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Washington orders Regence to resurrect child-only plans

Fri., Oct. 15, 2010, 12:04 p.m.

OLYMPIA — Washington’s top insurance regulator says Regence BlueShield must resume selling child-only health insurance.

Regence announced late last month that it would stop offering child-only plans. That came right after new federal rules mandating coverage of children’s’ pre-existing conditions.

On Friday, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler ordered Regence to resume covering children. He says it’s illegal under state law to deny insurance to someone based on their age.

Kreidler says Regence currently has about 2,500 child-only policies.

Regence BlueShield didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The company has said that most kids are covered under family policies, with child-only individual plans only accounting for about 3 percent of its Washington state policies.



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