Aetna to Discontinue Child-only policies beginning October 1, 2010
For 10/1/10 and later effective dates, Aetna will discontinue new business sales of child-only policies to applicants (under the age of 19) for Aetna Advantage Plans for Individuals, Families and the Self Employed. No existing policyholders are affected by this action.
Effective immediately, any applications received requesting a child-only policy with a 10/1/10 effective date (or later) will be closed. Underwriting will notify applicants by mail of their ineligibility, but also provide options for coverage – see below.
Why is Aetna making this change?
This change positions Aetna for the future so they can effectively handle upcoming changes resulting from healthcare reform (i.e. they are likely to lose money on child-only coverage). New federal rules require guaranteed issue (GI) of coverage for individuals under the age of 19 and no corresponding coverage requirement. These conditions have the potential to significantly increase the cost of premiums and make coverage unaffordable.
No impact to existing child-only policies
Existing policyholders will not be impacted by this action and they may continue their current coverage. These policies are renewable
Discontinuation of child-only coverage for the following states AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NV, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, and WY will occur on 10/1/10. The implementation date for the following states CT, MD, OH, and OK is still being established.
Other health insurance options available for individuals under age 19
- Be added as a dependent to a parent’s plan.
- If the above option is not a viable solution, applicants can check www.healthcare.gov for alternatives
Aetna continues to explore options with states where they are ceasing the sales of new child-only policies, including reviewing other regulatory changes that may allow them to re-enter this market and provide a valuable product between now and 2014, but this is highly unlikely.