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‘Child-only’ policies to be offered in Jan.

POSTED: December 30, 2012 5:00 p.m.

ATLANTA — Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens recently signed an order finalizing new rules that will require all insurance companies that sell individual health policies in Georgia to also offer “child-only” individual health coverage beginning Jan. 1. Open enrollment lasts until Jan. 31.

A “child-only” plan is a type of policy that can be purchased by parents who are uninsured, whose employers do not offer health coverage to dependents, or who have had a qualifying event such as loss of coverage due to job change. A legal guardian also can purchase this type of policy if they are insured by Medicare.

Coverage for this plan will begin March 1 for those applying during the open-enrollment period. Insurers are required to offer guaranteed issue during this period even if a child has a pre-existing condition. Children with loss of coverage due to qualifying events after January 2013 may also be eligible for special enrollment.

Anyone with questions may call their local insurance agent or 800-656-2298 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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