US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Preliminary Survey Shows Access to New Health Insurance for Children is Harmed As A Result of The New Health Care Law

Thursday, January 27, 2011HELP Committee Press Office (202) 224-6770

Washington, D.C. – Preliminary results from a survey to determine the impact of the health care law on child only health plans were released today by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo). Enzi spoke about the findings of this survey at today’s HELP Committee hearing to examine the impact of health care reform on consumers.

“Unfortunately because of the new health care law, kids in at least 20 states cannot get health insurance, because new child only plans are no longer being sold in their states.  My staff have been surveying all of the states and the findings are shocking.  Despite Secretary Sebelius’ testimony that insurers are no longer allowed to deny coverage to children, my staff has discovered that many health insurance companies have just stopped selling these child only plans.  This is a devastating problem for parents who need to buy child only health insurance plans for their children,” said Enzi.

A federal rule published last June has prompted health insurance carriers to stop selling new child only health plans in many states. Of the 48 states that responded to the HELP Committee survey, 20 said there are no carriers currently selling child only plans to new enrollees.  In 34 states, at least one child only health insurance carrier has exited the market.  Each of these carriers stopped selling new child only policies following enactment of the new laws.

The survey asked all 50 states whether any insurance carriers discontinued child only health insurance plans, and if so, when carriers exited the market, and finally, whether any carriers in the state are currently selling child only plans to new enrollees. Committee staff plans to issue a report upon receiving responses from the remaining states.  A copy of the preliminary survey is available here.

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