subchapter shall provide to the sender, by first class mail not
41-19 later than the 30th day after the date the employer receives the
41-20 order, a statement that the child:
41-21 (1) has been enrolled in a health insurance plan; or
41-22 (2) < will be enrolled in a health insurance plan at
41-23 the next available enrollment period and provide the expected date
41-24 of such enrollment; or>
41-25 < (3)> cannot be enrolled in a health insurance plan
41-26 and provide the reason why coverage cannot be provided.
41-27 (g) An employer who fails to enroll a child, fails to
42-1 withhold or remit premiums or cash medical support, or
42-2 discriminates in hiring or employment on the basis of a medical
42-3 support order shall be subject to the penalties and fines in
42-4 Subchapter C, Chapter 158.
42-5 SECTION 4.06. Section 154.192, Family Code, as added by H.B.
42-6 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
42-7 amended to read as follows:
42-8 Sec. 154.192. CANCELLATION OR ELIMINATION OF INSURANCE
42-9 COVERAGE FOR CHILD < HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION>. (a) Unless
42-10 the employee or member ceases to be eligible for dependent
42-11 coverage, or the employer has eliminated dependent health coverage
42-12 for all of the employer's employees or members, the employer may
42-13 not cancel or eliminate coverage of a child enrolled under this
42-14 subchapter until the employer is provided satisfactory written
42-15 evidence that:
42-16 (1) the court order or administrative order requiring
42-17 the coverage is no longer in effect; or
42-18 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
42-19 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
42-20 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
42-21 cancellation or elimination of the employer's coverage. < This
42-22 subchapter does not require a health maintenance organization to
42-23 provide coverage to a child who resides outside the geographic
42-24 service area.>
42-25 SECTION 4.07. Subsection (a), Section 158.206, Family Code,
42-26 as added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
42-27 Session, 1995, is amended to read as follows:
43-1 (a) An employer receiving an order or writ of withholding,
43-2 including an order directing that health insurance be provided to a
43-3 child, who complies with the order or writ is not liable to the
43-4 obligor for the amount of income withheld and paid as provided in
43-5 the order or writ.
43-6 ARTICLE 5. EFFECTIVE DATE AND TRANSITION PROVISIONS; EMERGENCY
43-7 SECTION 5.01. (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1995.
43-8 (b) Subchapter J, Chapter 3, Insurance Code, as added by
43-9 Section 4.01 of this Act, applies only to an insurance policy or
43-10 evidence of coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or
43-11 renewed on or after January 1, 1996. A policy or evidence of
43-12 coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed before
43-13 January 1, 1996, is governed by the law as it existed immediately
43-14 before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in
43-15 effect for that purpose.
43-16 (c) The Office of the Attorney General may exercise the
43-17 contracting authority granted in Section 231.0011, Family Code, as
43-18 added by Section 1.01 of this Act, to provide for a phased
43-19 implementation of the statewide integrated system for child support
43-20 and medical support enforcement, and shall implement the system to
43-21 the extent that locally generated funds and federal reimbursement
43-22 related to such funds are sufficient to pay for implementation.
43-23 (d) The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial
43-24 System may phase in the monthly report required by Section 71.035,
43-25 Government Code, as amended by Section 2.05 of this Act, to
43-26 correspond with the phased implementation of the statewide
43-27 integrated system for child support and medical support enforcement
44-1 described in Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by Section
44-2 1.01 of this Act. The Office of Court Administration shall
44-3 cooperate with the implementation work group established by this
44-4 Act to consolidate the new report with existing required reports in
44-5 order to minimize duplicate data entry and shall not require the
44-6 report under this Act until sufficient automation is in place to
44-7 prevent manual reporting by the responsible clerks.
44-8 (e) If before implementing any provision of this Act, the
44-9 attorney general, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas
44-10 Department of Human Services, or another affected agency determines
44-11 that a waiver or authorization from a federal agency is necessary
44-12 for implementation of that provision, the affected agency shall
44-13 promptly apply for a waiver, and the provision shall take effect
44-14 when necessary waivers have been granted. A copy of each waiver
44-15 request shall be provided to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
44-16 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
44-17 (f) For the purpose of implementing the statewide integrated
44-18 system established by Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by
44-19 Section 1.01 of this Act and Section 71.035, Government Code, as
44-20 amended by Section 2.05 of this Act, all funds received from the
44-21 federal government as reimbursement for expenses directly related
44-22 to the integrated system, including the federal match for locally
44-23 generated funds, shall be in excess of any amount appropriated to
44-24 the attorney general by other Acts of the 74th Legislature, and are
44-25 hereby appropriated to the attorney general for the fiscal years
44-26 ending August 31, 1996, and August 31, 1997.
44-27 SECTION 5.02. Not later than December 1, 1996, the attorney
45-1 general shall report to the legislature an estimate of the cost
45-2 savings to the state and effectiveness of the expansion of child
45-3 support enforcement services and of privatization efforts.
45-4 SECTION 5.03. (a) The Office of the Attorney General, in
45-5 conjunction with the Texas Department of Human Services, shall
45-6 develop and implement a plan to assign a representative to work
45-7 with department eligibility workers in department offices or
45-8 facilities that are located in the same geographic region as
45-9 offices or facilities of the attorney general. The plan shall:
45-10 (1) include a schedule for implementation; and
45-11 (2) provide that the Office of the Attorney General
45-12 may make a work assignment under this subsection only if the
45-13 anticipated increased collection of child support for public
45-14 assistance cases is greater than the cost of placing the
45-15 representative in a department office or facility.
45-16 (b) Not later than October 1, 1995, the attorney general
45-17 shall complete the plan required by this section and send notice of
45-18 filing the completed plan to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
45-19 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
45-20 (c) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Human
45-21 Services shall prepare the initial memorandum of understanding
45-22 required by Section 1.07 of this Act not later than December 1,
45-24 SECTION 5.04. The change in law made by Subchapter E,
45-25 Chapter 231, Family Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a
45-26 child support review for which notice is given on or after the
45-27 effective date of this Act. A child support review for which
46-1 notice is given before that date is governed by the law in effect
46-2 at the time notice was given, and the former law is continued in
46-3 effect for that purpose.
46-4 SECTION 5.05. (a) Section 3.01 of this Act expires
46-5 September 2, 1997.
46-6 (b) Subsection (b), Section 3.02, and Section 3.03 of this
46-7 Act expire January 1, 1997.
46-8 SECTION 5.06. The importance of this legislation and the
46-9 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
46-10 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
46-11 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
46-12 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.