Health Care

Insurers Allowed to Raise Fees for Sick Kids

The Obama administration will allow insurers to charge higher premiums for sick children’s policies as part of a plan to encourage more kids-only plans. Some insurance companies stopped issuing more child-only plans earlier this year because, they said, officials could interpret the new health-care law to mean families can buy coverage at the last minute, when a kid becomes really sick. Last month, the administration said insurance companies could set up open-enrollment periods, often a single month a year, when they accept all kids, and now officials say that if state law allows it, insurers can charge more for ill children until 2014. Preventing insurers from dropping kids’ policies has been difficult since the passage of the health-care law, though the problem will perhaps be fixed in 2014, when all people will have to buy insurance, and insurers will have to accept them, regardless of health status.