The PPACA Healthcare Reform Act abolished denial of coverage or exclusion of pre-existing conditions for medical coverage of children age 18 or under. As a result, insurance companies in Texas stopped issuing policies for children 18 or under unless there is at least one adult on the policy as well.
Up until the Healthcare Reform Act became law, a parent could purchase an individual policy for a healthy child for a much lower premium than if the child were covered by the parent’s group health plan. Since most employers cover the medical insurance premium for employees and not employees dependents, this was a lower cost way for parents to insure their children, and was especially important for lower wage parents.
For job seekers, there is an unintended consequence of Healthcare Reform. If both adult parents have pre-existing conditions that would require them to elect COBRA (since they would be denied individual coverage), they can no longer purchase a lower cost individual plan for their minor children.
If unemployed adult parents have too much income to qualify for Texas CHIP or medicaid, then the only other major medical insurance option for covering their minor children is to cover them through COBRA.
The cost of COBRA for a dependent currently ranges between $250 to $500. The cost of covering a child in Texas , age 2-18, was less than $100.
The Healthcare Reform Act’s mandates, hidden taxes, and regulations raise the cost of healthcare, and health insurance, and COBRA. For unemployed parents with kids, it has also reduced access to lower cost health insurance options.