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  • Side Effects: Obamacare Causes Some Insurers to Stop Offering Coverage for Kids

    The effects of Obamacare are getting weirder with each passing month. Now, new requirements created by the law are causing some insurers to consider no longer offering “child-only” policies to avoid having to raise rates.

    Most children are covered by parents’ employer-provided insurance or by government programs. But some parents buy individual health insurance coverage just for their kids. Starting next year, Obamacare prohibits insurers and employer plans imposing any pre-existing condition exclusions on children and requires them to accept all applications for children who qualify for coverage under their plans (so-called “guaranteed issue”). Those provisions could have serious and unintended consequences for children, as well as others.

    Insurers fear that, by allowing parents to buy cover coverage for their children whenever they choose, families may wait until a child faces a serious illness to buy a policy. The result: Insurers will need to raise rates for these kid-only policies, and if other regulations limit how much they can raise rates for covering children, then they could be forced to raise rates for adults in the individual market as well.

    The Associated Press reports that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Vice President Randy Kammer “said the company’s experts calculated that guaranteeing coverage for children could raise premiums for other individual policy holders by as much as 20 percent.” According to Kammer, “We believe that the majority of people who would buy this policy were going to use it immediately, probably for high cost claims. …Guaranteed issue means you could technically buy it on the way to the hospital.”

    Insurers claim that if the regulations regarding coverage of pre-existing conditions and guaranteed issue for children—which will take effect on September 23—are limited so as to apply only to an open-enrollment period once a year, much of the expected problems might be mitigated. The Department of Health and Human Services, however, hasn’t indicated yet if they will go this route or not.

    Insurance commissioners from Florida, Oklahoma, and Kansas all claim that insurers are already refusing to write new individual policies for children in their states. In Florida, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, and Golden Rule all plan to stop writing new individual policies for kids. And, as Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger attests, “When it’s happening with national companies, I can guarantee you it’s happening probably in every state.”

    Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland points out that “the more we reduce opportunities in the market … the more challenging it is for [families] to secure the coverage that they want and [are] able to afford.” Obamacare’s countless new rules and regulations will certainly limit choices for families—that is becoming clearer by the day.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Side Effects: Obamacare Causes Some Insurers to Stop Offering Coverage for Kids

    1. Dusty, Chicago says:

      The Left seems to hate the truth, no matter if we're talking about cries of racism or attempts to "fix" the economy. Obama's recent press conference in the White House's rose garden was another classic example of the huge gap between what liberals say they want to do, and what their policies actually do.

      You really should read more about that ridiculous press conference here: http://rjmoeller.com/2010/08/what-i-learned-in-th

    2. William Rowe says:

      Obamacare= rules and regulations, greater costs to employers and less liberty for taxpayers, bigger government deficits.

      Bad for all American Taxpayers, but hey it's cool for the illegals and and the freeloader class that never pay taxes!

      Obama and his administation have been on a non-stop spending spree that the taxpayer's have to foot the bill for.

    3. Ryan, Hudson WI says:

      That's why we need to bite the bullet and cut out the middle man. A single payer system is the only way to go. Its not in the best interest of business to cover everyone but it is in the best interest for society to cover everyone.

    4. Billie says:

      No win for the people or the insurer. Seems obvious independence of the people are enemies of the government? Mrs. O denied poor people when she was in the nursing industry. The hypocrisy is outstanding!

    5. Vickie, NC says:

      BCBS is already not allowing you to add a child under the age of 26 back to your policy if they have already been dropped at the age of 24. If they haven't been taken off your policy due to turning 24 they can remain on your policy until they are 26. This just is not fair, especially if that child is still attending college. So where does that leave our children?

    6. Steve, OH says:

      Ryan, you dont get it. We already have a prototype of the "single payer" system. Its called Medicaid, which is riddled with fraud, waste and abuse of OUR TAX DOLLARS. Eliminating the private sector and dumping everyone into that mess will spell disaster for everyone, both medically AND financially. If you have any doubts about which is better (private insurance or govt-provided Medicaid) for the people who need medical coverage, ask those who have been on Medicaid for a while. I would be shocked if you got more than 10% of those people to say they would prefer the government option.

    7. michael, Houston says:

      The obvious conclusion will be to have people who can't afford their private insurance to go on the public welfare option. No one has any idea how many that will be.

      Furthermore many doctors are not taking new Medicaid/Medicare patients. Those seniors on Medicare Advantage that will lose this plan may not be able to get a doctor who will accept the basic Medicare plan. Many of these elderly are in the country where doctors are hard to find in the first place.

      Remember the 85% of you will keep your insurance? Well the math works like this. There are about 330 million people in this country. 30 million do not have insurance. (Obama's numbers not mine) So 85% of 300 million is 255 million. This means 45 million get thrown out of their insurance to give to 30 million. Sounds like a deal to me.

    8. Bill, Ohio says:

      Vickie,

      Re: your message below. What you state is not true. Children who previously "aged-out" of their parent's policy and are still under age 26 may enroll during the next open enrollment period of the parent's plan. That is the way the law is written.

      Vickie, NC on August 4th, 2010 at 11:00am said:

      BCBS is already not allowing you to add a child under the age of 26 back to your policy if they have already been dropped at the age of 24. If they haven’t been taken off your policy due to turning 24 they can remain on your policy until they are 26. This just is not fair, especially if that child is still attending college. So where does that leave our children?

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