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Regence stops selling child-only coverage

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High Five
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Regence BlueCross BlueShield, Oregon's largest health insurer, has stopped selling child-only coverage as part of a worrisome national trend.

Insurance companies are blaming the unpredicatability of recently passed health care reforms for the policy change.

Regence isn't the only company to drop child-only coverage. Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc. and Cigna Inc., among the nation's largest for-profit health insurers, were among the first to do so earlier this month. But Regence, a nonprofit that sells 40 percent of individual health coverage in Oregon, set a powerful example across the state, with at least one company quickly following suit in Oregon.

Insurers that have discontinued child-only coverage say the new health reform law has set the stage for large and unpredictable medical costs. Now that coverage is guaranteed regardless of health, insurers say too many families may wait until their children are sick to buy health insurance. Insurers need enough healthy enrollees to pay premiums to cover the costs of enrollees who are sick.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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