Insurers Cave on Covering Sick Kids Now

Industry argued for narrow interpretation of health bill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2010 7:16 AM CDT
Updated Mar 30, 2010 7:40 AM CDT
An estimated 1% to 2% of uninsured children nationwide have pre-existing conditions that prevented them getting private insurance before health care reform.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – The insurance industry, faced with an outraged administration, has retreated from efforts to deny sick children with pre-existing conditions coverage until 2014. Health secretary Kathleen Sebelius plans to issue regulations in the coming weeks making it clear that sick children must be given access to their parents' insurance plans by September at the latest, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Now is not the time to search for non-existent loopholes that preserve a broken system," Sebelius warned. The industry's lobbying organization had argued for a much narrower interpretation of the relevant section of the health care reform bill, which affects an estimated 80,000 to 160,000 children nationwide; it cautions that following the broader interpretation will drive prices up.

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