Child-Only Coverage and the Affordable Care Act: Lessons for Policymakers

Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief, pub. 1629, Vol. 25, October 2012

16 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2012

See all articles by Katie Keith

Katie Keith

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center on Health Insurance Reforms

Kevin Lucia

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center on Health Insurance Reforms

Sabrina Corlette

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center on Health Insurance Reforms

Date Written: October 1, 2012

Abstract

The Affordable Care Act prohibited insurers from denying or limiting coverage for children under the age of 19 in 2010. In response, some insurers ceased to offer coverage to children in need of individual health insurance, known as a “child-only” policy. This issue brief examines new state legislative and regulatory action to promote the availability of child-only policies in response to this market disruption. The analysis finds that 22 states and the District of Columbia passed new legislation or issued a new regulation or subregulatory guidance. As a result, child-only coverage is available in nearly all of these states. These findings suggest that states have flexibility to take innovative actions to maintain or improve their markets and insurers are highly sensitive to the risk of adverse selection. The findings also suggest the need for meaningful regulatory incentives to avoid market disruption in successfully implementing broader reforms in 2014.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act, child-only, health insurance

Suggested Citation

Keith, Katie and Lucia, Kevin and Corlette, Sabrina, Child-Only Coverage and the Affordable Care Act: Lessons for Policymakers (October 1, 2012). Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief, pub. 1629, Vol. 25, October 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2160493

Katie Keith (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center on Health Insurance Reforms ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Kevin Lucia

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center on Health Insurance Reforms ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Sabrina Corlette

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center on Health Insurance Reforms ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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