Insurance Commissioner Announces Health Open Enrollment Period.
“Child Only” policies to be offered without health questions.
DES MOINES, IOWA, May 11, 2011. An Administrative Rule adopted by the Insurance Division and effective June 8, 2011 will permit the enrollment of children regardless of their health in a type of coverage known as “child only” policies. Child only policies can be good options for some families when traditional family coverage is not practical or affordable or in other special circumstances.
Federal Affordable Care Act provisions that became effective in September of 2010 guaranteed the ability of all children, even those with serious health problems, to enroll in health insurance coverage. This Administrative Rule specifies the times during which enrollment must be permitted to occur, but does not restrict the companies from offering this opportunity to other times as well. The rule’s provisions allow this useful alternative to remain an option in the marketplace for Iowa parents by structuring enrollment processes in a way that encourages insurers to remain in the market.
“For some families, child-only policies are the best option,” said Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss. “We wanted to see insurers continuing to offer them as a choice for families. This open enrollment approach is being used in several states and works for the benefit of parents and kids across the state.”
The Administrative Rule requires each company selling child-only policies to conspicuously post on its website and in other advertising media the process for the open enrollment period with its company. Companies selling this type of policy will all have the same open enrollment season, July 1 through August 14, and each will allow a guaranteed acceptance of enrollment of individual children who apply during that time.
Questions about the open enrollment into a child-only policy can also be answered by the Insurance Division’s Consumer Assistance Program. The Insurance Division’s toll-free number 877-955-1212 will be answered from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday.
About the Iowa Insurance Division
The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) has general control, supervision and direction over all insurance and securities business transacted in the state, and enforces Iowa’s laws and regulations. The IID investigates consumer complaints and prosecutes companies, agents and brokers engaging in unfair trade practices. Consumers with insurance or securities-related questions or complaints may contact the IID toll free at 877-955-1212 or visit the Division on the web at www.iid.state.ia.us.