Repaying Birth Costs
Sometimes, the court will order the father to pay all or part of the mother's pregnancy costs and the child's birth costs. When single, separated, and divorced parents apply for the BadgerCare Plus program, some of these parents are referred to the Wisconsin Child Support program for services.
- If the parents are not married when the mother applies for BadgerCare Plus and the mother is referred to child support, the court may order the father to repay birth costs. Birth costs include health care costs related to the pregnancy, as well as the birth of the child.
- If the family is not referred to the Child Support program, the father will not have to repay birth costs to the BadgerCare Plus program.
If the family is referred to the Child Support program, an unmarried father might not have to repay birth costs if:
- The couple already had an older child together, and
- The couple told the BadgerCare Plus agency that the father was living in the home before their new baby was born (so that his income was included in the family income when applying for BadgerCare Plus).
Guidelines for Setting Birth Cost Repayment Amounts
Under federal rules, child support agencies will ask the court to set the lower amount of;
- Five percent (5%) of the father's monthly income over a 36-month period (3 years). (For low-income payers, the amount may be less than 5% of the father's income.)
- Half the regional average amount for birth costs OR half the actual birth costs up to the full regional average amount for birth costs.
Examples of How Birth Costs are Calculated
Example 1 - Based on the regional average birth costs
- The father's monthly income is $1,500
- The income for 36 months is $54,000 ($1,500 x 36)
- 5% of the father's income over 36 months is $2,700 ($54,000 x 0.05)
- Half the average regional cost is $2,900
The child support agency would ask the court to set the birth costs at $2,700 (the lower amount).
Example 2 - Based on the actual birth costs
- The father's monthly income is $2,000
- The income for 36 months is $72,000 ($2,000 x 36)
- 5% of the father's income over 36 months is $3,600 ($72,000 x 0.05)
- Half the actual birth cost is $4,000
- The average regional cost is $3,500
The child support agency would ask the court to set the birth costs at $3,500 (the lowest amount)
If the court used the low-income payer table under the percentage guidelines to set the amount of child support, the child support agency will ask the court to use a rate lower than 5% of the father's income.