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California Insurers Back To Selling Coverage For Children

Audio

Aired 1/4/11

California health insurers are back in the business of selling policies for children. A new law requires companies to offer such products, or face a five-year ban in the state's individual market.

— California health insurers are back in the business of selling policies for children. A new law requires companies to offer such products, or face a five-year ban in the state's individual market.

California insurers stopped selling child-only policies last September. That's when an element of health reform took effect, mandating companies to cover all children regardless of pre-existing conditions.

California's new law requires insurers to offer these polices, and limits the cost of the premiums. Insurers can charge no more than twice the standard rate.

Anthony Wright directs the non-profit group Health Access California.

"This is a bridge to 2014," Wright said, "where children and adults will not be allowed to be denied for pre-existing conditions, nor will they allow to be charged more for pre-exisiting conditions."

Wright noted there are tens of thousands of child-only policies sold in the state. He said parents buy them when their employer doesn't offer dependent coverage.

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