ObamaCare Fallout: Child-Only Policies Dropped In 34 States

Buried on the The Politicos front page, in small type between a story about Obama fires up the health team and HHS: Health reform already working, we get Child only health plans endangered

Health insurers in 34 states have stopped selling child-only insurance policies as a result of the health reform law, and the market continues to destablize.

According to a survey of state insurance departments by Republican Senate committee staff and obtained by POLITICO, states that have seen carriers exit the market include those that have been ardent supporters of the health reform law, like California and Oregon. Twenty states now have no insurers offering child-only policies.

Making sense of the two numbers, essentially, it means that in 34 of the surveyed states, at least one carrier that sells child-only plans has stopped selling them in that state, but, there could still be at least one carrier that offers them, leaving 20 states that now have no child-only policies. Several states provided no or limited data. All those who saw child-only policies dropped saw it occur after Obama(no)Care passed.

Since September, the health reform law has barred insurers from withholding policies to children under 19 who have a pre-existing condition. Rather than take on the burdensome cost of writing policies for potentially-pricey medical conditions, many carriers decided to leave the market altogether.

Most carriers dropped their plans in August and September 2010. Coincidence?

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) pressed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the issue at a Thursday morning hearing.

“It’s absolutely devastating,” Enzi said. “The outcome is predictable as a result of the drafting that would allow people to buy a policy on the way to the emergency room.”

The outcome is exactly what opponents of Obamacare, meaning a majority of Americans, said would happen. Of course, this gives the Left the opening to say “hey, since these mean evil insurance companies aren’t going to offer coverage, The Federal Government will have to step in and be the carrier.” It’s not a bug, it’s a fixture: as insurance carriers respond to the demands of Obamacare and drop coverage, have to raise rates, etc, this moves us on the path to a government run single payer system.

Many states took positive actions designed to help insurers to not drop the coverage…oh, wait

Washington state aggressively pushed back at insurers’ plans to drop child-only health insurance, issuing a “cease and desist” order for insurers aiming to end their child-only health insurance policies. The state also issued an emergency rule, establishing an open enrollment period for child-only health plans, in order to “help prevent disruption in the individual health insurance marketplace by promoting a uniform approach to new, regulatory requirements,” according to a copy of the regulation.

Legislating private business practice. That brings to mind some word that starts with “S”, can’t quite remember what it is.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach

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