Highmark to drop some plans
September 18, 2013 10:40 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Insurer Highmark Inc. is discontinuing all of its individual “guaranteed-issue” health insurance plans at the end of this year, and offering people other options.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that the change will affect about 25,000 policyholders in western Pennsylvania and 13,000 more in the central part of the state.

Highmark spokeswoman Kristin Ash said that all new insurance plans are essentially “guaranteed issue,” since the 2010 Affordable Care Act forbids insurers from denying coverage to an individual.

Highmark customers who had the old plans can buy a new one through the Pittsburgh company, through another insurance carrier, or through the new online health insurance exchanges set to open Oct. 1.

“Guaranteed-issue” policies were a special class of coverage that was available to everybody regardless of health history.

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