Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Children's Health Insurance in Georgia

In Georgia, and almost every other state, parents cannot buy "child only" health insurance. Doesn't matter if your child is healthy or sick. You can't buy it as a stand alone policy.

This has been true since 9/23/2010 and you would think the word would have gotten out by now but apparently not.

WSBTV reported on an elderly Gainesville couple that wanted to buy health insurance on an adopted child. The child is apparently healthy, but they cannot find a carrier anywhere that will insure her.

The Hollanders are in their late-60s and the parents of five biological children and 10 grandchildren.

They took Teri in when they learned her biological mother, who is not a blood relative, could not care for Teri. Karen Hollander told Channel 2’s Diana Davis, “Rather than have the state step in and put her into the system, we took guardianship of her. It’s not something I planned on doing at this stage of the game, starting all over, but life happens,” she said.

When the Hollanders legally adopted Teri three months ago, they were hit with a bombshell.

They said they learned that no insurance company in the United States will cover her.

They could not understand why, and apparently the reporter is clueless as well.

The simple answer is, Obamacare created this situation.

More precisely, HHS Sec. Sebelius took a bad situation and made it worse.

The original law said essentially this. If a carrier accepted an application on a child they could not rider (exclude) any pre-existing conditions. They were allowed to charge a higher rate for sick children, or they could deny them coverage.

HHS decided this was not fair and issued a regulation that prohibited health insurance companies from denying coverage to children.

The result is, no more child only health insurance plans.

The reason for this pushback by the carriers is simple. Many times the standard premium for a child is less than $200 per month. Some carriers are permitted by the state to charge up to 3x the standard rate which may still be insufficient to cover the ongoing medical needs of the child.

To balance out the loss, carriers are allowed to require the child to apply as a dependent to the parents plan. If the parent is accepted, the child will be as well, regardless of how expensive treatment is for the child.

Here is where I take issue with this provision of Obamacrap.

Auto insurer's are not required to issue a policy on a teenage driver. Life insurance companies can refuse to issue a policy on a child, but health insurance is different.

Why is that?

Probably because the idiots that wrote the law, but never bothered to read it before they voted on it, had no clue what they were doing. And if you think it is bad now, just wait. Come 2014 when everyone can apply for insurance without worry of being rejected, guess how much it will cost then?

About 3x current rates.

One good thing that came out of Obamacrap is PCIP (Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan). Several states, including GA, offer this taxpayer subsidized plan to those who cannot otherwise obtain coverage.

But that does not include children UNLESS they have a health condition that precludes them from obtaining health insurance. Of course that won't happen because if a parent applies for coverage on their child, healthy or sick, the application is automatically rejected but has nothing to do with the health of the child.

And if they apply for coverage and list the child as a dependent, the child is automatically approved (if the parent is likewise approved) which would preclude the child from gaining entrance to PCIP.

Even if the parents did manage to get a carrier to issue a letter of denial because of the child's health, that child would have to be uninsured for 6 months before they could apply for PCIP.

Heck, at least they didn't do like Medicare and make them wait until age 65 or have been disabled for 2 years before they could become eligible.

And speaking of Medicare . . .

The Hollanders have Medicare -- the federal insurance program for Americans over the age of 65. It doesn't cover kids. Though the Hollanders aren’t rich, they're not poor either.

Teri doesn't qualify for the state's Peach Care program or Medicaid.

I still maintain the government did a better job of selling cars (Cash for Clunkers) than they have in designing and managing health insurance.


Child only health insurance is now available in Georgia. HEALTH ACCESS is a basic health insurance plan available for children's health insurance in Georgia.
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