Thanks to health care reform being passed in 20101, children can no longer be denied health insurance coverage because of their pre-existing conditions. That should be a good thing, except insurance providers found a loophole to exploit.
Stop offering coverage for children altogether.
It’s a typical lazy response to issues like this: if you stand to lose money, then drop it altogether like a hot potato instead of finding an alternative solution to the problem.
Carrie MacLean, consumer health insurance expert affiliated with eHealthInsurance.com, asks “How would you feel if you were told that you children could no longer be declined for health insurance, but then you found that no plans were actually available?”
So what do you do in cases like this where your child has a pre-existing condition and needs health insurance?
- The first thing you need to do is check if there are any insurers that offer child-only policies in your neck of the woods. Checking with your State Insurance Department will help. If there are, ask when the enrollment periods are.
- If your state does not offer child-only policies, then enroll your child in your health policy as a dependent. A child can’t be refused coverage if enrolled as a dependent to an individual or group policy.
- You could also check if your family is eligible for Children’s Health Insurance Policy (CHIP) via Medicaid.
- Check also if your child is eligible for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP) of your state.
One last thing: you might want to call up your healthcare insurance provider and ask them directly if they have child-only policies. Some providers are not allowed to sell these plans via their agents, so it could pay to just come up and ask them straight out.