Parents and guardians have just two weeks remaining to take advantage of open enrollment for child-only insurance. Children age 1-18 can be enrolled in child-only coverage without a qualifying event until July 31.
The lack of child-only policies was an unintended consequence of the federal Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. It left about 4 percent of Oklahoma children with no options for insurance.
“This segment of the market is important, even though it’s small,” said Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “We have grandparents on Medicare who are raising a grandchild. While they don’t need a family health insurance policy, they do need an individual policy for that child.”
State and industry officials worked together to restore the coverage. The Insurance Department requested an emergency rule to enable insurance companies to offer child-only policies in Oklahoma. After Gov. Mary Fallin signed it, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and CommunityCare launched programs to provide coverage for children 1-18 years old. The Oklahoma High Risk Pool will provide insurance for babies younger than 1, if they aren’t covered by a family policy or Medicaid. Other insurers may offer coverage as well, so check with an insurance agent.
More information about child-only coverage for ages 1-18 may be found at CommunityCare online at www.ccok.com or call 918-594-5225 or at Blue Cross Blue Shield online at www.bcbsok.com or call 866-303-2583. More information about child-only coverage for newborns may be found at Oklahoma High Risk Pool online at www.bcbsok.com/ohrp/ or call 877-885-3717.
The regular open enrollment period is held each year from June 1 to July 31. When open enrollment ends, special enrollment will only be available for children 31 days after they undergo a qualifying event. For more information, contact the OID’s Consumer Assistance Division at 800-522-0071.