My son returned from cross-country summer visitation with his dad Saturday. He returned with only 3 days of medication.
According to the parenting plan, we are to share uncovered medical costs 50/50. These prescriptions were filled 2 weeks ago, some for 90 days. I am not able to fill locally on the medical plan. I have the receipt showing refill date and charging me (he withheld from child support) 50% of the uncovered costs. Insurance won't cover a second refill within the same period.
I asked that the remainder of the prescriptions be sent but he replied, "I pretty much used them up over 7 weeks. Actually pretty much used up a refill. You will have to get him refilled." His father has left to China on a business trip.
The cost for one of the medicines alone is $120 for a month. I simply don't have the resources to pay out-of-pocket to refill them.
What options do I have? How can I prevent this type of problem in the future?
You have two problems - the first is how to refill a prescription that is not yet up for refill. In this situation, I would recommend calling your child's doctor and explaining what happened. You can get a new script for the missing days, but it will not be covered by your insurance and will be
paid out of pocket (unless your doctor has some samples you can have -- be sure to ask about that and lay it on thick about being a single mom in a tight financial situation).
To deal with the cost of replacing the meds if you can't get a sample, your solution is to file a petition for enforcement/violation with the court that issued the order. Seek reimbursement for 100% of the cost of replacing the missing meds (and detail what happened so the court is clear that your ex is completely responsible for this entire cost).
To prevent this problem in the future, I would recommend sending only exactly enough meds (with maybe one extra pill in case) for the number of days your son is with this father. It's also likely
that the hassle of dealing with this court issue will serve as a deterrant.
Brette McWhorter Sember is a retired family attorney and mediator and nationally known expert about divorce and parenting after divorce. She is the author of The Divorce Organizer & Planner, The Complete Divorce Handbook: A Practical Guide, How to Parent with Your Ex: Working Together for Your Child's Best Interest, and No-Fight Divorce: Spend Less Money, Save Time, and Avoid Conflict Using Mediation. Learn more about Brette on her web site.