Issue: WHETHER SUBROGATION RIGHTS WOULD APPLY IN A MINOR’S ESTATE IN OREGON.
|Area of Law:||Estate Planning & Probate, Insurance Law|
|Keywords:||Subrogation rights; Minor's estate; Health care policy|
|Cited Cases:||665 N.E.2d 514; 389 N.E.2d 211; 619 N.E.2d 185; 491 N.E.2d 84|
While the issue appears to be one of first impression in Oregon, courts in Illinois have consistently held that subrogation provisions in a health contract between a minor’s parents and a health care provider are not binding on the minor’s estate. Estate of Woodring v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 71 Ill. App. 3d 158, 389 N.E.2d 211 (1979); Estate of Aimone v. State Health Benefit Plan/Equicor, 248 Ill. App. 3d 882, 619 N.E.2d 185 (1993); Estate of Hammond v. Aetna Casualty, 141 Ill. App. 3d 963, 491 N.E.2d 84 (1986); Klem v. Mann, 279 Ill. App. 3d 735, 665 N.E.2d 514 (1996).
A minor’s estate is not bound by a subrogation clause in the parents’ health care policy because a minor is under no legal obligation to pay his own medical expenses or other debts. See Woodring, 389 N.E.2d at 212. Rather, the parents are exclusively responsible for such expenses under state law. Id. State law in Oregon similarly obligates parents to pay medical expenses and other necessaries on behalf of their children. See, e.g., ORS 109.010 (parents are legally bound to provide support for their children).