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Anthem Blue Cross CA Eliminates Child-Only Enrollments

Effective 9/23, Anthem Blue Cross CA will no longer offer individual coverage plans to children under 19 as a stand-alone enrollment. Children of any age may apply for coverage as long as they are applying with parents/guardians over the age of 19. However, Anthem will no longer accept applications for children-only under the age of 19.

Several carriers in many states have taken similar action in recent weeks. It appears that Anthem across the 14 states they cover will take this action in all states. Other carriers have also instituted the same policy.

PPACA requires insurers who provide child-only coverage to insure all children under 19 regardless of health conditions. HHS is supposed to provide guidance to the insurance companies regarding open enrollment periods, however such guidance has not yet been forthcoming. As such, Anthem CA (so far) has chosen to stop selling health coverage plans to children under 19 at least until HHS provides clarification on the open enrollment.

Carriers have indicated that, absent an open enrollment schedule, many people would leave children uninsured until they have a medical emergency/condition and then purchase coverage at that time to cover it. This would create severe adverse selection problems.

Anthem BC CA has indicated that the company will review this upon HHS delivery of specific open enrollment information.

As of today, Anthem's portal will no longer quote children-only coverage under 19 and as of 9/23 no children-only plans will be sold by Anthem Blue Cross.


  1. Hey Dave,
    Good post - Aetna had already bailed on the child only market a few weeks back? Suspect you're right about Blue Shield bailing too... Don't want to be the last ins co left 'holding the bag'.

    I can't imagine what it would be like today to have a perfectly healthy kid who you want to insure only to find out your only option is going to be a state run program. Conspiracy theorists would have a field day with all this: Looks like a great way to herd more folks towards socialize medicine.

    Once again - - despite your valliant defense - the ins industry gets yet another black eye in the court of public opinion.

  2. I have heard about Aetna but find their web site still quotes under 18 stand-alone for CA after 10/1 start dates.


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