A number of the provisions of the nation’s new health care law are now in effect as of September 23.
One of the provisions states that insurers can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. That provision has led a number of companies across the U.S. and in South Carolina to stop selling or suspend the sale of child-only policies. Existing policies are not affected by the action.
Insurance carriers say they took the action because the requirement will lead to unpredictable costs and drive up premiums for all customers. Sue Berkowitz, Director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center finds this action disappointing and disturbing.
The Charleston Post and Courier reports that among the companies that have quit selling or suspended the sale of child-only plans are BlueCross Blueshield of South Carolina, Bluechoice Healthplan of South Carolina, Carolina Care Plan, United Healthcare and Wellpath. Berkowitz says this action by insurance carriers illustrates why the country has needed a comprehensive health care legislation for some time.
The trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans estimates about eight percent of all plans sold on the individual market are for people under the age of 18. Most children are covered under family insurance plans.
Berkowitz says because of this decision by a number of health insurers, regrettably the issue will be used as a political football by those that want to repeal the health care law.