The threat from the health insurance industry came Monday on an apparent loophole which apparently gave insurers wiggle room to deny coverage to children with preexisting conditions.
The fine print of the law appears to have been less than completely clear on whether kids with health problems are guaranteed coverage starting this year. If there’s a problem, some parents and their children may have to wait a long time: The legislation’s broad ban on denying coverage to any person on account of a health condition doesn’t take effect until 2014.
The sticking point is that the immediate benefit for children may not be as sweeping as Obama has claimed in extolling the legislation.
That’s because the law can also be read to mean that if an insurance company accepts a particular child, it cannot write a policy for a child that excludes coverage for a given condition. For example, if the child has asthma, the insurer cannot exclude inhalers and respiratory care from coverage, as sometimes happens now.
But the company could still turn down the child altogether.
Now, that will not happen. Again from the AP:
The insurance industry says it won’t fight President Barack Obama over fixing a coverage gap for kids in the new health care law.
In a letter Monday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the industry’s top lobbyist says insurers will accept new regulations to dispel uncertainty over a much publicized guarantee that children with pre-existing medical problems can get coverage starting this year.
The president of America’s Health Insurance Plans said the industry will "fully comply" with the regulations, expected within weeks.
Onward to what’s next…