1-1 By: Harris S.B. No. 793
1-2 (In the Senate - Filed February 27, 1995; February 28, 1995,
1-3 read first time and referred to Committee on Jurisprudence;
1-4 May 3, 1995, reported adversely, with favorable Committee
1-5 Substitute by the following vote: Yeas 6, Nays 0; May 3, 1995,
1-6 sent to printer.)
1-7 COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.B. No. 793 By: Harris
1-8 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-9 AN ACT
1-10 relating to the enforcement of certain child support and medical
1-11 support obligations; appropriating certain federal funds.
1-12 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-13 ARTICLE 1. POWERS AND DUTIES OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
1-14 SECTION 1.01. Subchapter A, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
1-15 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
1-16 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.0011 to read as
1-18 Sec. 231.0011. DEVELOPMENT OF STATEWIDE INTEGRATED SYSTEM
1-19 FOR CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The
1-20 attorney general, as the Title IV-D agency for the State of Texas
1-21 shall have final approval authority on any contract or proposal for
1-22 delivery of Title IV-D services under this section and in
1-23 coordination with the Texas Judicial Council, the Office of Court
1-24 Administration of the Texas Judicial System, the federal Office of
1-25 Child Support Enforcement, and state, county, and local officials,
1-26 shall develop and implement a statewide integrated system for child
1-27 support and medical support enforcement, employing federal, state,
1-28 local, and private resources to:
1-29 (1) unify child support registry functions;
1-30 (2) record and track all child support orders entered
1-31 in the state;
1-32 (3) establish an automated enforcement process which
1-33 will use delinquency monitoring, billing, and other enforcement
1-34 techniques to ensure the payment of current support;
1-35 (4) incorporate existing enforcement resources into
1-36 the system to obtain maximum benefit from state and federal
1-37 funding; and
1-38 (5) ensure accountability for all participants in the
1-39 process, including state, county, and local officials, private
1-40 contractors, and the judiciary.
1-41 (b) The attorney general shall convene a workgroup to
1-42 determine a process and develop a timetable for implementation of a
1-43 unified registry system and to identify any barriers to completion
1-44 of the project. The workgroup shall include representatives of the
1-45 judiciary, district clerks, and domestic relations offices, as well
1-46 as other interested agencies, organizations, and individuals. The
1-47 workgroup shall report the results of its deliberations to the
1-48 governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of
1-49 representatives, and attorney general on or before January 15,
1-51 (c) The attorney general shall, in cooperation with the
1-52 workgroup established by this section, develop technical standards
1-53 for participation in the unified child support system, including
1-54 standard required data elements for effective monitoring of child
1-55 support and medical support orders and for the imposition of
1-56 interest on delinquent child support.
1-57 (d) Counties and other providers of child support services
1-58 shall be required, as a condition of participation in the unified
1-59 system, to enter into a contract with the attorney general, to
1-60 comply with all federal requirements for the Title IV-D program,
1-61 and to maintain at least the current level of funding for
1-62 activities which are proposed to be included in the integrated
1-63 child support system.
1-64 (e) The attorney general shall identify federal
1-65 requirements, apply for necessary federal waivers, and provide
1-66 technical system requirements and other information concerning
1-67 participation in the system to counties and other providers of
1-68 child support services not later than January 15, 1996. Counties
2-1 shall notify the attorney general of existing resources and options
2-2 for participation not later than May 1, 1996.
2-3 (f) Not later than June 1, 1996, the attorney general shall
2-4 produce a procurement and implementation plan for hardware and
2-5 software necessary to implement in phases a unified statewide
2-6 registry and enforcement system.
2-7 (g) Effective January 15, 1996, the attorney general may
2-8 contract with any county meeting technical system requirements
2-9 necessary to comply with federal law for provision of Title IV-D
2-10 services in that county. All new cases in which support orders are
2-11 entered in such county after the effective date of a monitoring
2-12 contract shall be Title IV-D cases. Any other case in the county,
2-13 subject to federal requirements and the agreement of the county and
2-14 the attorney general, may be included as a Title IV-D case. Any
2-15 obligee under a support order may refuse Title IV-D enforcement
2-16 services unless required to accept such services pursuant to other
2-18 (h) Counties participating in the unified enforcement system
2-19 shall monitor all child support registry cases and on delinquency
2-20 may, subject to the approval of the Title IV-D agency, provide
2-21 enforcement services through:
2-22 (1) direct provision of services by county personnel;
2-23 (2) subcontracting all or portions of the services to
2-24 private entities or attorneys; or
2-25 (3) such other methods as may be approved by the Title
2-26 IV-D agency.
2-27 (i) The attorney general shall undertake a least-cost review
2-28 of its child support operations and shall use the information
2-29 developed in such review to determine what, if any, contribution of
2-30 program funds generated through other Title IV-D activities should
2-31 be made to the participating counties. The attorney general, in
2-32 cooperation with the counties and the federal Office of Child
2-33 Support Enforcement shall develop a cost allocation methodology to
2-34 assist the counties in identifying county contributions which may
2-35 qualify for federal financial participation.
2-36 (j) The attorney general may phase in the integrated child
2-37 support registry and enforcement system, and the requirement to
2-38 implement the system shall be contingent on the receipt of locally
2-39 generated funds and federal reimbursement. Locally generated funds
2-40 include but are not limited to funds contributed by counties and
2-42 (k) The attorney general shall adopt rules to implement this
2-44 (l) Participation in the statewide integrated system for
2-45 child support and medical support enforcement by a county is
2-46 voluntary, and nothing in this section shall be construed to
2-47 mandate participation.
2-48 SECTION 1.02. Subsections (b) and (d), Section 231.109,
2-49 Family Code, as added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th
2-50 Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, are amended to read as follows:
2-51 (b) The Title IV-D agency may contract with private
2-52 attorneys, other private entities, or political subdivisions of the
2-53 state to provide services in Title IV-D cases <
represent this state
2-54 or another state in an action brought under the authority of
2-55 federal law and this chapter>.
2-56 (d) An attorney employed to provide Title IV-D services < by
2-57 the Title IV-D agency or as otherwise provided by this chapter>
2-58 represents the interest of the state and not the interest of any
2-59 other party. The provision of services by an attorney under this
2-60 chapter does not create an attorney-client relationship between the
2-61 attorney and any other party. The agency shall, at the time an
2-62 application for child support services is made, inform the
2-63 applicant that neither the Title IV-D agency nor any attorney who
2-64 provides services under this chapter is the applicant's attorney
2-65 and that the attorney providing services under this chapter does
2-66 not provide legal representation to the applicant.
2-67 SECTION 1.03. Subchapter B, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
2-68 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
2-69 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.113 to read as
3-1 Sec. 231.113. ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS IN PUBLIC
3-2 ASSISTANCE CASES. To the extent possible, the Title IV-D agency
3-3 shall enforce a child support obligation in a case involving a
3-4 child who receives financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human
3-5 Resources Code, not later than the first anniversary of the date
3-6 the agency receives from the Texas Department of Human Services the
3-7 information the department is required to provide to assist in the
3-8 enforcement of that obligation.
3-9 SECTION 1.04. Section 231.202, Family Code, as added by H.B.
3-10 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
3-11 amended to read as follows:
3-12 Sec. 231.202. AUTHORIZED COSTS AND FEES IN TITLE IV-D CASES.
3-13 In a Title IV-D case filed under this title, the Title IV-D agency
3-14 shall pay:
3-15 (1) filing fees and fees for issuance and service of
3-16 process as provided by Chapter 110 of this code and by Sections
3-17 51.317, 51.318(b)(2), and 51.319(4), Government Code;
3-18 (2) fees for transfer as provided by Chapter 110;
3-19 (3) fees for the issuance and delivery of orders and
3-20 writs of income withholding in the amounts provided by Chapter 110;
3-22 (4) a fee of $45 for each item of process to each
3-23 individual on whom service is required, including service by
3-24 certified or registered mail, to be paid to a sheriff, constable,
3-25 or clerk whenever service of process is required< ; and>
3-26 < (5) mileage costs incurred by a sheriff or constable
3-27 when traveling out of the county to execute an outstanding warrant
3-28 or capias, to be reimbursed at a rate not to exceed the rate
3-29 provided for mileage incurred by state employees in the General
3-30 Appropriations Act>.
3-31 SECTION 1.05. Section 231.209, Family Code, as added by H.B.
3-32 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
3-33 amended to read as follows:
3-34 Sec. 231.209. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES NOT AFFECTED BY THIS
3-35 SUBCHAPTER. Without regard to this subchapter and specifically
3-36 Section 231.205, the Title IV-D agency may pay the costs for:
3-37 (1) the services of an official court reporter for the
3-38 preparation of statements of facts;
3-39 (2) < and> the costs for the publication of citation
3-40 served by publication; and
3-41 (3) mileage or other reasonable travel costs incurred
3-42 by a sheriff or constable when traveling out of the county to
3-43 execute an outstanding warrant or capias, to be reimbursed at a
3-44 rate not to exceed the rate provided for mileage or other costs
3-45 incurred by state employees in the General Appropriations Act.
3-46 SECTION 1.06. Section 231.304, Family Code, as added by H.B.
3-47 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
3-48 amended by amending Subsections (b) and (h) and by adding
3-49 Subsections (j), (k), (l), and (m) to read as follows:
3-50 (b) The Title IV-D agency, the Texas Department of Human
3-51 Services, the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, and the Texas
3-52 Employment Commission shall create and develop a voluntary ENHR
3-53 program to provide a means for employers to assist in the state's
3-54 efforts to prevent fraud in the welfare, workers' compensation, and
3-55 unemployment insurance programs, locate absent parents who owe
3-56 child support, and collect support from those parents by reporting
3-57 information concerning newly hired and rehired employees directly
3-58 to a centralized state database < the child support enforcement
3-59 program>. In order to encourage use of the ENHR program, employer
3-60 reporting requirements shall be simplified and standardized.
3-61 (h) Subject to approval of the agencies involved and any
3-62 requirements of federal law, the centralized database shall make
3-63 the information on < For> each employee reported under the ENHR
3-64 program available for:
3-65 (1) purposes directly connected with the
3-66 administration of a plan or program for unemployment benefits,
3-67 workers' compensation benefits, child support, or public
3-69 (2) an investigation or a civil or criminal
3-70 prosecution relating to the administration of such plan or program;
4-2 (3) the administration of any other federal or
4-3 federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in
4-4 kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need< ,
4-5 the Title IV-D agency shall retain the information only if the
4-6 agency is responsible for establishing, enforcing, or collecting a
4-7 support obligation or debt of the employee or reporting to a court,
4-8 domestic relations office, or a friend of the court the location of
4-9 a parent who is denying possession of or access to a person with a
4-10 valid possession order. If the agency does not have any of those
4-11 responsibilities, the agency may not create a record regarding the
4-12 employee and the information contained in the notice shall be
4-13 promptly destroyed>.
4-14 (j) An employer participating in the ENHR program is
4-15 strongly encouraged to report information about health insurance
4-16 coverage available through the employer in which a dependent child
4-17 may be enrolled under Subchapter D, Chapter 154.
4-18 (k) To expand the ENHR program, the Title IV-D agency shall
4-19 work closely with the Texas Employment Commission, the Texas
4-20 Workers' Compensation Commission, the comptroller, the Texas
4-21 Department of Commerce, the secretary of state, and employer
4-22 groups. Efforts to expand the program shall include:
4-23 (1) regularly sending to employers solicitations for
4-24 participation in the program and promotional information about the
4-25 program that includes information on:
4-26 (A) the program's impact on child support and
4-27 medical support enforcement;
4-28 (B) savings in public assistance payments
4-29 attributable to the program;
4-30 (C) benefits to employers and taxpayers of the
4-31 fraud prevention aspects of the program;
4-32 (D) participation requirements; and
4-33 (E) awards available for business participation;
4-35 (2) developing a public awareness program that:
4-36 (A) stresses the importance of securing
4-37 financial support for all children; and
4-38 (B) informs the public about the ENHR program.
4-39 (l) The affected agencies may pool resources, develop a cost
4-40 allocation plan, determine the most cost-effective means of
4-41 establishing and funding the required database, and issue rules,
4-42 solicit bids, or enter into contracts to carry out the purposes of
4-43 this section.
4-44 (m) The affected agencies shall implement the plan to create
4-45 the ENHR database, if cost-effective, using existing funding and
4-46 considering savings and revenue gains that may result from the use
4-47 of such system.
4-48 SECTION 1.07. Subchapter D, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
4-49 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
4-50 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.305 to read as
4-52 Sec. 231.305. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON CHILD SUPPORT
4-53 FOR CHILDREN RECEIVING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. (a) The Title IV-D
4-54 agency and the Texas Department of Human Services by rule shall
4-55 adopt a memorandum of understanding governing the establishment and
4-56 enforcement of court-ordered child support in cases involving
4-57 children who receive financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human
4-58 Resources Code. The memorandum shall require the agency and the
4-59 department to:
4-60 (1) develop procedures to ensure that the information
4-61 the department is required to collect to establish and enforce
4-62 child support:
4-63 (A) is collected from the person applying to
4-64 receive the financial assistance at the time the application is
4-66 (B) is accurate and complete when the department
4-67 forwards the information to the agency; and
4-68 (C) is not information previously reported to
4-69 the agency;
4-70 (2) develop procedures to ensure that the agency does
5-1 not duplicate the efforts of the department in gathering necessary
5-3 (3) clarify each agency's responsibilities in the
5-4 establishment and enforcement of child support; and
5-5 (4) develop guidelines for use by eligibility workers
5-6 and child support enforcement officers in obtaining from an
5-7 applicant the information required to establish and enforce child
5-8 support for that child.
5-9 (b) The Title IV-D agency and the Texas Department of Human
5-10 Services semiannually shall review and renew or modify the
5-11 memorandum as necessary.
5-12 ARTICLE 2. ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL
5-13 SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
5-14 SECTION 2.01. Section 101.005, Family Code, as added by H.B.
5-15 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
5-16 amended to read as follows:
5-17 Sec. 101.005. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW OFFICER. "Child support
5-18 review officer" means an individual designated and trained by a
5-19 child support agency to conduct reviews under this title < who has
5-20 received family law mediation training>.
5-21 SECTION 2.02. Section 102.007, Family Code, as added by H.B.
5-22 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
5-23 amended to read as follows:
5-24 Sec. 102.007. STANDING OF TITLE IV-D AGENCY. In providing
5-25 services authorized by Chapter 231, the Title IV-D agency or a
5-26 political subdivision contracting with the attorney general to
5-27 provide Title IV-D services under this title may file a child
5-28 support action authorized under this title, including a suit for
5-29 modification or a motion for enforcement.
5-30 SECTION 2.03. Subchapter D, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
5-31 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
5-32 Session, 1995, is amended by adding Section 231.306 to read as
5-34 Sec. 231.306. MAXIMIZING MEDICAL SUPPORT ESTABLISHMENT AND
5-35 COLLECTION BY THE TITLE IV-D AGENCY. (a) On the installation of
5-36 an automated child support enforcement system, the Title IV-D
5-37 agency is strongly encouraged to:
5-38 (1) maximize the collection of medical support; and
5-39 (2) establish cash medical support orders for children
5-40 eligible for medical assistance under the state Medicaid program
5-41 for whom private insurance coverage is not available.
5-42 (b) In this section, "medical support" has the meaning
5-43 assigned by Section 101.020.
5-44 SECTION 2.04. Subchapter E, Chapter 231, Family Code, as
5-45 added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
5-46 Session, 1995, is amended to read as follows:
5-47 SUBCHAPTER E. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS TO ESTABLISH OR
5-48 ENFORCE SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
5-49 Sec. 231.401. Purpose. The purpose of the child support
5-50 review process authorized by this subchapter is to provide child
5-51 support agencies an opportunity to resolve routine child support
5-52 actions through < negotiation,> agreement of the parties< ,> or
5-53 uncontested orders.
5-54 Sec. 231.402. AGREEMENTS ENCOURAGED. To the extent
5-55 permitted by this subchapter, child support agencies shall make the
5-56 child support review process understandable to all parties and
5-57 shall encourage agreements < through mediation>.
5-58 Sec. 231.403. Bilingual Forms Required. A notice or other
5-59 form used to implement the child support review process shall be
5-60 printed in both Spanish and English.
5-61 Sec. 231.404. INTERPRETER REQUIRED. If a party
5-62 participating in a negotiation conference does not speak English or
5-63 is hearing impaired, the child support agency shall provide for
5-64 interpreter services at no charge to the parties.
5-65 Sec. 231.405. Initiating Child Support Review. < (a) A
5-66 child support agency may review and assess the financial resources
5-67 of a child's parent or of a person presumed or alleged to be the
5-68 child's father from whom child support is requested to determine
5-69 the resources that are available for the support of the child and
5-70 to determine what action is appropriate.>
6-1 < (b)> An administrative action under this subchapter may be
6-2 initiated by issuing a notice of child support review to each party
6-3 entitled to notice < the parents and to the presumed or alleged
6-4 father of a child>.
6-5 Sec. 231.406. CONTENTS OF NOTICE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW.
6-6 (a) The notice of child support review must:
6-7 (1) describe the procedure for a child support review;
6-8 (2) inform the recipient that the recipient < is not
6-9 required to participate in the child support review and> may be
6-10 represented by legal counsel during the review process or at a
6-11 court hearing;
6-12 (3) inform the recipient that the recipient may refuse
6-13 to participate or cease participation in the child support review
6-14 process, but that the refusal by the recipient to participate will
6-15 not prevent the completion of the process or the filing of a child
6-16 support review order < during any stage of the review but that the
6-17 review will continue to completion and that afterward the recipient
6-18 may request a court hearing>;
6-19 (4) include an affidavit of financial resources; and
6-20 (5) include a request that the recipient designate, on
6-21 a form provided by the child support agency, an address for mailing
6-22 any additional notice to the recipient.
6-23 (b) In addition to the information required by Subsection
6-24 (a), the notice of child support review must inform the recipient
6-26 (1) the information requested on the form must be
6-27 returned to the child support agency not later than the 15th day
6-28 after the date the notice is received or delivered; and
6-29 (2) if the requested information is not returned as
6-30 required, the child support agency:
6-31 (A) may proceed with the review using the
6-32 information that is available to the agency; and
6-33 (B) may file a legal action without further
6-34 notice to the recipient, except as otherwise required by law.
6-35 Sec. 231.407. Notice by Mail. (a) A notice required in an
6-36 administrative action under this subchapter must be delivered or
6-37 served by first class mail or certified mail on each party entitled
6-38 to citation or notice as provided by Chapter 102.
6-39 (b) < If notice is served by mail, three days must be added
6-40 to the time in which the person is required to respond.>
6-41 < (c)> This section does not apply to notice required on
6-42 filing of a child support review order or to later judicial
6-44 Sec. 231.408. Administrative Subpoena in Child Support
6-45 Review. (a) In a child support review under this subchapter, a
6-46 child support agency may issue an administrative subpoena to < a
6-47 parent, a person presumed or alleged to be the father of a child
6-48 for whom support is requested, or> any individual or organization
6-49 believed to have information on the financial resources of the
6-50 parent or presumed or alleged father.
6-51 (b) A court may compel compliance with an administrative
6-52 subpoena and award attorney's fees and costs to a child support
6-53 agency enforcing an administrative subpoena on proof that an
6-54 individual or organization failed to comply with the subpoena
6-55 without good cause.
6-56 Sec. 231.409. SCHEDULING AND CONDUCTING NEGOTIATION
6-57 CONFERENCE. (a) The child support agency may schedule a
6-58 negotiation conference without a request from a party.
6-59 (b) The child support agency shall schedule a negotiation
6-60 conference on the timely request of a party < person who completes
6-61 and returns an affidavit of financial resources>.
6-62 (c) A negotiation conference, or any part of a negotiation
6-63 conference, may be conducted by telephone conference call, by video
6-64 conference, or in person. The negotiation conference may be
6-65 adjourned for a reasonable time to permit mediation of issues that
6-66 cannot be resolved by the parties and the child support agency.
6-67 Sec. 231.410. TIME FOR NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
6-68 REQUIRED. < (a) A child support review or negotiation conference
6-69 under this subchapter shall be conducted not later than the 45th
6-70 day after the date all notices of child support review have been
7-1 sent to the parties to the action.>
7-2 < (b)> All parties entitled to notice of the negotiation
7-3 conference shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the
7-4 negotiation conference not later than the 10th day before the date
7-5 of the negotiation conference.
7-6 Sec. 231.411. RESCHEDULING NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
7-7 REQUIRED. A negotiation conference may be rescheduled or adjourned
7-8 on the request of any party at the discretion of the child support
7-9 review officer. All parties must be given notice of the
7-10 rescheduling not later than the third day before the date of the
7-11 rescheduled negotiation conference.
7-12 Sec. 231.412. INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED AT
7-13 NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE. At the beginning of the negotiation
7-14 conference, the child support review officer shall review with the
7-15 < inform all> parties participating in the conference information
7-16 provided in the notice of child support review and inform the
7-17 parties < in attendance> that:
7-18 (1) the purpose of the negotiation conference is to
7-19 provide an opportunity < attempt> to reach an agreement on a
7-20 < regarding> child support order < payments>;
7-21 (2) < a party does not have to participate in the
7-22 negotiation conference and may request a court hearing;>
7-23 < (3) a party may be represented by an attorney chosen
7-24 by the party;>
7-25 < (4) the parties may stop participating in the
7-26 negotiation conference at any time but that the child support
7-27 review will continue until completed, and, if a child support
7-28 review order is issued, a party may request a court hearing;>
7-29 < (5)> if the parties reach an agreement, the review
7-30 officer will prepare an agreed review order < for the parties'
7-32 (3) < (6)> a party does not have to sign a review order
7-33 prepared by the child support review officer; and
7-34 (4) < (7) even though> a party < signs an agreed review
7-35 order, the party> may request a court hearing at any time before
7-36 the 20th day after the date a petition for confirmation of the
7-37 order is filed < child support review order is confirmed by a
7-39 Sec. 231.413. DETERMINING SUPPORT AMOUNT; MODIFICATION.
7-40 (a) A child support agency may use any information obtained by the
7-41 agency from the parties or any other source and shall apply the
7-42 child support guidelines provided by this code to determine the
7-43 appropriate amount of child support.
7-44 (b) If the child support agency determines that the support
7-45 amount in an existing child support order is not in substantial
7-46 compliance with the guidelines, the child support agency shall
7-47 issue an appropriate child support review order, including a review
7-48 order that has the effect of modifying an existing order for child
7-49 support without the necessity of filing a motion to modify.
7-50 Sec. 231.414. Record Not Required. (a) For the purposes of
7-51 this subchapter, documentary evidence relied on by the child
7-52 support review officer, including an < a written> affidavit of a
7-53 party, together with< , the written findings, and> the child support
7-54 review order is < from a negotiation conference are> a sufficient
7-55 record of the proceedings.
7-56 (b) A child support agency is not required to make any other
7-57 record or transcript of the negotiation conference.
7-58 Sec. 231.415. ISSUANCE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER OR
7-59 FINDING THAT NO ORDER SHOULD BE ISSUED; EFFECT. (a) If the
7-60 negotiation conference does not result in agreement by all parties
7-61 to the < an agreed> child support review order, the review officer
7-62 shall promptly issue and sign a final decision in the form of a
7-63 child support review order< ,> or a determination that a child
7-64 support review order should not be issued, not later than the fifth
7-65 day after the date of the negotiation conference.
7-66 (b) If < On the day that a child support review order is
7-67 issued or> a determination is made that a child support order will
7-68 not be issued, each party to a child support review proceeding
7-69 shall be furnished immediately by hand delivery or by mail notice
7-70 of < a copy of the order or> the determination.
8-1 (c) A determination that a child support order should not be
8-2 issued must include a statement of the reasons that an order is not
8-3 being issued and does not affect the right of the agency or a party
8-4 to request any other remedy provided by law.
8-5 Sec. 231.416. VACATING CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. (a) The
8-6 review officer may vacate a child support review order on the
8-7 officer's own motion at any time before the order is filed with the
8-9 (b) A new negotiation conference, with notice to all
8-10 parties, may < shall> be scheduled or the officer may make a
8-11 determination that a child support review order should not be
8-12 issued and give notice of that determination as provided by this
8-13 subchapter < to take place not later than the 10th day after the
8-14 date the child support review order was vacated>.
8-15 Sec. 231.417. CONTENTS OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER.
8-16 (a) An agreed child support review order must contain all
8-17 provisions that are appropriate for an order under this title.
8-18 (b) A child support review order that is not agreed to must
8-19 include child support and medical support provisions, including a
8-20 determination of arrearages or retroactive support.
8-21 (c) A child support review order providing for the
8-22 enforcement of an order may not contain a provision that imposes
8-23 incarceration or a fine or contains a finding of contempt.
8-24 (d) A child support review order that establishes or
8-25 modifies an amount of previously ordered support must include the
8-26 findings required by Section 154.130.
8-27 (e) A child support review order that is not agreed to by
8-28 all the parties may specify and reserve for the court at the
8-29 confirmation hearing unresolved issues relating to conservatorship
8-30 or possession of a child.
8-31 Sec. 231.418. ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF AGREED CHILD SUPPORT
8-32 REVIEW ORDER. If a negotiation conference results in an agreement
8-33 < by all parties>, the < a> child support review order must be signed
8-34 by each party who agrees to the order, must contain the provisions
8-35 required by Section 231.417, < all parties to the action> and, as to
8-36 each party in agreement with the order, must contain:
8-37 (1) a waiver by the < each> party of the right to
8-38 service < and> of process and < the right to> a court hearing and the
8-39 making of a record on the petition for confirmation;
8-40 (2) the mailing address of the < each> party; and
8-41 (3) the following statement printed on the order in
8-42 boldface or in all capital letters:
8-43 "I KNOW THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN THIS < AGREED> CHILD
8-44 SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. I KNOW THAT I HAVE A RIGHT TO BE PERSONALLY
8-45 SERVED WITH THE PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION OF THIS ORDER < HAVE A
8-46 COURT HEAR EVIDENCE AND MAKE A DECISION IN THIS MATTER>. I KNOW
8-47 THAT I HAVE A RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND AND WITHDRAW MY AGREEMENT TO
8-48 THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER AND REQUEST THAT A COURT DECIDE THIS MATTER
8-49 BY FILING A REQUEST FOR COURT HEARING AT ANY TIME BEFORE THE 20TH
8-50 DAY AFTER THE DATE THE PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION OF THE ORDER IS
8-51 FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT. I KNOW THAT IF I FAIL TO FILE A
8-52 REQUEST FOR A COURT HEARING A COURT MAY CONFIRM AND APPROVE THIS
8-53 ORDER WITHOUT A HEARING, AND THE ORDER WILL BECOME A VALID COURT
8-54 ORDER. I KNOW THAT IF I DO NOT OBEY THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER I MAY
8-55 BE HELD IN CONTEMPT OF COURT."
8-56 Sec. 231.419. FILING OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION. (a) The
8-57 child support agency shall file a petition for confirmation with
8-58 the clerk of the court having continuing jurisdiction of the child
8-59 who is the subject of the order.
8-60 (b) If there is not a court of continuing jurisdiction, the
8-61 child support agency shall file the petition for confirmation with
8-62 the clerk of a court having jurisdiction under this title.
8-63 Sec. 231.420. CONTENTS OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION;
8-64 DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE TO BE FILED WITH PETITION. (a) A petition
8-65 for confirmation shall < must> include the final child support
8-66 review order as an attachment to the petition.
8-67 (b) Documentary evidence relied on by the child support
8-68 agency, including, if applicable, a < verified written report of a
8-69 paternity testing expert concerning the results of paternity
8-70 testing conducted in the case or a> statement of paternity or a
9-1 written report of a parentage testing expert, shall be filed with
9-2 the clerk as exhibits to the petition, but are not required to be
9-3 served on the parties. The petition must identify the exhibits
9-4 that are filed with the clerk.
9-5 Sec. 231.421. DUTIES OF CLERK OF COURT. (a) On the filing
9-6 of a petition for confirmation, the clerk of court shall endorse on
9-7 the petition the date and time that the petition is filed < and sign
9-8 the endorsement>.
9-9 (b) If the petition is for an original action, the clerk
9-10 shall endorse the appropriate court and cause number on the
9-12 (c) If the petition is to confirm an agreed child support
9-13 review order under this subchapter, the child support agency
9-14 < clerk> shall mail to each party that agreed to the order, at the
9-15 address shown on the order, a copy of the petition with < and
9-16 written notice of the filing of the petition that states> the
9-17 court, filing date, and cause number of the case. The clerk shall
9-18 note on the docket that the notice was mailed. The child support
9-19 agency shall file a certificate of service showing the date of the
9-20 mailing to each party.
9-21 (d) The < If the petition is to confirm an order other than
9-22 an agreed order, the> clerk shall issue service of citation,
9-23 including a copy of the petition and the child support review
9-24 order, to each party entitled to service who has not waived
9-26 (e) A clerk of a district court is entitled to collect in a
9-27 child support review case the fees authorized in a Title IV-D case
9-28 by this chapter < a fee for:>
9-29 < (1) the filing of a petition under this section as
9-30 provided by Section 51.317(b)(1), Government Code;>
9-31 < (2) the issuance of notice or process as provided by
9-32 Section 51.317(b)(4), Government Code; and>
9-33 < (3) service of notice or citation as provided by
9-34 Section 51.319(4), Government Code, or as otherwise provided by
9-36 Sec. 231.422. FORM TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING. (a) A court
9-37 shall consider any responsive pleading that is intended as an
9-38 objection to confirmation of a child support review order,
9-39 including a general denial, as a request for a court hearing.
9-40 (b) The < A> child support agency shall:
9-41 (1) < attach a copy of a form to request a court
9-42 hearing to each party's copy of the petition for confirmation of a
9-43 child support review order;>
9-44 < (2)> make available to each clerk of court copies of
9-45 the form to request a court hearing; and
9-46 (2) < (3)> provide the form to request a court hearing
9-47 to a party to the child support review proceeding on request.
9-48 (c) The clerk shall furnish the form to a party to a
9-49 proceeding under this subchapter on the request of the party.
9-50 Sec. 231.423. TIME TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING< ; HEARING SUA
9-51 SPONTE>. < (a)> A party may file a request for a court hearing not
9-52 later than the 20th day after the date the petition for
9-53 confirmation of a child support review order is served or mailed as
9-54 provided by this subchapter < an agreed administrative order is
9-55 filed or not later than the Monday following the 20th day after the
9-56 date the party received service of citation in a case involving the
9-57 confirmation of any other type of order>.
9-58 < (b) If the court finds that confirmation of a child support
9-59 review order without a hearing would not be in the best interests
9-60 of a child who is the subject of the order, the court may schedule
9-61 a hearing. The order setting the hearing on the confirmation of
9-62 the order shall state the court's specific reasons for conducting
9-63 the hearing.>
9-64 Sec. 231.424. CONFIRMATION WITHOUT HEARING. Not later than
9-65 the 30th day after the date a petition for confirmation that
9-66 includes waivers by all parties is filed or after the date of
9-67 service is made on the last party required to be served for a
9-68 petition for confirmation that does not include waivers, whichever
9-69 is later, the court shall confirm the child support review order by
9-70 signing an order of confirmation unless a party has filed a timely
10-1 request for hearing or the court has scheduled a hearing.
10-2 Sec. 231.425. EFFECT OF REQUEST FOR HEARING; PLEADING.
10-3 (a) A request for hearing or an order setting a hearing on
10-4 confirmation stays confirmation of the order pending the hearing.
10-5 (b) At a hearing on confirmation, all issues in the child
10-6 support review order shall be heard in a trial de novo.
10-7 (c) The petition for confirmation and the child support
10-8 review order constitute a sufficient pleading by the child support
10-9 agency for relief on any issue addressed in the petition and order.
10-10 (d) The request for hearing may limit the scope of the de
10-11 novo hearing by specifying the issues that are in dispute.
10-12 Sec. 231.426. TIME FOR COURT HEARING. A court shall hold a
10-13 hearing on the confirmation of a child support review order not
10-14 later than the 30th day after the date the < court determines that a
10-15 hearing should be held or the> last party to be served files a
10-16 timely request for a court hearing.
10-17 Sec. 231.427. ORDER AFTER HEARING; EFFECT OF CONFIRMATION
10-18 ORDER. (a) After the hearing on the confirmation of a child
10-19 support review order, the court shall:
10-20 (1) if the court finds that the order should be
10-21 confirmed, immediately sign a confirmation order and enter the
10-22 order as an order of the court;
10-23 (2) if the court finds that the relief granted in the
10-24 child support review order is inappropriate, sign an appropriate
10-25 order at the conclusion of the hearing or as soon after the
10-26 conclusion of the hearing as is practical and enter the order as an
10-27 order of the court; or
10-28 (3) if the court finds that all relief should be
10-29 denied, enter an order that denies relief and includes specific
10-30 findings explaining the reasons that relief is denied.
10-31 (b) On the signing of a confirmation order by the judge of
10-32 the court, the child support review order becomes a final order
10-33 < judgment> of the court.
10-34 Sec. 231.428. SPECIAL CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCEDURES
10-35 RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENTAGE < PATERNITY>. (a) If the
10-36 parentage < paternity> of a child has not been established < by court
10-37 order>, the notice of child support review served on the parties
10-38 must include an allegation that the recipient < alleged father> is a
10-39 < the> biological parent < father> of the child. The notice shall
10-40 inform the parties that the alleged father of the child may sign a
10-41 statement of paternity and that any party may request that
10-42 scientifically accepted parentage < paternity> testing be conducted
10-43 to assist in determining the identities of < whether the alleged
10-44 father is> the child's parents < father>.
10-45 (b) A negotiation conference shall be conducted to resolve
10-46 any issues of support in an action in which all parties agree as to
10-47 < that the alleged father is> the child's parentage < biological
10-49 (c) If a party denies parentage < that the alleged father is
10-50 the child's biological father or, in the case of a presumed father,
10-51 if either party files a verified denial of paternity>, the child
10-52 support agency may schedule parentage < paternity> testing. If
10-53 either party fails or refuses to participate in administrative
10-54 parentage testing, the child support agency may file a child
10-55 support review order with a request for court-ordered parentage
10-56 testing. The court shall follow the procedures and may impose the
10-57 sanctions provided by this code to obtain compliance with the
10-58 parentage testing order. The court shall confirm the child support
10-59 review order as a temporary or final order of the court only after
10-60 an opportunity for parentage testing has been provided.
10-61 (d) If parentage < paternity> testing does not exclude the
10-62 alleged parent and < father from being the child's father and a
10-63 party continues to deny that the alleged father is the child's
10-64 biological father, the child support agency may schedule a
10-65 negotiation conference as provided by this subchapter. If> the
10-66 results of a verified written report of a parentage < paternity>
10-67 testing expert meet the requirements of Chapter 160 for issuing a
10-68 temporary order, the child support agency may issue a child support
10-69 review order.
10-70 (e) If the results of parentage < paternity> testing exclude
11-1 an < the> alleged parent < or presumed father> from being the
11-2 biological parent < father> of the child, the child support agency
11-3 shall issue a child support review order that declares that the
11-4 excluded person < alleged or presumed father> is not a parent < the
11-5 father> of the child.
11-6 (f) Any party may file a petition for confirmation of a
11-7 child support review order issued under this section.
11-8 Sec. 231.429. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE LAW NOT APPLICABLE.
11-9 The child support review process under this chapter is not governed
11-10 by the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code.
11-11 Sec. 231.430. EXPIRATION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
11-12 expires September 1, 1997.
11-13 Sec. 231.431. STUDY OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS. The
11-14 attorney general as the Title IV-D agency shall conduct a study to
11-15 determine and compare the cost of child support enforcement through
11-16 use of the child support review process authorized by this
11-17 subchapter and the cost of child support enforcement by the
11-18 attorney general through use of other enforcement mechanisms
11-19 available under this chapter. The attorney general shall report
11-20 the results of this study to the governor and the legislature not
11-21 later than September 1, 1996, and shall include in the report
11-22 recommendations regarding statutory amendments for improving
11-23 judicial and administrative processes for child support
11-24 enforcement. This section expires September 2, 1996.
11-25 SECTION 2.05. Subsection (a), Section 71.035, Government
11-26 Code, is amended to read as follows:
11-27 (a) The council shall gather judicial statistics and other
11-28 pertinent information from the several state judges and other court
11-29 officials of this state. In addition, the council shall implement
11-30 a monthly tracking system to ensure accountability for counties and
11-31 courts which participate in the statewide integrated system for
11-32 child support and medical support enforcement established under
11-33 Section 231.0011, Family Code. As a duty of office, the district
11-34 clerks and county clerks serving the affected courts shall report
11-35 monthly such information as may be required by the council,
11-36 including, at a minimum, the time required to enforce cases from
11-37 date of delinquency, from date of filing, and from date of service
11-38 until date of disposition. Such information as is necessary to
11-39 complete the report and not directly within the control of the
11-40 district or county clerk, such as date of delinquency, shall be
11-41 provided to the clerk by the child support registry or by the
11-42 enforcement agency providing Title IV-D enforcement services in the
11-43 court. The monthly report shall be transmitted to the Office of
11-44 Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System no later than the
11-45 20th day of the month following the month reported, in such form as
11-46 may be prescribed by the Office of Court Administration, which may
11-47 include electronic data transfer. Copies of such reports shall be
11-48 maintained in the office of the appropriate district or county
11-49 clerk for a period of at least two years and shall be available to
11-50 the public for inspection and reproduction.
11-51 ARTICLE 3. INTERAGENCY COOPERATION AND STUDIES
11-52 SECTION 3.01. MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STATEWIDE
11-53 INTEGRATED SYSTEM FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The attorney
11-54 general shall establish a work group to monitor the progress toward
11-55 implementation of the statewide integrated system for child support
11-56 and medical support enforcement established by Section 1.01 of this
11-57 Act and determine the effect of that effort as it relates to:
11-58 (1) maximizing federal assistance for county-based
11-59 child support collection efforts; and
11-60 (2) replacing the existing state child support
11-61 enforcement application system with an automatic enforcement system
11-62 that does not require an applicant to file a complaint.
11-63 (b) The work group established by this section shall report
11-64 its findings and recommendations to the attorney general and shall
11-65 notify the governor, the comptroller, and the legislature of the
11-66 filing of the report not later than September 1, 1996, and annually
11-68 SECTION 3.02. AGREEMENT FOR CASH INCENTIVES FOR MEDICAL
11-69 ASSISTANCE. (a) The attorney general as the Title IV-D agency and
11-70 the Texas Department of Health shall negotiate an agreement
12-1 regarding the payment by the department of a cash incentive to the
12-2 agency for each child eligible for medical assistance under the
12-3 state Medicaid program that the agency causes to be enrolled in a
12-4 private health insurance plan and for payment of a portion of the
12-5 state share of costs recovered or saved as a result of the efforts
12-6 of the agency.
12-7 (b) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Health
12-8 shall report to the legislature the results of negotiations
12-9 conducted under this section not later than October 1, 1996.
12-10 SECTION 3.03. STUDY ON MEDICAL SUPPORT. (a) The attorney
12-11 general, the state Medicaid administrator, and the commissioner of
12-12 insurance shall initiate a study regarding establishment of a
12-13 health insurance purchasing alliance to purchase insurance coverage
12-14 for children for whom a child support obligation is established or
12-15 enforced under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security
12-16 Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.).
12-17 (b) Not later than October 1, 1996, the attorney general,
12-18 the state Medicaid administrator, and the commissioner of insurance
12-19 shall prepare and file a report summarizing the results of the
12-20 study required by this section and shall give notice of filing the
12-21 report to the:
12-22 (1) governor;
12-23 (2) lieutenant governor;
12-24 (3) speaker of the house of representatives;
12-25 (4) attorney general; and
12-26 (5) commissioner of health and human services.
12-27 SECTION 3.04. USE OF PRIVATE ENTITIES TO ASSIST IN CHILD
12-28 SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The Office of the Attorney General is
12-29 strongly encouraged to expand the cost-effective use of private
12-30 contractors to perform Title IV-D program functions.
12-31 (b) The Office of the Attorney General shall, not later than
12-32 July 1, 1996, perform a cost analysis such as that used by the
12-33 State Council on Competitive Government, for a standardized
12-34 comparison of similar activities performed by private firms and the
12-35 Office of the Attorney General. If the costs of the Office of the
12-36 Attorney General for identified activities of the Title IV-D agency
12-37 are higher than a private contractor's costs and the contractor
12-38 could deliver services as effectively as the Title IV-D agency, the
12-39 agency may consider the contractor to perform the activities. This
12-40 section does not limit the authority of the Title IV-D agency to
12-41 contract for services.
12-42 (c) The attorney general shall coordinate with the State
12-43 Council on Competitive Government and may employ private
12-44 consultants to develop the methodology and evaluate the activities
12-45 being considered for privatization.
12-46 (d) The attorney general shall report the results of the
12-47 efforts made under this section and notify the governor, the
12-48 comptroller, and the legislature of the filing of the report not
12-49 later than December 1, 1996.
12-50 ARTICLE 4. HEALTH INSURANCE
12-51 SECTION 4.01. Chapter 3, Insurance Code, is amended by
12-52 adding Subchapter J to read as follows:
12-53 SUBCHAPTER J. MEDICAL CHILD SUPPORT
12-54 Art. 3.96-1. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
12-55 (1) "Child" has the meaning assigned by Section
12-56 101.003(a) and (b), Family Code.
12-57 (2) "Child support agency" has the meaning assigned by
12-58 Section 101.004, Family Code.
12-59 (3) "Custodial parent" means:
12-60 (A) a managing conservator of a child or a
12-61 possessory conservator of a child who is a parent of the child; or
12-62 (B) a guardian of the person of a child, or
12-63 another custodian of a child if the guardian or custodian is
12-64 designated by a court or administrative agency of this or another
12-66 (4) "Health insurer" means any insurance company,
12-67 group hospital service corporation, or health maintenance
12-68 organization that delivers or issues for delivery an individual,
12-69 group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy or insurance
12-70 agreement, a group hospital service contract, or an evidence of
13-1 coverage that provides benefits for medical or surgical expenses
13-2 incurred as a result of an accident or sickness.
13-3 (5) "Insurer" means:
13-4 (A) a health insurer;
13-5 (B) a governmental entity subject to:
13-6 (i) Article 3.51-1, 3.51-2, 3.51-4,
13-7 3.51-5, or 3.51-5A of this code; or
13-8 (ii) Section 1, Chapter 123, Acts of the
13-9 60th Legislature, Regular Session, 1967 (Article 3.51-3, Vernon's
13-10 Texas Insurance Code);
13-11 (C) a multiple employer welfare arrangement, as
13-12 that term is defined by Article 3.95-1 of this code; or
13-13 (D) a group health plan, as defined by Section
13-14 607(1), Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C.
13-15 Section 1167).
13-16 (6) "Medical assistance" means medical assistance
13-17 under the state Medicaid program.
13-18 Art. 3.96-2. DENIAL OF ENROLLMENT PROHIBITED. An insurer
13-19 may not deny enrollment of a child under the health insurance
13-20 coverage of the child's parent on the ground that the child:
13-21 (1) has a preexisting condition;
13-22 (2) was born out of wedlock;
13-23 (3) is not claimed as a dependent on the parent's
13-24 federal income tax return;
13-25 (4) does not reside with the parent or in the
13-26 insurer's service area; or
13-27 (5) is or has been an applicant for or recipient of
13-28 medical assistance.
13-29 Art. 3.96-3. ENROLLMENT REQUIRED. (a) If a parent eligible
13-30 for dependent health coverage through an insurer is required by a
13-31 court or administrative order to provide health coverage for a
13-32 child, the insurer shall permit the parent to enroll the child
13-33 without regard to any enrollment period restriction.
13-34 (b) If a parent eligible for dependent health coverage
13-35 through an insurer is required by a court or administrative order
13-36 to provide health coverage for a child and fails to apply to obtain
13-37 the health insurance coverage for the child, the insurer shall
13-38 enroll the child on application of a custodial parent of the child,
13-39 a child support agency having a duty to collect or enforce support
13-40 for the child, or the child.
13-41 Art. 3.96-4. CANCELLATION OR NONRENEWAL PROHIBITED. (a) An
13-42 insurer may not cancel or refuse to renew insurance coverage of a
13-43 child entitled to enrollment or enrolled under this subchapter
13-44 unless satisfactory written evidence is filed with the insurer that
13-45 shows that:
13-46 (1) the court order or administrative order that
13-47 required the coverage is no longer in effect; or
13-48 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
13-49 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
13-50 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
13-51 cancellation or nonrenewal.
13-52 (b) As used in this section, "a child entitled to enrollment
13-53 or enrolled under this subchapter" does not include a child whose
13-54 eligibility has terminated because the parent eligible for
13-55 dependent health coverage is no longer eligible for such coverage.
13-56 Art. 3.96-5. NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF CONTINUATION OR
13-57 CONVERSION COVERAGE. If dependent health coverage being terminated
13-58 pursuant to Subsection (b), Article 3.96-4, of this code contains
13-59 provisions for the continuation or conversion of such coverage for
13-60 the child, the insurer shall notify the custodial parent and the
13-61 child support agency of the costs and other requirements for
13-62 extending or converting such coverage and shall enroll or continue
13-63 enrollment of the child on application of a parent of the child, a
13-64 child support agency, or the child.
13-65 Art. 3.96-6. EFFECT OF ASSIGNMENT OF MEDICAL SUPPORT RIGHTS
13-66 TO STATE AGENCY; INFORMATION. (a) An insurer may not impose
13-67 requirements on a state agency that has been assigned the rights of
13-68 an individual eligible for medical assistance and covered for
13-69 health benefits from the insurer that are different from the
13-70 requirements applicable to an agent or assignee of any other
14-1 covered individual.
14-2 (b) An insurer shall provide to a state agency providing
14-3 medical assistance, or to a child support agency enforcing medical
14-4 support, information as necessary to facilitate reimbursement of
14-5 medical services provided to or paid on behalf of a child.
14-6 Art. 3.96-7. RIGHTS OF CUSTODIAL PARENT AND ADULT CHILD.
14-7 (a) If a child receives health insurance coverage through the
14-8 insurer of a parent of the child, that insurer must provide
14-9 information and documents to each custodial parent or an adult
14-10 child as necessary for the child to obtain benefits through that
14-11 coverage, including:
14-12 (1) the name of the insurer;
14-13 (2) the number of the policy;
14-14 (3) a copy of the policy and schedule of benefits;
14-15 (4) a health insurance membership card;
14-16 (5) claim forms; and
14-17 (6) any other information or document necessary to
14-18 submit a claim in accordance with the insurer's policies and
14-20 (b) The insurer shall permit a custodial parent, a health
14-21 care provider, adult child, or a state agency that has been
14-22 assigned medical support rights to submit claims for covered
14-23 services without the approval of the insured parent.
14-24 (c) The insurer shall make payments on covered claims
14-25 submitted in accordance with this article directly to the custodial
14-26 parent, health care provider, adult child, or state agency making
14-27 the claim.
14-28 Art. 3.96-8. SERVICE AREA RESTRICTIONS PROHIBITED. An
14-29 insurer may not enforce otherwise applicable provisions that would
14-30 deny, limit, or reduce payment for claims for a covered child who
14-31 lives outside the insurer's coverage territory but inside the
14-32 United States.
14-33 Art. 3.96-9. PENALTIES; REMEDIES. An insurer that violates
14-34 this subchapter is subject to the same penalties, and an injured
14-35 party has the same rights and remedies, as those provided by
14-36 Section 16, Article 21.21, of this code.
14-37 Art. 3.96-10. RULES. The commissioner shall adopt
14-38 reasonable rules as necessary to implement this subchapter and the
14-39 requirements of 42 U.S.C. Section 1396a(a)(60), including rules
14-40 defining acts that constitute unfair or deceptive practices under
14-41 Section 13, Article 21.21, of this code.
14-42 SECTION 4.02. Section 101.012, Family Code, as added by H.B.
14-43 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
14-44 amended to read as follows:
14-45 Sec. 101.012. EMPLOYER. "Employer" means a person,
14-46 corporation, partnership, workers' compensation insurance carrier,
14-47 governmental entity, and the United States, and includes, for
14-48 purposes of enrolling dependents in a group health insurance plan,
14-49 a union, trade association, or other similar organization.
14-50 SECTION 4.03. Section 154.184, Family Code, as added by H.B.
14-51 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
14-52 amended to read as follows:
14-53 Sec. 154.184. EFFECT OF ORDER. (a) Receipt of < For
14-54 purposes of enrolling a child in a health insurance program under
14-55 this subchapter,> a medical support order requiring that health
14-56 insurance be provided for a child shall be considered a change in
14-57 the family circumstances of the employee or member, for health
14-58 insurance purposes, < covered person> equivalent to the birth or
14-59 adoption of a child < by the covered person>.
14-60 (b) The < On receipt of the order by the employer, the> child
14-61 shall be automatically enrolled for the first 31 days after the
14-62 receipt of the order by the employer on the same terms and
14-63 conditions as apply to any other < a> dependent child.
14-64 (c) The < On receipt of the order by the employer, the>
14-65 employer shall notify the insurer of the automatic enrollment.
14-66 (d) During the 31-day period, the employer and insurer shall
14-67 complete all necessary forms and procedures to make the enrollment
14-68 permanent or shall report in accordance with this subchapter the
14-69 reasons the coverage cannot be made permanent < policyholder shall
14-70 apply for coverage for the child in accordance with the medical
15-1 support order>.
15-2 SECTION 4.04. Section 154.186, Family Code, as added by H.B.
15-3 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
15-4 amended to read as follows:
15-5 Sec. 154.186. NOTICE TO EMPLOYER. The obligee, obligor, or
15-6 a child support < local domestic relations office, or Title IV-D>
15-7 agency may send a < certified> copy of the order requiring an
15-8 employee to provide health insurance coverage for a < the> child to
15-9 the employer < by certified mail, return receipt requested. The
15-10 order is binding on the employer on receipt>.
15-11 SECTION 4.05. Section 154.187, Family Code, as added by H.B.
15-12 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
15-13 amended by amending Subsections (a) and (c) and by adding
15-14 Subsection (g) to read as follows:
15-15 (a) An order to an employer directing that health insurance
15-16 coverage be provided to a child of an employee or member is binding
15-17 on the employer on receipt. If the employee or member is eligible
15-18 for dependent health coverage for the child, the < On receipt of an
15-19 order directing that health insurance coverage be extended to a
15-20 child of an employee, an> employer shall immediately enroll the
15-21 child in a health insurance plan < available to the employee. If
15-22 the employer is not able to immediately enroll the child, the
15-23 employer shall enroll the child at the next available enrollment
15-24 period as a dependent of the employee>. If dependent coverage is
15-25 not available to the employee or member through the employer's
15-26 health insurance plan or< ,> the employer < is responsible for
15-27 providing notice of this fact but> is not responsible or otherwise
15-28 liable for providing such coverage, the employer shall provide
15-29 notice to the sender in accordance with Subsection (c).
15-30 (c) An employer who has received an order under this
15-31 subchapter shall provide to the sender, by first class mail not
15-32 later than the 30th day after the date the employer receives the
15-33 order, a statement that the child:
15-34 (1) has been enrolled in a health insurance plan; or
15-35 (2) < will be enrolled in a health insurance plan at
15-36 the next available enrollment period and provide the expected date
15-37 of such enrollment; or>
15-38 < (3)> cannot be enrolled in a health insurance plan
15-39 and provide the reason why coverage cannot be provided.
15-40 (g) An employer who fails to enroll a child, fails to
15-41 withhold or remit premiums or cash medical support, or
15-42 discriminates in hiring or employment on the basis of a medical
15-43 support order shall be subject to the penalties and fines in
15-44 Subchapter C, Chapter 158.
15-45 SECTION 4.06. Section 154.192, Family Code, as added by H.B.
15-46 No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is
15-47 amended to read as follows:
15-48 Sec. 154.192. CANCELLATION OR ELIMINATION OF INSURANCE
15-49 COVERAGE FOR CHILD < HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION>. (a) Unless
15-50 the employee or member ceases to be eligible for dependent coverage
15-51 or the employer has eliminated dependent health coverage for all of
15-52 the employer's employees or members, the employer may not cancel or
15-53 eliminate coverage of a child enrolled under this subchapter until
15-54 the employer is provided satisfactory written evidence that:
15-55 (1) the court order or administrative order requiring
15-56 the coverage is no longer in effect; or
15-57 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
15-58 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
15-59 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
15-60 cancellation or elimination of the employer's coverage. < This
15-61 subchapter does not require a health maintenance organization to
15-62 provide coverage to a child who resides outside the geographic
15-63 service area.>
15-64 SECTION 4.07. Subsection (a), Section 158.206, Family Code,
15-65 as added by H.B. No. 655, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular
15-66 Session, 1995, is amended to read as follows:
15-67 (a) An employer receiving an order or writ of withholding,
15-68 including an order directing that health insurance be provided to a
15-69 child, who complies with the order or writ is not liable to the
15-70 obligor for the amount of income withheld and paid as provided in
16-1 the order or writ.
16-2 ARTICLE 5. EFFECTIVE DATE AND TRANSITION PROVISIONS; EMERGENCY
16-3 SECTION 5.01. (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1995.
16-4 (b) Subchapter J, Chapter 3, Insurance Code, as added by
16-5 Section 4.01 of this Act, applies only to an insurance policy or
16-6 evidence of coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or
16-7 renewed on or after January 1, 1996. A policy or evidence of
16-8 coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed before
16-9 January 1, 1996, is governed by the law as it existed immediately
16-10 before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in
16-11 effect for that purpose.
16-12 (c) The Office of the Attorney General may exercise the
16-13 contracting authority granted in Section 231.0011, Family Code, as
16-14 added by Section 1.01 of this Act, to provide for a phased
16-15 implementation of the statewide integrated system for child support
16-16 and medical support enforcement, and shall implement the system to
16-17 the extent that locally generated funds and federal reimbursement
16-18 related to such funds are sufficient to pay for implementation.
16-19 (d) The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial
16-20 System may phase in the monthly report required by Section 71.035,
16-21 Government Code, as amended by Section 2.05 of this Act, to
16-22 correspond with the phased implementation of the statewide
16-23 integrated system for child support and medical support enforcement
16-24 described in Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by Section
16-25 1.01 of this Act.
16-26 (e) If before implementing any provision of this Act, the
16-27 attorney general, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas
16-28 Department of Human Services, or another affected agency determines
16-29 that a waiver or authorization from a federal agency is necessary
16-30 for implementation of that provision, the affected agency shall
16-31 promptly apply for a waiver, and the provision shall take effect
16-32 when necessary waivers have been granted. A copy of each waiver
16-33 request shall be provided to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
16-34 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
16-35 (f) For the purpose of implementing the integrated system
16-36 established by Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by Section
16-37 1.01 of this Act and Section 71.035, Government Code, as amended by
16-38 Section 2.05 of this Act, all funds received from the federal
16-39 government as reimbursement for expenses directly related to the
16-40 integrated system, including the federal match for locally
16-41 generated funds, shall be in excess of any amount appropriated to
16-42 the attorney general by other Acts of the 74th Legislature, and are
16-43 hereby appropriated to the attorney general for the fiscal years
16-44 ending August 31, 1996, and August 31, 1997.
16-45 SECTION 5.02. Not later than December 1, 1996, the attorney
16-46 general shall report to the legislature an estimate of the cost
16-47 savings to the state and effectiveness of the expansion of child
16-48 support enforcement services and of privatization efforts.
16-49 SECTION 5.03. (a) The Office of the Attorney General, in
16-50 conjunction with the Texas Department of Human Services, shall
16-51 develop and implement a plan to assign a representative to work
16-52 with department eligibility workers in department offices or
16-53 facilities that are located in the same geographic region as
16-54 offices or facilities of the attorney general. The plan shall:
16-55 (1) include a schedule for implementation; and
16-56 (2) provide that the Office of the Attorney General
16-57 may make a work assignment under this subsection only if the
16-58 anticipated increased collection of child support for public
16-59 assistance cases is greater than the cost of placing the
16-60 representative in a department office or facility.
16-61 (b) Not later than October 1, 1995, the attorney general
16-62 shall complete the plan required by this section and send notice of
16-63 filing the completed plan to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
16-64 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
16-65 (c) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Human
16-66 Services shall prepare the initial memorandum of understanding
16-67 required by Section 1.07 of this Act not later than December 1,
16-69 SECTION 5.04. The change in law made by Subchapter E,
16-70 Chapter 231, Family Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a
17-1 child support review for which notice is given on or after the
17-2 effective date of this Act. A child support review for which
17-3 notice is given before that date is governed by the law in effect
17-4 at the time notice was given, and the former law is continued in
17-5 effect for that purpose.
17-6 SECTION 5.05. (a) Section 3.01 of this Act expires
17-7 September 2, 1997.
17-8 (b) Subsection (b), Section 3.02, and Section 3.03 of this
17-9 Act expire January 1, 1997.
17-10 SECTION 5.06. The importance of this legislation and the
17-11 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
17-12 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
17-13 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
17-14 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
17-15 * * * * *
17-16 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
17-17 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
17-18 * * * * *