Calif. Insurers Opt To Resume Kids’ Policies; Meanwhile, Other Plans Cut Mental Health Benefits In Response To Health Law

Some California insurers have decided to resume offering children’s individual health insurance policies — a step that reverses decisions made last fall to exit this market. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that, as a result of requirements in the new health law, some health plans are opting to cut mental health benefits.

Los Angeles Times: Major Health Insurers In California To Resume Offering Individual Policies For Children
California’s largest health insurers, fearing they’ll lose new customers in the state’s lucrative individual insurance market, have canceled controversial decisions last fall to stop selling policies for children (Helfand, 12/23).

The Wall Street Journal: Law Prompts Some Health Plans To Cut Mental-Health Benefits
Members of the Screen Actors Guild recently read in their health plan’s newsletter that, beginning in January, almost 12,000 of its participants will lose access to treatment for mental-health and substance-abuse issues. The guild’s health plan represents one of a small number of unions, employers and insurers that are scrapping such benefits for their enrollees because of a 2008 law that requires that mental-health and substance-abuse benefits, if offered, be as robust as medical or surgical benefits. By dropping such coverage, providers can circumvent the requirements (Adams and Johnson, 12/23).

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