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Parents with children who have pre-existing medical conditions can obtain health insurance for the children through a state program expanding upon provisions of the federal Healthcare Reform Act.
State Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones held a press conference outside of Childrens Hospital in Hollywood on Wednesday to remind parents that the open enrollment period for the coverage lasts until March 1.
The coverage was made possible through a bill authored by Feuer that ensures children cannot be denied health coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions. The bill, AB 2244, became law on Jan. 1 and stipulates that insurance companies must offer the coverage, or risk being barred from selling any insurance policies in California for five years. According to Feuer, no insurance companies have stopped offering the policies for children. While the open enrollment period runs through March 1, the bill also requires insurance companies to also offer open enrollment during the month that a child was born, so parents who miss the initial enrollment period could enroll their child later in the year.
“This law will ensure that all California children have access to affordable care and a healthy future,” Feuer said.
Feuer authored the bill after Anthem Blue Cross and other health insurance providers announced plans last year to suspend health insurance policies for children with pre-existing medical conditions. The insurance companies have since resumed offering the policies. The bill also requires the companies to renew existing policies for children. The insurance commissioner and the Department of Insurance will work with consumers to ensure compliance.
Feuer has partnered with the non-profit organization, “100% Campaign”, to provide information about their options. For information, visit www.100 percentcampaign.org. Parents can also find information about healthcare plans at www.finder.healthcare.gov.
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