Which health insurance plan is best for kids with medical conditions? Consumer Q&A
Two of the most common questions we see on Yahoo Answers are ‘How can I find cheap health insurance? ’ and ‘How can I get coverage for my child? ’ When it comes to the second issue – health insurance options for kids – the answer gets complicated.
It gets complicated because insurance companies in many states don’t offer plans to kids on their own anymore. That can be frustrating for parents. They may be able to purchase a plan with themselves listed as the primary applicant and the child as a dependent – but what if they can’t afford a family plan?
The situation – and the parents – get even more desperate if the child in question is sick or has a pre-existing condition requiring medical care. Last week on Yahoo Answers we took a question from a parent who wanted to know if Blue Cross Blue Shield was a good health insurance company for kids with serious pre-existing medical conditions.
The eHealthInsurance reply was voted Best Answer :
There are different BCBS carriers in different states and they each offer dozens of different
plans. Lots of these are good plans. Some may meet your needs, others may not.
The real question here is whether you’ll be able to actually get child coverage. Are you looking for a plan to cover just your children, or one to cover you too? It makes a difference. It also makes a difference which state you live in.
The 2010 health reform law made it so that kids can’t be declined coverage for individually-purchased health insurance solely on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions. As an unintended consequence, however, many insurers stopped offering child-only plans (that is, plans with no parent on the policy). Today, there are about 27 states where you can find child-only coverage in one form or another. In some states it’s available year-round. In others you have to wait for a special open enrollment period or qualifying event.
We recently wrote about this on our blog and published a chart of states where we were able to confirm that child-only coverage was available. You might want to take a look .
We also listed some general tips for people shopping for health insurance for their kids.
Photo via Flickr user DorkyMum