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Sunshine State Panel Recommends Young Adult Health Changes

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Members of the Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board hope to improve the risk profile of the state’s insureds by influencing the insureds’ average age.

The board’s list of “issues to discuss in developing legislative recommendations for 2008″ includes three ideas for getting more healthy lives into the health insurance market.

One idea would be to let parents provide coverage for older children who are no longer dependents.

Florida could increase to the dependent coverage age limit to as high as age 30 for children who are Florida residents or students, board members say.

The board members also are proposing that colleges in the state require all students who can afford health coverage to have coverage that is “creditable” for purposes of the coverage continuation provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Board members also have proposed better enforcement of restrictions on new health insurance benefit mandates and creation of a subsidized pool that would work with private health insurers to cover uninsurable state residents.

In a statistical report, the board notes that policies designed for individuals who have a guaranteed right to health coverage under HIPAA covered about 69,000 of Florida’s 4.5 million privately insured residents in 2006, compared with about 10,000 of the state’s 5.1 million residents who had private health insurance in 2001.

In-state HIPAA guaranteed-issue policies, which cover most state residents with HIPAA coverage, had an average direct incurred loss ratio of 85.7% in 2006, compared with an average loss ratio of 78.4% for all residents with private health insurance.

Individually underwritten in-state health insurance policies had an average loss ratio of 64.6%, the board reports.