Insurers Stop Selling New Child-Only Health Plans

By Staff | September 22, 2010 | 6:07 PM EDT

(AP) - Several health insurers say they will stop selling new child-only individual insurance policies as they face a health care reform provision that prevents them from excluding children with potentially costly pre-existing conditions.

Under reform, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to children or agree to cover a child except for services related to certain conditions. Insurance industry representatives say this provision means parents could wait until their children become sick to sign up for coverage.

That could drive up insurance costs.

The insurers' decision is expected to affect a relatively small portion of the individual coverage market. Insurers still will offer coverage for children as part of a family policy.

But parents of children who don't qualify for a government insurance program may have difficulty finding coverage.