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States urged to take up issue of insurers and child-only medical coverage

October 14, 2010

Call it healthcare reform meets the law of unintended consequences.

No sooner did new rules governing child-only medical coverage kick in than insurers abruptly stopped offering new policies rather than cover children with preexisting conditions. In fact, some companies pulled out before the Sept. 23 rule went into effect. (The actions don’t affect children who are currently covered.) The Los Angeles Times reports on which companies pulled out in "Big health insurers to stop selling new child-only policies."

Now the feds are crying foul and urging insurers to rethink their position, as the Orlando Sentinel reports in "Feds urge states: Push insurers to offer child-only health policies."

How many children does this really affect? Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and media reports say the number is "small"; the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans says 6% of the 16.7 million Americans with individual health policies have child-only policies.

Read an online guide to how children and young adults are affected by the Affordable Care Act at U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

--Mary Forgione / Los Angeles Times

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