Birth Expense Reporting
The Legal Liability Section has 3 units: Paternity, Casualty and Probate. The Paternity Unit works with the MDHHS Office of Child Support and local prosecutors and friend of the court offices to recover birthing expenses from fathers of children born out of wedlock and paid for by Medicaid. The Casualty Unit handles the federally required subrogation activities to recover Medicaid expenditures as a result of settlements or judgments in lawsuits initiated by beneficiaries or very occasionally by the Department. Cases over a certain threshold are referred to the Attorney General office for representation. The Probate section is responsible for overseeing the Michigan Estate Recovery Program.
The Paternity Unit is part of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' Third Party Liability Division and works with the Office of Child Support, local prosecutors, and friend of the court offices to recover birthing expenses from fathers of children born out of wedlock and paid for by Medicaid pursuant to the Paternity Act.
The Paternity Unit's responsibility is to complete birth expense requests submitted by IV-D agencies including county friend of the court offices, county prosecuting attorneys and the Office of Child Support, for women enrolled with Medicaid during pregnancy and whose child was born out of wedlock. The Paternity Unit receives approximately 3,200 requests each month. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services does not initiate any requests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I reimbursing the State of Michigan for birth expenses for my child?
Under provisions of Michigan PA 205, Section 722.712 of 1956, the State of Michigan is mandated to recover money from the father of a child born out of wedlock if Medicaid paid for the pre-natal care and delivery expenses for the mother. If Medicaid paid these expenses only the father of the child is obligated to reimburse the state.
How is the amount to repay the State of Michigan determined?
The Paternity Unit will submit a birth expense report to the county friend of the court or prosecuting attorney's office detailing the total Medicaid expenditures for pregnancy related services for the mother. The county office will use that figure in conjunction with the Michigan Child Support Formula to determine the amount to repay.
How will the money be collected?
This obligation is collected by the county friend of the court office and is applied according to statutory priorities. Please contact the county friend of the court office responsible for managing your court case to discuss this matter. The Paternity Unit is not involved in collections of any type from the father and no money should be sent to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services directly.
What if private insurance covered all or part of the birth expenses and the father is still required to reimburse the State of Michigan?
If private insurance covered any birth expenses for the mother, please submit an Explanation of Benefits from the insurance company outlining the services covered. The Paternity Unit will further investigate the claim and submit an amended birth expense report if appropriate.