S 1500

Version: Introduced
Author: Murkowski

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1500

To give Americans access to affordable child-only health insurance coverage.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 2, 2011

MS. MURKOWSKI (for herself, Mr. Enzi, and Mr. Alexander ) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To give Americans access to affordable child-only health insurance coverage.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE This Act may be cited as the " Ensure Children Have Health Care Act ".

SEC. 2. FINDINGS Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The minority staff of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the Senate surveyed whether children under the age of 19 have access to child-only health insurance plans since the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. The survey found that passage of the new health care law prompted health insurance carriers to stop selling new child-only health plans in many States.

(2) Of the 50 States, 17 States reported that there are no health insurance carriers selling child-only health plans to new enrollees in the State.

(3) Thirty-nine States indicated that at least one health insurance carrier exited the child-only health insurance market in the State following enactment of the new health care law.

(4) Accordingly, child-only health insurance access and competition in the market have declined significantly since the passage of the new health care law. This precedent raises concerns about the impact that similar changes, which are scheduled to go into effect in 2014, will have in reducing access and competition in the health insurance market.

(5) Americans under the age of 19 should be able to get health insurance coverage in every State, and if it is not offered in their State, they should be able to purchase health insurance coverage from another State.

SEC. 3. PURCHASING CHILD-ONLY HEALTH INSURANCE ACROSS STATE LINES

(a) IN GENERAL Notwithstanding any other provision of law, effective on October 1, 2011, a health insurance issuer that is licensed to offer child-only health insurance coverage in a State may also offer such coverage to eligible residents of other States. The laws of the State in which the issuer is licensed shall apply with respect to any such coverage.

(b) OPEN ENROLLMENT Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide for the application of a uniform annual enrollment period of at least 45 days with respect to child-only health insurance coverage to which this section applies.

(c) REGULATIONS Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section, including regulations that --

(1) provide protections to enrollees under such regulations;

(2) ensure the solvency of health insurance issuers that offer coverage under such regulations; and

(3) clarify the procedures that would apply when an enrollee has a complaint concerning their coverage.

(d) DEFINITIONS

(1) IN GENERAL The definitions contained in section 2791 of the Public Health Service Act ( 42 U.S.C. 300gg-91 ) shall apply for purposes of this section.

(2) CHILD-ONLY HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE The term "child-only health insurance coverage " means health insurance coverage that is offered only to individuals who are under 19 years of age.

 
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