Will Colorado “hammer” insurers into selling child-only policies at a loss?

Update to: CO insurers stop selling child-only policies – blame health control bill:

“It’s strictly information-gathering, as far as I’m concerned — no hammers, no nails.”
— State of Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison on her meeting with insurance companies about their decision to stop selling child-only policies because of insurance price controls.

From the Friday September 17 Denver Business Journal:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado, the state’s largest individual-market health-care provider, announced Friday that it will stop selling new child-only individual policies on Sept. 23 because of uncertainty created by new federal mandates.

The company becomes the sixth major insurer to confirm that it is pulling out of the child-only individual market in the past 2-1/2 weeks, including four of the state’s six largest individual insurance providers.

The day before, the DBJ reported (emphasis added):
Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison has called a meeting of the state’s individual-market health insurers for Friday to address the number of companies that are dropping child-only individual policies rather than conforming to increased federal mandates on those plans. …

“It’s strictly information-gathering, as far as I’m concerned — no hammers, no nails,” Morrison said.

But when asked whether the state could do anything to require insurers to offer such policies — a question that Jo Donlin, director of external affairs for the Colorado Division of Insurance, answered early this month with a “no” — Morrison instead offered no comment.

“That’s the $64,000 question,” she said. “I just know I want to hear from them. I have no comment now on whether the state can do anything.”

“No hammers, no nails”?! Gosh, sure sounds like she has them with her and is prepared to use them.

As I’ve noted in “Get Ready for Health Insurance Slumlords,” if insurers are forced to sell the policies, they will design them to make them unappealing to those with pre-existing conditions anyway.

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