Children-Only Health Insurance Going Away

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PostTue Sep 21, 2010 11:47 pm » by Boondox681

Insurance Companies: Health Care Reform To Blame

DENVER -- Thousands of Colorado children will soon have fewer options for health insurance. And parents who may not be able to afford it for themselves, but want it for their children won't have that option.

Ironically the change is as a result of the health care reform act.

7NEWS learned several large insurance companies are no longer offering child-only health policies.

Child-only policies are typically obtained by families because sometimes it's cheaper than a family health plan through an employer. But most often parents who cannot afford health insurance for themselves purchase a child-only policy to make sure their kids are insured even if they are not.

According to Dr. Larry Wolk, with Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, child-only policies are for parents who may make too much money for Medicaid, but not enough to afford health insurance.

Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics has three clinics in the metro area -- Thornton, Denver and Aurora.

"We see kids whether they have insurance or not," said Wolk.

On Thursday Brandee Lucero took her 4-month-old daughter, Antoinette Daniels, to Rocky Mountain Youth Clinic in Thornton for her check-up.

"I got blessed," said Lucero. "(Antoinette) is very healthy."

Lucero said she is double blessed because her daughter qualifies for Medicaid.

"It is very relieving knowing she is getting it because I think of people that cannot get on it and they don't have anything," said Lucero.

Luckily, even people without insurance have safety-net clinics and hospitals across the metro area -- Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics is one of them.

But Lucero worries that once she gets a job she may not have health insurance for Antoinette because she may make too much money to qualify for a public program such as Medicaid or CHP Plus and the company she works for may not offer insurance or a plan she can afford.

In the past, families in such predicaments used to be able to purchase child-only policies. However, because of the Affordable Care Act those options are disappearing in Colorado.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies which offer child-only policies to take all kids, even those with preexisting conditions.

According to Robbie Zirkelbach, of America's Health Insurance Plans, this is an issue the government did not see when it passed the Affordable Care Act. He said until there is a mandate that all kids have insurance, like there will be in 2014, there is an incentive for parents now to only sign-up their child when he or she is sick.
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