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Insurance Companies Dump Kids' Coverage! WTH?!

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momlogic's Vivian:So much for doing right by this nation's children: When Obama's law barring insurance companies from denying coverage to kids with preexisting conditions goes into effect, some health-insurance companies will respond by denying children, PERIOD. This latest d-bag move is a total outrage!

health insurance form

The L.A. Timeshas revealed that,rather than abide by Obama's new federal healthcare law (which requires insurers to cover children under 19, regardless of whether or not they have preexisting conditions),major health-insurance companies in a bunch of states have announced their intention to stop selling health-insurance policies for children altogether. (Kids with current child-only plans and those covered through their parents' jobs will remain covered.)

This means that Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, Aetna and other companies in heavily populated states like California, Illinois, Florida and Connecticut could potentially hose as many as 500,000 kids. Insurance companies are countering with explanations and justifications about the potential "massive costs" they'll incur if they comply with Obama's new law. They say parents might start buying policies only after their kids get sick, and that as a result, many insurance companies will have to close shop, leaving just a few to foot the big bill. This in turn may leave parents with no recourse but to enroll their children in public insurance programs such as Medi-Cal.

Of this sucky turn of events, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "It's obviously very unfortunate that insurance companies continue to make decisions on the backs of children and families that need their help." The Obama administration has suggested that insurers could compromise by making child-only policies available during "designated enrollment periods."

Gwyn Dilday, a spokeswoman from Cigna, said, "We made a decision to stop offering child-only policies to ensure that we can remain competitive in the ten markets where we sell individual and family plans. We'll continue to evaluate this policy and could reconsider changing this position as market dynamics change."

This crap, after these same companies said they'd overlook the loophole in Obama's law that makes this whole thing possible. (It says an insurance company can't write a policy that excludes coverage for preexisting conditions, but doesn't say anywhere that a child can't be rejected completely.)

Such an ugly display of corporate opportunism -- not to mention horrible PR. Half the American population has children under 18. Who in the world would buy an insurance policy from a company that screws kids out of coverage?

What do you guys think?


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