The Woodward News

Local News

July 22, 2012

Time running out to sign up for child-only insurance

Woodward, Okla. — The Oklahoma Department of Insurance (oid.ok.gov) reminds parents that there isn't much time left to sign children up for child-only insurance coverage.

The open-enrollment deadline is July 31 for individual coverage for children ages 1 to 18, for whom coverage is not available through their parents' insurance plans.

An extended enrollment until Aug. 31 is allowed for certain "qualifying events," according to OID Public Information Manager Brian King.

King explained qualifying events include an adoption, loss of prior insurance coverage or court-ordered child custody matters.

Insurance Commissioner John Doak  said the elimination of child-only policies was a consequence of the federal Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. This left about 4 percent of Oklahoma kids with no option for health insurance, he said.

Those especially affected were grandparents on Medicare who are raising their grandchildren who don't need or can't afford coverage for the entire family, added King.

After a governor's emergency order to allow insurance companies to provide the child-only coverage, officials said that Community Care and Blue Cross/Blue Shield started programs.  For more information about the programs offered by these companies, contact Community Care at (918) 594-5225 or visit the website ccok.com, and contact Blue Cross/Blue Shield at (866) 303-2583 or visit the website bcbsok.com.

Doak said newborn coverage (under age 1) is available from the Oklahoma High Risk Pool.  For more information about this insurance pool, call (877) 885-3717 or go online to bcbsok.com/ohrp/.

The OID's Consumer Assistance Division may also be contacted at (800) 522-0071, said King.

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