California insurance commissioner issues guidance for children's health insurance
Outgoing California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has issued draft guidelines for health insurance
companies to prevent insurers from limiting health coverage for children.
The guidance relates to a state law effective Jan. 1, requiring insurance companies to offer coverage to all children under 19 years without exclusions or limitations due to pre-existing conditions. The law follows federal health care reform.
The draft guidelines clarify that every company writing individual health insurance
must offer coverage to children under 19 on every individual policy it sells. The new law is designed to prevent insurance companies from offering health coverage for children on a limited number of policies.
"I want to make sure that insurers completely understand their obligations under the new health reform laws, especially as they relate to health coverage for children," Poizner said in a media statement.
The new law also requires insurers to offer coverage to children at all times during the year and places a limit on the allowable premium if a child applies during a specified open enrollment period (usually the child's birth month) or late enrollment periods.