Section 409.2561, Florida Statutes 2003
409.2561 Support obligations when public assistance is paid; assignment of rights; subrogation; medical and health insurance information.--
(1) Any payment of temporary cash or Title IV-E assistance made to, or for the benefit of, any dependent child creates an obligation in an amount determined pursuant to the child support guidelines. In accordance with 42 U.S.C. s. 657, the state shall retain amounts collected only to the extent necessary to reimburse amounts paid to the family as assistance by the state. Such amounts collected shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund up to the level specified in s. 61.1812. If there has been a prior court order or final judgment of dissolution of marriage establishing an obligation of support, the obligation is limited to the amount provided by such court order or decree. The extraordinary remedy of contempt is applicable in child support enforcement cases because of the public necessity for ensuring that dependent children be maintained from the resources of their parents, thereby relieving, at least in part, the burden presently borne by the general citizenry through the public assistance program. If there is no prior court order establishing an obligation of support, the court shall establish the liability of the obligor, if any, by applying the child support guidelines. The department may apply for modification of a court order on the same grounds as either party to the cause and shall have the right to settle and compromise actions brought pursuant to law.
(2)(a) By accepting temporary cash assistance or Title IV-E assistance, the recipient assigns to the department any right, title, and interest to support the recipient may be owed:
1. From any other person up to the amount of temporary cash assistance or Title IV-E assistance paid where no court order has been entered, or where there is a court order it is limited to the amount provided by such court order;
2. On the recipient's own behalf or in behalf of another family member for whom the recipient is receiving temporary cash or Title IV-E assistance; and
3. At the time that the assignment becomes effective by operation of law.
(b) The recipient of public assistance appoints the department as her or his attorney in fact to act in her or his name, place, and stead to perform specific acts relating to the establishment of paternity or the establishment, modification, or enforcement of support obligations, including, but not limited to:
1. Endorsing any draft, check, money order, or other negotiable instrument representing support payments which are received on behalf of the dependent child as reimbursement for the public assistance moneys previously or currently paid;
2. Compromising claims;
3. Pursuing the establishment or modification of support obligations;
4. Pursuing civil and criminal enforcement of support obligations; and
5. Executing verified complaints for the purpose of instituting an action for the determination of paternity of a child born, or to be born, out of wedlock.
(3) The department shall be subrogated to the right of the dependent child or person having the care, custody, and control of the child to prosecute or maintain any support action or action to determine paternity or execute any legal, equitable, or administrative remedy existing under the laws of the state to obtain reimbursement of temporary cash assistance or Title IV-E assistance paid, being paid, or to be paid.
(4) No obligation of support under this section shall be incurred by any person who is the recipient of public assistance moneys for the benefit of a dependent child or who is incapacitated and financially unable to pay as determined by the department.
(5) With respect to cases for which there is an assignment in effect:
(a) The IV-D agency shall obtain basic medical support information for Medicaid recipients and applicants for Medicaid and provide this information to the state Medicaid agency for third-party liability purposes.
(b) When the obligor receives health insurance coverage for the dependent child, the IV-D agency shall provide health insurance policy information, including any information available about the health insurance policy which would permit a claim to be filed or, in the case of a health maintenance or preferred provider organization, service to be provided, to the state Medicaid agency.
(c) The state Medicaid agency, upon receipt of the health coverage information from the IV-D agency, shall notify the obligor's insuring entity that the Medicaid agency must be notified within 30 days when such coverage is discontinued.
(d) Entities providing health insurance as defined in s. 624.603 and health maintenance organizations and prepaid health clinics as defined in chapter 641 shall provide such records and information as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this subsection, unless such requirement results in an unreasonable burden.
(e) Upon the state Medicaid agency receiving notice from the obligor's insuring entity that the coverage is discontinued due to cancellation or other means, the Medicaid agency shall notify the IV-D agency of such discontinuance and the effective date. When appropriate, the IV-D agency shall then take action to bring the obligor before the court for enforcement.
History.--s. 4, ch. 76-220; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 82-140; s. 2, ch. 85-178; s. 142, ch. 86-220; s. 16, ch. 87-95; s. 11, ch. 88-176; s. 7, ch. 89-183; s. 4, ch. 91-71; s. 6, ch. 94-124; s. 5, ch. 94-318; s. 254, ch. 96-406; s. 1020, ch. 97-103; s. 47, ch. 97-170; s. 23, ch. 98-397; s. 11, ch. 99-375; s. 29, ch. 2001-158.