Parents and guardians of children ages 1 to 18 have until July 31 to enroll for child-only insurance, the state Insurance Department said Tuesday.
While coverage has always remained available for children through family insurance plans, child-only policies are needed for a small percentage of children who are without private coverage for the entire family and who don't qualify for government programs.
“This segment of the market is important, even though it's small,” Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. “We have grandparents on Medicare who are raising a grandchild. While they don't need a family health insurance policy, they do need an individual policy for that child.”
With passage of national health care reform, the federal government mandated that insurers cannot deny coverage to children younger than 19 because of pre-existing conditions. That prompted most insurers nationwide to stop writing new child-only insurance policies, leaving about 4 percent of Oklahoma children with no options for insurance.