Bill targets potential health insurance loophole

Will families be able to cherry-pick their own sick kid into the individual market to avoid having to go into the assigned risk pool for group health coverage? The insurance industry is concerned that they can and hopes that House Bill 96 will close what it considers to be a potential loophole. The House Commerce Committee will hold hearings on the bill on Thursday. Under the new federal health law, insurance companies can’t use medical underwriting to determine premiums for those under 18, according to John Hunt, sponsor of the bill and Commerce Committee chair. However, insurance companies can move groups that have families with a sick child into the assigned risk pool, where premiums are higher. The concern is that some families, to avoid higher premiums, would carve out their kid into an individual policy to save on premiums. “We don’t want to add to the problems of the insurance industry,” Hunt said. Hunt also is supporting a bill that would streamline the licensing procedure (HB 95). Both bills will be heard at 10 a.m. on Thursday, in the Legislative Office Building, Room 206. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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