Health insurers offering individual plans in Kentucky will be required to allow open enrollment for children under 19 next month. The rule is the result of an early battle to implement national healthcare reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act began prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage due to an applicant's pre-existing health condition on September 23rd, 2010. Insurers in Kentucky offering "child-only" policies reacted.
"In order to get around that provision of offering it to everyone, they made the decision not to offer it to anyone," Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark says.
After a hearing on the subject in October of last year, Clark decided to order insurers to allow enrollment in "child-only" plans every January. Clark says she feared letting the companies drop the policies completely would have placed an added burden on Kentucky Access, the state's high-risk pool. The order remains in effect through 2013. A list of health insurers required to offer the policies is available at insurance.ky.gov.