ObamaCare success: insurers stop writing policies for kids

posted at 8:36 am on July 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has been mighty keen on rolling out the most positive aspects of ObamaCare first in order to protect vulnerable Democrats facing voters angry over the bill’s passage.  One of the big wins for Obama in the bill was the mandate for insurers to allow parents to carry their kids on policies until their 26th birthday.  However, that intervention has created a rather perverse set of incentives that will see fewer children insured:

Some major health insurance companies have stopped issuing certain types of policies for children, an unintended consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, state officials said Friday.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in his state UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield have stopped issuing new policies that cover children individually. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said a couple of local insurers in her state have done likewise. …

The major types of coverage for children — employer plans and government programs — are not be affected by the disruption. But a subset of policies — those that cover children as individuals — may run into problems. Even so, insurers are not canceling children’s coverage already issued, but refusing to write new policies.

Starting on September 23rd, insurers will have to allow children onto plans at any time regardless of previous insurance or pre-existing conditions.  The way the law is written, after that date parents can wait until their children get sick to sign them up for individual plans at any time.  Insurers can’t predict the cost of sudden additions to plans for those making immediate use of the system, and so instead just won’t make those kinds of plans available.

Perhaps Congress should have taken more time thinking through these regulations before passing them into law.  Even after nine months, the unintended consequences wind up making things worse rather than better.

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To paraphrase from Jaws:

“This was no voting accident!”

Everyone but the pundits seems to be aware, and able to point to the evidence, that this is deliberate.

Berwick was pretty obviously not put in place to oversee regulations of a private industry but to usher into place a government replacement.

Merovign on July 24, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Crazy. How is it “insurance” at all if you just sign up once you get stage 4 cancer and demand coverage? I’m also wondering how we’re calling these folks “kids” when they should, technically, already be several years out of college, but still on their mommy and daddy’s plans through federal law?

NO ONE thought any of these changes through, which is why a few years down the road, we will REALLY understand the massive negative consequences of this bill.

TheBlueSite on July 24, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Perhaps Congress should have taken more time thinking through these regulations before passing them into law. Even after nine months, the unintended consequences wind up making things worse rather than better.

If this were even the intention of this debacle. Unfortunately it wasn’t intended to make things better. It was intended as a means of control over us. Who cares if a few kids, or elderly, or sickly die. For Dems, it’s survival of the fittest. If you die, then you weren’t fit to live in the first place.

capejasmine on July 24, 2010 at 4:57 PM

get something for nothing and your chicks for free that’s the way to do it.

unseen on July 24, 2010 at 8:51 AM


agmartin on July 24, 2010 at 5:09 PM

We have to pass it so we can see whats in it. Take those words to the ballot box. You read it before you f’n sign it.

johnnyU on July 24, 2010 at 6:08 PM

ObamaCare was never about “health insurance”. It was all about power and money. Pass a law requiring everyone to be covered no matter their condition, no insurance company will ever be able to cover it, the insurers go out of business, government steps in with single payer, government decides who get’s medical care and who doesn’t. Elections have consequences, the Dems and Repubs are equally culpable for the state we’re in. You think our elected representatives care about us? They got theirs, they don’t have to participate in the medical system us “unwashed masses” have to.

TulsAmerican on July 24, 2010 at 6:58 PM

I don’t think parents can add their children any time after 9-23. I think they have to wait until their particular policy has its annual renewal anniversary.

SukieTawdry on July 24, 2010 at 8:45 PM

“Perhaps Congress Democrats should have taken more time thinking through these regulations before passing them into law.”

Fixed it for ya, Ed…

… I don’t recall a single Republican voting for this Marxist/Socialist crap.

Seven Percent Solution on July 24, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Tony Soprano on July 24, 2010 at 8:43 AM

A health care system that Rube Goldberg would be proud of!

DSchoen on July 25, 2010 at 4:54 AM

Speaker Phulofit, has passed it now knows what’s in and realizes the bill is insuring kids and kids do not make enough cutting lawns or delivering papers (which are demeaning jobs anyway). So do not insure them until they need it then give what they need to get well again. Instilling a entitlement attitude early that should remain with them for the rest of their lives.

The focus should be on the kids parents who big Pharma can manipulate to generate larger premiums, of which a percentage is booted (KICKED BACK).

The fairness of this legislation is so profoundly lopsided it could become the 8th wonder of the World, competing with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The top ten percent of the wealthy (>$200,000) will pay 95% and the remaining 5% will pay nothing because they can be subsidized from the kids that are not paying.

Good work Nanny Nancy-time to go.

MSGTAS on July 25, 2010 at 11:53 AM