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Individual health plans turning down children

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Published on Jan 6, 2011

some major health insurance companies in new mexico denying coverage for kids---because... they're kids. we sent investigative reporter jeremy jojola to get some answers.. he's here now after talking to the state and the president of one insurance company. jeremy. there's a good chance you've been denied insurance because of a past sickness or condition--- but a denial because you're just a child? we're not kidding .... this afternoon...we caught up with tom thorpe of albuquerque who has quite a story to tell after applying for individual health insurance. "so i just want to take care of my family and save a buck." while he and his wife were accepted--his daughter was denied not for being sick--but for being a kid. the letter from presbyterian health plan says it in plain black and white. "denial reason: children are not eligible for coverage at this time." "you know surprised. cuz i went online to do it. i filled out all the paperwork but nowhere was there a disclaimer...right now we can't cover children or there's issues." turns out presbyterian and other health insurance are still working on individual coverage plans for people 19 and under that would be legal under new health care reform laws. "it could be as early as this week that we get approval, and when we do we are going to be reaching out to everybody." presbyterian health plan president dr. dennis batey says the new rules are so complex, it's taken a while for his company to draft a new children's plan. "with healthcare reform, the products that we've been offering in the past we could no longer offer. we are working with superintendent franchini of the department of insurance. we are awaiting approval of the product. " state insurance superintende john franchini says in the meantime, parents who need coverage for kids can find it through the state. "it disturbs me greatly that insurance companies...if they're willing to insure the parents at this time ...don't want to talk the children. that botrs me a lot. but that is why we have coverage through the medical insurance pool at this time. presbyterian says it will be reaching out to families who got denial letters so they can re-apply once the state approves their new plan. keep in mind this doesn't affect those who have insurance through work.

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