Filling in Gaps in Coverage for Children Denied Health Insurance

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<p>The Affordable Care Act prohibits health insurers from denying or limiting coverage for children under 19, a policy that went into effect in September 2010. In response, some insurers stopped offering coverage to children in need of individual health insurance. </p><p>A new <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2012/oct/child-only-coverage-and-affordable-care-act-lessons-policymakers">Commonwealth Fund issue brief</a> prepared by Georgetown University researchers examines actions taken by states between 2010 and 2012 to promote the availability of child-only insurance policies. The analysis finds that 22 states and the District of Columbia have now passed new legislation or issued new regulations or guidance to make child-only coverage available in nearly all of these states. The findings show that states have flexibility to take innovative actions to maintain or improve their insurance markets, say authors Katie Keith, Kevin Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette. </p>
<p>Because the denial of insurance coverage due to a preexisting health condition poses serious barriers to needed care, the health reform law bans insurers from turning down people with preexisting conditions, or even limiting their coverage. Although this reform will be in effect for all individuals in 2014, the ban on limiting coverage because of preexisting conditions went into effect for children under 19 on September 23, 2010. The change will be accompanied by subsidies for private plans and an expansion of Medicaid eligibility, along with the individual requirement to have health insurance, which will also be rolled out in 2014. </p>
<p>Read more on <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2012/oct/child-only-coverage-and-affordable-care-act-lessons-policymakers"></a>.</p>