Frequently Asked Questions About the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN)  
 
 
     
  Frequently Asked Questions From Employers  
     
 
Q. If the Employer does not offer health insurance, what should the employer do?
 
 
A. Within 20 business days of receiving the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN), the Employer should complete Item 1 in the "Employer Response" portion of Part A of the NMSN and return Part A by mail to the issuing agency (CSED) at the address shown on the NMSN.
 
 
Q. If the Employer offers insurance, but the employee does not qualify (e.g. part-time), what should the employer do?
 
 
A. Within 20 business days of receiving the NMSN, the employer must fill out Item 2 of the “Employer Response” portion of Part A of the NMSN, and return it by mail to the issuing agency (CSED) at the address shown on the NMSN.
 
 
Q. If the Employer has terminated or never employed the individual identified in the NMSN as the employee, what should the employer do?
 
 
A. Within 20 business days of receiving the NMSN, the employer should complete Item 3 in the “Employer Response” portion of Part A of the NMSN and return Part A of the NMSN by mail to the issuing agency (CSED) at the address shown on the NMSN.
 
 
Q. If the employee receives Workers’ Compensation, or is otherwise temporarily unemployed, what should the Employer do?
 
 
A. If the employee is not receiving wages from the employer when the employer received the NMSN, the employer should indicate so in the “Employer Response” portion of Part A of the NMSN and return it to the issuing agency at the address shown on the NMSN. If the re-employment date is known, the employer should provide it in the response. If a withholding under a NMSN is already in place, and the employee becomes temporarily unemployed, the employer should notify the issuing agency if such status results in a lapse of coverage.
 
 
Q. If the employee reports that the child(ren) is/are enrolled in the custodial parent’s heath insurance plan, what should the Employer do?
 
 
A. The employer’s responsibilities under the NMSN are not affected by the child’s enrollment by the custodial parent in another health insurance plan.
 
 
Q. If the child does not reside in the insurer’s service area, what should the Employer do?
 
 
A. The employer’s responsibilities under the NMSN are the same regardless of the child’s residence.
 
 
Q. If the employee reports that the child is enrolled in Medicaid or New Mexikids, what should the Employer do?
 
 
A. The employer’s responsibilities under the NMSN are not affected by the child’s enrollment in Medicaid or New Mexikids. “Health Care Insurance Plan” is defined in the New Mexico law as health care coverage, not including Medicaid, and includes any health care insurance plan coverage for a minor which shall, “at a minimum, meet the standards of minimum health care protection as defined in the New Mexico Insurance Code, Section 59A-23B, NMSA 1978.”
 
 
Q. If the employee is eligible for health insurance, what is the first step the Employer should take?
 
 
A. Within 20 business days of receiving the NMSN, the employer should transfer the NMSN to the health insurance Plan Administrator.
 
 
Q. If the Union provides health insurance coverage, what should the Employer do?
 
 
A. The employer should consider the union the “Plan Administrator” and forward Part B of the NMSN to the union, unless the employer checks items 1,2, or 3 in the “Employer Response” portion of Part A of the NMSN.
 
 
Q. Is it the Employer’s responsibility to inform the employee that the NMSN was served?
 
 
A. NO. The employee will receive a notice when the NMSN is sent to the employer. This notice advises the employee of his/her obligation to provide health insurance coverage and allows the employee the right to contest it by administrative review. Upon request, the employer may provide the employee with a copy of the NMSN.
 
 
Q. How long after an Employer receives the NMSN must the employer begin withholding the insurance premium?
 
 
A. Withholding for health insurance premiums is to begin no later than the first pay period that occurs 14 days after the mailing date of the NMSN. The premiums are to be paid directly to the insurance carrier.
 
 
Q. If the Employee requests an administrative review, can the enrollment process be terminated?
 
 
A. NO. Employees may contest the withholding based on a mistake of fact. The employer must continue to withhold premiums during the administrative review until the employer receives notice from CSED that the issue has been resolved.
 
 
Q. If there is only one health insurance plan available to the employee/participant, what should the Plan Administrator do?
 
 
A. The Plan Administrator should enroll the child(ren) in the default plan and complete the “Plan Administrator Response” portion of Part B of the NMSN. Part B should then be returned to the issuing agency, and notify the employer of the cost of the coverage. The Plan Administrator should then notify the non-custodial parent/participant, the custodial parent and the enrolled child(ren) of the coverage. Notice to the custodial parent shall include claim forms and plan information.
 
 
Q. What is the correct action to take if the health plan has more than one option for medical coverage?
 
 
A. If the plan has more than one option for medical coverage and the employee is covered under the plan, the child(ren) are to be enrolled in the same plan as the employee. If the employee is not enrolled in a plan, the Plan Administrator will notify both CSED and the custodial parent so a choice of plan can be made. The Plan Administrator should complete Item 3 in the “Plan Administrator Response” portion of Part B of the NMSN, along with the required plan information (as indicated in the “Instructions to Plan Administrator” portion of the NMSN) and return it to the issuing agency at the address indicated on the NMSN. New Mexico law allows the child(ren) to be enrolled as an eligible dependent in an employment-related health insurance plan even if the employee is not enrolled. The plan will charge the premium cost that would be charged if only the employee enrolled.
 
 
Q. If the issuing agency does not select one of the available health insurance plans within 20 business days, what should the Plan Administrator do?
 
 
A. If a default plan exists, the Plan Administrator should enroll the
child(ren) in the default plan, notify the employer of the cost of coverage, and notify the issuing agency, the non-custodial parent/participant, and the custodial parent of the enrolled child(ren) of the coverage. Notification to the custodial parent and child(ren) shall include claim forms and plan information. If there is no default health insurance plan, the Plan Administrator should enroll the child(ren) in the “least costly” plan.
 
 
Q. Is the Employee’s signature required to enroll the child(ren) in the health plan?
 
 
A. No. The employer is required to complete the applicable sections and forward the Notice to the health care Plan Administrator within 20 business days, pursuant to New Mexico State Rule 8.50.109NMAC.
 
 
Q. Can an Employer wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll the child(ren) specified in the NMSN?
 
 
A. NO. All enrollments in the health plan are to be made without regard to open enrollment restrictions.
 
 
Q. Upon receiving notification from the Plan Administrator of the cost of the health insurance (and the coverage for the child(ren), what should the Employer do?
 
 
A. The employer should begin withholding if sufficient income exists to withhold for health insurance premiums.
 
 
Q. What is the maximum amount that can be withheld from an employee’s wages or income?
 
 
A. Total withholding cannot exceed the amounts set by state and Federal law, as specified in the “Limitations on Withholding” section in the “Instructions to Employer” portion of the NMSN. The deduction for the premium is made after deducting taxes, but before disposable income is determined. New Mexico allows for a maximum of support and health premiums at 50 percent of the employee’s income after mandatory tax deductions.
 
 
Q. What if the employee doesn’t earn enough in wages to pay both the child support and the insurance premiums without exceeding the 50 percent withholding limitation?
 
 
A. New Mexico law gives first priority to the collection of current support, and then health insurance premiums. If enrolling the child(ren) in the health insurance plan exceeds the limitation, return the Employer Response portion of the NMSN with number “4” selected. In New Mexico, health care enrollment will not occur in this situation. (Employers must follow the state laws of the employee’s principal place of employment in prioritizing cash versus medical support limitations).
 
 
Q. Is it the Employer’s responsibility to notify the issuing agency when the insurance premiums increase?
 
 
A. No. It is the employee’s responsibility. (It is however the employer’s responsibility to notify the issuing agency when coverage terminates).
 
 
Q. When will the Employer know when to cease withholding premiums for a child?
 
 
A. The Child Support Enforcement Division will notify the employer when the employer is no longer obligated to withhold premiums for a child. Once a termination notice is received, the employer should consult with the employee to determine whether he or she wants to voluntarily continue health care for the child(ren).
 
 
Q. What does the Employer do if the employee terminates employment after the enrollment in the health insurance occurs?
 
 
A. If the employee terminates employment, the employer should return the Employer Response section of the NMSN to the Child Support Enforcement office indicating the termination date. CSED must notify the custodial parent that the health coverage has terminated. No further premiums need to be submitted unless the employee wishes to enroll in the COBRA option.
 
 
Q. What if the employee already has health insurance for the child(ren) though a local insurance company?
 
 
A. The employee must contact the Child Support Enforcement Division at the address or phone number listed on the Notice. The agency will require written verification of coverage. The employer must continue with the enrollment process until notified by the Child Support Enforcement Division that health care coverage enrollment of the child(ren) is not required.
 
 
Q. Can the Employer charge a processing fee to the employee for complying with the NMSN?
 
 
A. No.
 
 
Q. What if an Employer does not comply with the NMSN requirements?
 
 
A. Any employer who fails to comply with the NMSN requirements is in violation of New Mexico law. The employer will face possible penalties and sanctions, including fines, and the award of damages.
 
 
Q. What can the Employee do if the employee believes that a National Medical Support Notice has been issued in error?
 
 
A. The employee may contact the issuing agency at the address and telephone number indicated on the NMSN to discuss the matter. Challenges can be made to the facts of the case, or an erroneous referral only. However, the Employer must proceed to comply with the employer responsibilities under the NMSN until notified by the issuing agency to discontinue withholding.
 
 
Q. If the Plan Administrator determines that the NMSN does not constitute a “qualified medical child support order” (QMCSO) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), what should the Plan Administrator do?
 
 
A. The Plan Administrator should complete Item #5 in the “Plan Administrator Response” portion of the NMSN indicating the deficiency and return it to the issuing agency at the address shown on the NMSN. In addition, the Plan Administrator should inform the non-custodial parent/participant, and the custodial parent of the reasons for determining that the NMSN is not a QMCSO.
 
 
Q. When the employee completes the probationary/waiting period, what should the Employer do?
 
 
A. The employer should notify the Plan Administrator that the probationary/waiting period has ended, and that the Plan Administrator should enroll the child(ren).
 
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