Kentucky orders health insurers to provide child-only policies

The Lexington Herald-LeaderNovember 18, 2010 

Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark on Thursday ordered all individual health insurers selling in Kentuckyto offer an open enrollment period in January for Kentuckians under 19 — effectively ordering balky insurers to resume selling "child-only" policies.

The state Public Protection Cabinet ordered the change as a result of an Oct. 13 hearing in which insurers were asked to explain why they stopped writing "child-only" policies on Sept. 23. That was the effective date the companies could no longer deny coverage because of a pre-existing health condition under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The state insurance department said the decision by insurers to stop offering such policies was a violation of state law and discriminated against those under 19 who need individual health insurance.

Clark said she was concerned that families needing a "child-only" policy would be forced into the Kentucky Access high-risk pool.

The order makes annual open enrollment available each January beginning in 2011 and running through 2013. Federal health care reform will prohibit insurers from denying coverage, regardless of health status, in 2014.

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