Health reform currently leaves kids' coverage incomplete

As the language in the U.S.'s landmark health reform law reads now, children with pre-existing medical conditions still can be denied new insurance policies. It's a surprise problem Obama Administration officials are working to try to fix, Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told the Associated Press.

Although the Obama Administration interprets the new bill to cover all children for pre-existing conditions already, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius plans to issue new regulations within the next month that unambiguously state that "the term 'pre-existing exclusion' applies to both a child's access to a plan and his or her benefits once he or she is in the plan for all plans newly sold in this country six months from today," HHS spokesman Nick Papas said.

In the meantime, parents whose children are denied insurance can still seek coverage through states' high-risk insurance pools.

Later this year, children who already are covered or successfully obtain new policies can indeed not be denied payment for specific medical problems. The coverage gap comes as a surprise amid several of President Obama's recent statements such as: "This year...parents who are worried about getting coverage for their children with pre-existing conditions now are assured that insurance companies have to give them coverage-this year."  

For more information:
- read this Associated Press article
- check out this Portfolio.com blog post

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