Published Saturday, January 12, 2013
From Special Reports
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – Parents wanting to buy health coverage for just their children have until Jan. 31 to apply or face the possibility that pre-existing conditions will be excluded.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said Thursday that he ordered insurance companies doing business in the state to post a notice on their websites, and he’s on a statewide media tour to notify the public. Still, he fears many parents won’t get the word.
Legislation he supported, that Brunswick Republican Alex Atwood introduced in the House, requires companies selling health insurance in the state to offer policies that cover children only. Hudgens said all of the companies stopped offering the plans when federal health reform required them to accept all regardless of their health.
“I’m not saying this is going to be cheap,” Hudgens said. “But it is going to be insurance.”
After the open-enrollment period ends, the plans will only be available to families that suffered a life-changing event like a job loss, a birth or a parent’s death.
The policies are used by families who can’t afford to cover everyone or in cases where a divorce court orders the coverage but a parent can’t include them on an employer plan.