When Ryan Lewis went to get health insurance for his two young kids, he got a surprise.
"I honestly thought it had to be some sort of a mistake," said Lewis.
Lewis was trying to get a new individual policy, but learned many Mississippi health insurance companies are now putting a halt to writing any new individual polices all together for anyone under the age of 19. This after concerns from the controversial federal health care reform and just how it will affect insurance companies. The state insurance commission is aware of companies ditching the policies and representatives say it's becoming a trend across the country.
"It's truly about the politics of the legislation and these companies being told they're going to be forced to provide insurance across the board," said Lewis.
The state's largest provider, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is one of the few, if not only company still writing those new policies, but only during certain enrollment periods. Corporate Communications Director John Sewell says the company is doing all it can to keep kids healthy.
"Healthcare reform changed the environment in which carriers operate," said Sewell. "Before reform was ever passed, we had already positioned ourselves to be ready for what came. Our wellness benefits far exceed what's required."
As companies opt out of providing certain coverage, no laws or rules are being broken, it's a decision left up to the company. That's a decision Lewis says is unfortunate and now his family will be getting their insurance from a national company.
"Regardless of what isle or what side of the isle you sit on, the impact for our healthcare reform is overwhelming and now it's reached a point that it's truly impacting the children of Mississippi," said Lewis.
Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.