Division of Insurance: two companies to continue child-only policies

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Only two Colorado insurance companies have announced their intention to continue to offer “child-only” individual health plans.

Kaiser Permanente and Rocky Mountain Health Plans are the only two companies that have told the Division of Insurance they plan to stay in the market.

Other companies discussed pulling out of the child only market when federal laws went into effect that prohibit companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

“Many of these children do not have life-threatening conditions, but their families want to take responsibility for their health coverage,” said Commissioner Marcy Morrison.

In response to the upheaval in the child-only market, Morrison passed emergency regulations last month that the established specific enrollment periods for all carriers that offer the policies.

“We heard from some carriers who felt parents might wait to enroll children until there was a medical need, which can increase financial risk for carriers. By creating uniform enrollment periods for all carriers, we intended to spread the risk across all the companies.”

State law does not require companies who offer family health coverage to also offer child only policies – policies that cover only children, with no adult on the plan.

“If there are others out there who still plan to offer these child-only policies, we’d like to hear about it, so we can refer customers to them.”

Insurance carriers are not required to notify the division of insurance when they start or stop marketing a specific plan, so no one is certain how many companies are still offering the policies in Colorado.