When insurers nationwide stopped selling new child-only health insurance policies last summer, they did so because a provision of the new health care reform act bars insurance companies from refusing to cover people with prior conditions. According to the industry's logic, this provision created a situation where parents could wait until a child got sick before buying insurance.
Last week, state Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark found a simple solution for allaying the industry's fear while making it possible for the state's children to be insured.
Clark ordered companies selling health insurance in Kentucky to offer child-only policies once again. But she limited open enrollment for such policies to the month of January, with an exception for special circumstances. The limited open enrollment keeps parents from waiting until a child is sick to try to obtain coverage.
Clark's action followed an October hearing on this issue. In her order, she said insurance companies violated state law by ending the sale of child-only policies.
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Clark is to be commended for finding a way to assure child-only policies will continue to be available to protect the health of Kentucky children.