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Senator Mike Enzi:
Access to Child-Only Health Plans Declines Under New Health Care Law
Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Minority staff surveyed whether children under the age of 19 have access to child-only health insurance plans since enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The survey found passage of the new health care law prompted health insurance carriers to stop selling new child-only health plans in many states. Of the 50 states, 17 reported that there are currently no carriers selling child only health plans to new enrollees. Thirty-nine states indicated at least one insurance carrier exited the child-only market following enactment of the new health care laws. Accordingly, child-only health insurance access and competition in the market have declined significantly since passage of the Act. These findings are consistent with earlier surveys and highlight that the Department of Health and Human Services has failed to take action to address problems created by new regulations. This precedent raises concerns about the impact that similar changes, which are scheduled to go into effect in 2014, will have in reducing access and competition in the insurance market.