WSR 14-09-116
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed April 23, 2014, 9:11 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: New sections and/or amendments in chapter 388-14A WAC, to clarify and revise the procedures used for the reimbursement for uninsured medical expenses when the DSHS division of child support (DCS) is enforcing a support order with a medical support obligation.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 26.09.105(17), 26.18.170(19), 34.05.220 (1)(a), 43.20A.550, 74.04.055, 74.08.090, 74.20.040, and 74.20A.310.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The state of Washington has certain obligations pursuant to its state plan under Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. Under 42 U.S.C. 666 (a)(19), we are required to have procedures under which we can enforce a support order's (mandatory) provisions for medical support. Under RCW 26.09.105 (1)(d), both parents must contribute their proportionate share of uninsured medical expenses.
Very often a child support order will require that the parents share the responsibility for uninsured medical expenses, and will set out a percentage split which is usually each parent's relative share of the combined monthly net income. As an example, one parent will be responsible for sixty percent and the other parent forty percent. Many parents are able to work cooperatively and deal with the issue of reimbursement without assistance from DCS. However, there will always be some parents who cannot do so and they look to DCS for assistance. In a situation where the child support order does not set a sum certain amount for each parent's contribution, there is an administrative process to determine how much one parent owes the other.
DCS has a process where we can serve a notice of support owed under RCW 26.23.110 on one parent to establish the other parent's out-of-pocket expenses and determine the sum certain amount owed by the noncontributing parent to reimburse the parent who paid. In appropriate circumstances, DCS can serve this notice on behalf of either the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent. The procedures are set out in WAC 388-14A-3310 through 388-14A-3330.
DCS adopted the current rules after the passage of two major law changes that took place in 2009, namely ESHB 1794 (chapter 84, Laws of 2009, making changes to the child support schedule) and SHB 1845 (chapter 476, Laws of 2009, regarding medical support obligations). Since then, we have received suggestions for possible changes from our staff and also from parents and advocates. We believe that changes to our current process are necessary not only to make the process easier and/or more efficient, but are indeed necessary to ensure due process for each parent.
Process for Developing New Rule: DCS engages in modified collaborative rule making. Those persons wishing to participate in developing the new rules are encouraged to contact Nancy Koptur at the DSHS DCS headquarters as soon as possible. DCS will post information regarding this rule development project and others on its web site, which can be found at, or on the DSHS economic services administration's policy review web site, which can be found at DSHS/DCS encourages the public to take part in developing the rules. After the rules are drafted, DSHS will file a copy with the office of the code reviser with a notice of proposed rule making, and will send a copy to everyone currently on the mailing list and to anyone else who requests a copy.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Nancy Koptur, DCS Rules Coordinator, DCS, P.O. Box 9162, Mailstop 45860, Olympia, WA 98507-9162, e-mail or, phone (360) 664-5065, toll-free 1-800-457-6202, fax (360) 664-5342, TTY/TDD (360) 664-5011.
April 14, 2014
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
Rules and Policies Assistance Unit