Failing Grades: State Consumer Protections in the Individual Health Insurance Market

Source: Families USA, June 2008

Today, Families USA released an extensive 50-state survey and scorecard of the laws governing the individual insurance markets in each state – “Failing Grades: State Consumer Protections in the Individual Health Insurance Market.” They found great variation across states and, overall, little that states are doing to protect consumers from the anti-consumer behavior of insurance companies.

Key findings, as stated by Families USA, are:
• Only 5 states prohibit all insurance companies from cherry-picking the healthiest consumers and excluding everyone else.
• In 35 states and the District of Columbia, there are no limits on how much insurance can vary premiums based on health status.
• In 21 states and the District of Columbia, insurers can exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions for more than one year.
• In 45 states and the District of Columbia, insurers can spend less than 75 cents of every premium dollar on medical services.
• In 44 states and the District of Columbia, insurers can revoke an individual’s health insurance policy without advance review by the state.

How does your state shape up? Check out Families USA’s scorecard for a quick comparison of regulations across states. Most states do too little to protect consumers from the wills of insurance companies.
See also:
Key findings
Scorecard
Press release

Leave a Reply