Beyond the usual bumps, bruises, coughs, and colds that come with everyday co-parenting, there is the probability for other health situations that require visits to the doctor, hospital, ER or extended care. Getting in front of those situations involves having a basic consensus with your co-parent regarding lines of communications, logistics and an understanding of expectations/thresholds for shared expenses. We’d like to shine some light on some of the basic questions you should be able to answer for these different situations.
Consider this as an opportunity for you and your co-parent to sharpen your pencil and be on the same page for the health and well-being of your kids.
- What is the communication plan in the case of emergency medical treatment? Timing may be everything in an emergency situation, agree on methods of communication and acceptable response times.
- Who is the contact in case of emergency? Who is the second contact?
- Who has the kids’ health records? Do both of you have the latest booster records? We all know requests occasionally come up from school, summer camps, sports programs, religious programs, and other extracurricular programs. One pro tip; keep a photo of their health insurance and dental insurance cards on your phone for backup. If you’re using the coParenter app, simply add these files to your shared Info Bank
- Who will submit and manage claims?
- Who will take time off from work to care for the kid?
- Do you have consensus for extended care and/or extra needs (ex. orthodontic treatment, counseling, physiotherapy, speech therapy, diet, glasses, prescription drugs)?
- Who will advocate for the child if parents do not agree on a treatment plan (Some people elect to name a family doctor, a specialist or a counselor) in a time-sensitive situation?
- What are the deductibles for care and extended service? Who is expected to pay for expenses beyond deductibles? If they are to be shared and you’re using the coParenter app, simply create an expense request to your co-parent, provide the shared expense receipt, put a due date, and they can hit accept to document that you are both in agreement to what amounts you are both responsible for. This way, in the case of a discrepancy, later on, you have a record of your agreement.
- If a sitter is hired to watch the kid while recovering, who will cover the cost?
- What is the financial plan for paying extra expenses for extended or extra care (ex. braces, crutches, physical therapy, prescriptions, tests, alternative care not covered by health insurance, etc.)?
Discuss and find middle ground prior to any health situation and you will have peace of mind knowing that you and your co-parent have an understanding when your kid needs care.