Children's Health Insurance Coverage in 2013: eHealth Releases Updated State Market Data

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/27/13 -- Today eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) (eHealthInsurance.com), America's first and largest private online health insurance exchange, released information about the availability of children's health coverage and open enrollment periods for child-only individual health insurance plans in select states.

"Child-only" plans are individual health insurance policies made available to children age 18 and under with no parent or guardian listed on the same policy. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prevents insurers from declining health insurance applications for children due to pre-existing medical conditions. However, concern that parents could delay purchasing coverage for children until they get sick led some health insurance companies to stop offering child-only plans in a number of states.

In response, certain states and insurance companies have designated open enrollment periods for child-only plans -- specific annual or biannual enrollment windows when parents or guardians can enroll children in their own individual health insurance plans without danger of being declined due to their medical history. In some states, child-only coverage is available year-round.

The summary below represents a snapshot of current rules and processes governing child-only health insurance in select states. This document is not a comprehensive review of every state's plan for compliance with this aspect of the federal health reform law. Please refer to individual state departments of insurance for additional information.

             Availability of Child-only Health Insurance in 2013

        STATE                 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIODS AND CONDITIONS
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                       Availability of child-only plans varies by insurance
       Alaska          company but some insurers offer child-only coverage
                                           year-round.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
      Arkansas                    may vary by insurance company.
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                       Open enrollment occurs during child's birth month --
                      Applications submitted at other times may be approved
     California      with a higher premium due to pre-existing conditions or
                      if submitted without a qualifying event. Some insurers
                              offer child-only coverage year-round.
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                      Open enrollment occurs in January and July 2013. Some
      Colorado             insurers may accept applications year-round.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
     Connecticut                  may vary by insurance company.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
      Delaware                    may vary by insurance company.
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                      Open enrollment periods occur in January and July but
District of Columbia             insurer participation may vary.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
       Hawaii                     may vary by insurance company.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
        Idaho                     may vary by insurance company.
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                      Open enrollment occurs July 1 through August 14, 2013
        Iowa              -- though some insurers may accept child-only
                                     applications year-round.
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      Illinois           Open enrollment occurs in January and July 2013.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
       Kansas         may vary by insurance company and by locale within the
                                              state.
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      Kentucky               Open enrollment occurs in January 2013.
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                       Child-only health insurance policies available year-
        Maine                                 round.
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      Maryland              Open enrollment in January and July 2013.
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                      Open enrollment occurs from July 1 through August 15,
    Massachusetts                             2013.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
      Missouri             may vary by insurance company and by locale.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
       Montana        may vary by insurance company, though qualifying event
                                         may be required.
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                       Child-only health insurance policies available year-
    New Hampshire                             round.
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                       Child-only health insurance policies available year-
     New Jersey                               round.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
     New Mexico                   may vary by insurance company.
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                       Child-only health insurance policies available year-
      New York                                round.
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                         Open enrollment occurs in March 2013 but insurer
        Ohio                         participation may vary.
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                         Open enrollment occurs in June and July 2013 but
      Oklahoma                   insurer participation may vary.
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                       Child-only health insurance policies available year-
       Oregon                                 round.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
    Pennsylvania                  may vary by insurance company.
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                       Child-only health insurance policies available year-
    Rhode Island                              round.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
    South Dakota                  may vary by insurance company.
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                     Availability of child-only plans and enrollment periods
                        may vary by insurance company -- A certificate of
        Utah             insurability is required and can be obtained by
                       applying and being denied coverage under the state's
                                     high-risk pool, HIPUtah.
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                       Child-only health insurance policies available year-
       Vermont                                round.
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                        Open enrollment from March 15 - April 30, 2013 and
     Washington                 September 15 to October 31, 2013.
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States were selected for inclusion in the chart above when eHealthInsurance was able to obtain information indicating that there was at least one health insurer in the state offering major-medical child-only coverage in at least some circumstances. This is not a complete analysis of the child-only market. Rules and conditions governing child-only coverage in any specific state may be subject to change.

While the data collected above provides some guidance for consumers in states where child-only coverage is available, rules affecting consumers in specific states and with specific health insurance companies may vary.

  • In some states, child-only health insurance plans may be obtained both through licensed agents and the insurance company, while in other states they may only be obtained by applying directly through the health insurance company.
  • A qualifying event (such as birth or adoption, the death of a parent, the loss of employer-sponsored coverage, etc) may be required in some states in order to qualify for child-only health insurance outside an open enrollment period.
  • Some states allow insurers to charge child-only applicants with pre-existing medical conditions higher rates than those without pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Insurance companies in some states may be allowed to add a surcharge to the monthly premium for applicants who were previously uninsured.
  • In some states, insurers have opted to accept child-only applications year-round while others may choose not to offer child-only policies at all.

To learn more about the status and availability of child-only health insurance plans in their area, consumers should contact a licensed health insurance agent or their state's department of insurance.

Additional Consumer Resources:

About eHealth

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, America's first and largest private health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from leading insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Through the company's eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealthTechnology's exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.

For more health insurance news and information, visit the eHealthInsurance consumer blog: Get Smart -- Get Covered.

PDF Attachment Available: https://na1.ipressroom.com/pr/ehi/document/Child_Only_Health_Insurance_Open_Enrollment_by_State_2013.pdf

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Sande Drew
eHealth, Inc.
(916) 207-7674
sande.drew@ehealth.com

Kris Kraves
Cogenta Communications
(805) 527-7733 - direct
kris@cogentacom.com