Friday, April 6, 2012

Child Only Health Insurance

Child health insurance, health insurance for children only, is about to make a comeback in Georgia. Obamacare eliminated the ability for parents to purchase health insurance on their children on a stand alone basis. Since 2010 the only way to purchase a child health insurance policy on children under the age of 19 was to add them as a dependent on the parent's health insurance plan.

The 2012 session of the GA legislature approved a bill that will allow parents to once again purchase a child only health insurance plan.

On April 3, 2012 GA House Bill 1166 was sent to Gov. Deal and is awaiting his signature.

Once the bill becomes law, parents will once again be able to purchase a child only health insurance plan in Georgia, beginning in 2013. The law is due to sunset on 12/31/2013 based on the assumption that Obamacare will replace this law on 1/1/2014.

Currently the only way to purchase a child only health insurance plan in GA is to apply for a STM (short term plan) or a fixed benefit basic health insurance plan such as Health Access.

In 2013 that will change.

But wait, there's more . . .

Obamacare denies health insurance carriers the ability to reject children's health insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions. Children's health insurance policies cannot have exclusion riders because of pre-existing health. Premium surcharges are allowed without an upper limit.

Each GA health insurance carrier handle's child health insurance differently. Some apply rate up's to the child's premium only while others will spread the premium surcharge over other family members. Some premiums are surcharged as much as 500% of the standard premium.

The good news is, the Georgia DOI does have to approve rates for children's health insurance and we can expect carriers to soon begin filing new rates for 2013.

We won't know what the new rates will be until late 2012, probably in December.

At this point I would not be surprised to see base rates for children's health insurance under the age of 19 by at least 100%, perhaps more. This will also impact family rates, possibly making health insurance unaffordable.

Which is contrary to what Obama promised when promoting the Affordable Care Act . . . .

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