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Rep. Guttenberg Introduces Legislation to Help Children Get Health Coverage

”In Alaska no one offers child only plans”

JUNEAU – Today, Representative David Guttenberg (D- Fairbanks) introduced legislation to make sure Alaskans who want to buy health insurance for their children have the opportunity to do so in Alaska. The bill (HB 326) would require insurance companies operating in Alaska to offer child-only health insurance plans. Currently, no health insurance company in the state accepts applications for individual policies for children.

“Alaskans looking to purchase coverage for their child cannot do so. It’s dangerous, expensive and wrong to have children out there who have to go to the ER because they can’t see a doctor when they need one,” said Rep. Guttenberg.

Many parents and guardians do not have access to family coverage including: small business owners, high-risk parents, grandparents raising grandchildren, and court appointed caregivers. This bill would allow these Alaskans the option to purchase insurance to cover just their children.

The bill does not dictate the terms of child-only policies a company will offer, it simply allows for those plans to be available.  It allows for an open enrollment period to alleviate company fears that people may sign up for coverage only after a child needs medical care.

HB 326 has been referred to the Labor and Commerce and Finance committees.

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