"Pay Kids First Act of 2015" Passes Senate Insurance Committee

SB 585 Would Collect Millions for Children & Families Owed Child Support

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) announces that the Senate Insurance Committee today passed important legislation that will substantially increase payments for past due child support claims through an insurance payment intercept program.

SB 585 would make mandatory a currently voluntary insurance payment intercept program that matches individuals who owe past due child support with insurance claims, payments, settlements and/or awards.  Under this bill sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, the California Department of Insurance would work with the California Department of Child Support Services to boost successful matching of child support debtors before they receive insurance payouts.

Approximately $17 million is collected annually under the present non-mandatory arrangement, though it is expected that SB 585 will increase that figure considerably if enacted.  Also, one quarter of insurance companies currently voluntarily participate in this program that helps to improve the lives of children by ensuring that many more child support recipients receive the full amount of financial support that they are owed.  Recent national census data revealed that only 43% of child support recipients receive full payment.

“SB 585 helps to strengthen families and communities throughout California by requiring that insurance companies help to match debtors that receive insurance payouts with the children and families to which they owe financial support,” Senator Leyva said.  “Though over $1 million is already being collected every month under the voluntary program, making participation mandatory would clearly collect untold millions more for these California children and families that are oftentimes living in poverty.  I look forward to continuing to work with Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones as SB 585 proceeds through the legislative process in the weeks and months ahead.”

SB 585 now proceeds to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.