Can I Be Liable for My Daughter's Medical Bill?

by Aaron
(Las Vegas, NV)

I am divorced from my daughter's mom and we have joint custody. According the the divorce decree, I provide medical insurance for my daughter as a dependent on my medical insurance.

Can I be held liable for medical bills for my daughter if I did not authorize her to be seen by the doctor?

This was not a medical necessity. My daughter's mother took her to the gynecologist and had her put on birth control at age 14 against my wishes. The insurance company won't cover gyno exams for children under 18, and now a medical collection company has sent a collection notice in MY NAME to my x-wife's house for medical bills because the insurance did not cover it.

I never signed anything agreeing to have her seen or treated by them, her mother did.

Thanks for your help in this matter.

Reply from

This is a complicated scenario, and we don't know the answer. Often parents are responsible for medical bills of their minor children, and the fact that you have the insurance that is supposed to cover her medical expenses makes it all the more tricky. We're going to have to recommend you talk with a consumer law attorney on this one.

If it's not a large amount and you decide to settle it with the collection agency instead, insist they agree in writing to stop reporting it to the credit reporting agencies if you pay it. Given the circumstances, that seems reasonable.

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