Ed Sealover of The Denver Business Journal reports:
Colorado insurers offering individual health policies to adults will be required to offer them to children as well on Aug. 1, according to an order issued Thursday by the Colorado Division of Insurance.
The emergency order follows Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signing on Friday of Senate Bill 128, which mandates that any company offering adult individual health policies must offer them to children. …
Federal health care reform [sic] required that, beginning in September 2010, insurers must offer policies to all children, regardless of whether they have pre-existing conditions, if the insurers sell any child-only insurance. Rather than comply with what they called a costly mandate, many chose to leave the child-only market, a relatively small market typically used by unemployed or uninsured parents who want coverage for their children but not themselves.
The whole article is here: Colorado issues emergency order on child health coverage.
What Sealover, and other journalists fail to mention is that insurers need not only issue policies too all the apply (““), but do so at the same price, regardless of the applicant’s health risk (“ “). Economist John Goodman describes a downside of this:
Plans … profit on healthy enrollees and suffer a loss on less healthy enrollees.” Insurers “have strong financial incentives to attract the healthy and avoid the sick. After enrollment, their incentives would be to over-provide to the healthy (to retain their membership and attract more of them) and under-provide to the sick (to discourage their continued membership and repel others just like them).