Some major health insurance companies will no longer issue certain types of policies for children, an unintended consequence of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law, state officials said Friday.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said several big insurers in his state will stop issuing new policies that cover children individually. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said a couple of local insurers in her state are doing likewise.
In Florida, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, and Golden Rule -- a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare -- notified the insurance commissioner that they will stop issuing individual policies for children, said Jack McDermott, a spokesman for McCarty.
The major types of coverage for children -- employer plans and government programs -- are not be affected by the disruption. But a subset of policies -- those that cover children as individuals -- may run into problems. Even so, insurers are not canceling children's coverage already issued, but refusing to write new policies.
The administration reacted sharply to the pullback. ''We're disappointed that a small number of insurance companies are taking this unwarranted and unnecessary step,'' said Jessica Santillo, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services department.
Starting later this year, the health care overhaul law requires insurers to accept children regardless of medical problems -- a major early benefit of the complex legislation. Insurers are worried that parents will wait until kids get sick to sign them up, saddling the companies with unpredictable costs.
THIS IS JUST ONE OF A LONG LIST OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES WHICH ARE DESTINED TO BE DISCOVERED AS THE 2000 PAGE "REFORM" UNFOLDS.
SIMILAR BAD CONSEQUENCES WILL NO DOUBT BE PRODUCED BY THE RECENT FINREG "REFORM" - A 2300 PAGE FIASCO-IN-WAITING.
AS LONG AS WE ARE A FREE NATION, THE FEDS CAN'T ORDER THE INSURERS TO OFFER SEPARATE INSURANCE FOR KIDS ANYMORE THAN THEY CAN ORDER US WHAT WE WANT TO READ OR SAY.
THE ONLY WAY TO GUARANTEE WE REMAIN A FREE NATION IS TO VOTER GOP THIS NOVEMBER.
UPDATE: "Insurers also warn that the regulations could backfire. In a letter to state regulators detailing its concerns this month, WellPoint said the new rules could 'paradoxically result in reduced health care quality in the system and higher costs.'”
The legislative battle over the health care overhaul ended months ago, but it is hard to tell from the intense effort now under way by insurance companies to retool a critical provision.
The law requires health insurers to spend at least 80 cents out of every dollar they collect in premiums on the welfare of patients, a critical issue for the companies’ bottom lines.
But state regulators are only now deciding what precisely that means, as they draft the rules to enact the law. WellPoint, which operates Blue Cross plans in more than a dozen states, wants to include the cost of verifying the credentials of doctors in its networks. Insurance companies likeargue that ferreting out fraud by identifying doctors performing unnecessary operations should count the same way as programs that keep people who have out of emergency rooms.
Some insurers even insist that typical business expenses — like sales commissions for insurance agents and taxes paid on investments — should not be considered part of insurance premiums, which would make it easier for them to meet the 80-cent minimum.
The calculation of what is called the medical-loss ratio is crucial to insurance companies, because the law requires them to refund money to consumers if they spend too much on administrative costs.
OBAMACARE MAY GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS THW WORST LEGISLATION OF ALL TIME.