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Issue Brief
October 2010

How States Are Making Sure Coverage Is Available to Children

This piece explains the significance of the provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance companies to cover children with pre-existing health conditions.

Insurance companies have the option of selling "child-only" policies (policies that cover just the child and not other family members), but some companies say they are wary of the financial risk of doing so. Insurers are concerned that families would wait until a child is sick to purchase coverage.

Therefore, states are concerned that insurance companies may not offer child-only policies, which would make it harder for some children get health insurance. To alleviate this concern, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington are working with insurance companies by offering open enrollment periods to ensure that children's health coverage is available.

Learn what you need to know if your state is considering adopting this approach, and read about what these four states are doing to ensure that all children can get affordable health insurance.