(NEW YORK) -- The move by some health insurance companies to eliminate child-only policies has many questioning whether providers will try to circumvent provisions of the new health care reform law in the future. Politically, it has unearthed old tensions between the Obama administration and health insurers, as new provisions began to take effect on Thursday.
Concerns about the new law have prompted major insurance providers, like WellPoint, Cigna, CoventryOne, and some Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to stop offering child-only policies, as the Washington Post first reported.
The health care law prohibits health insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, but coverage for children under 19 will now be offered in family plans instead of as a separate policy. The move itself won't have an impact on a large percentage of the population. A recent survey by America's Health Insurance Plans found that six percent of individual policies are child-only plans.
Insurance companies say they were forced to drop child-only plans because of higher costs and to keep themselves competitive.
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