By Julian Pecquet - 01/27/11 05:45 PM EST
Of the 48 states that answered the survey, 20 said there are no carriers currently selling child-only plans to new enrollees. And in 34 states, at least one child-only health insurance carrier has exited the market.
"My staff have been surveying all of the states and the findings are shocking," ranking member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said in a statement. Despite [Health and Human Services] Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius' testimony that insurers are no longer allowed to deny coverage to children, my staff has discovered that many health insurance companies have just stopped selling these child only plans. This is a devastating problem for parents who need to buy child only health insurance plans for their children."
Enzi grilled Sebelius on the issue during a hearing Thursday.
Asked if the provision should be reconsidered, Sebelius said there was an "initial flurry of announcements" by insurers but that many are "reconsidering." She also said it was "pretty cynical" to offer policies only for healthy children and said that children have other options, including access to the Children's Health Insurance Program or staying on their parents' plan until the age of 26.