The Patient's Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was supposed to help children under the age of 18 to qualify for coverage without worrying about underwriting. While that was included in the law, as soon as it was implemented, the insurance companies stopped offering policies for dependents under 18. If you find yourself in need of covering a dependent there are ways you can get coverage. But it isn't simple like you might expect.
The best way to get coverage for a dependent is to actually put them on a parents' policy as a dependent. This is the only way to get the comprehensive types of plans that most people are familiar with. When I write comprehensive, I mean plans with copayments for doctor visits and prescription drugs. These plans are available to children and they do not have to worry about underwriting. However they do need to be on a plan with their parents or a parent. If the parent is already on a plan through an employer or their spouse's employer they need to decide if they are willing to come off of their plan and onto a plan with their children. The problem could be that the parent is not eligible for an individual plan.
Sometimes people find themselves between coverages and need coverage just for a few months. Short term health insurance plans are perfect for these situations. They are comprehensive major medical plans and approved by the department of insurance just like any other medical insurance plan you might be able to get. The drawback of these plans is that they are like the old comprehensive major medical plans. They will cover you or your children for any new illness or injury subject to a deductible and coinsurance. Since these plans do not typically have co payments for doctor visits or prescription drug plans they are much less than other plans. These temporary medical insurance plans are available for children under 18 too. So if you only need coverage for 6 months to 11 months, these plans will meet your needs for catastrophic coverage. The amount you save in premium payments each month will be more than enough to pay for any doctor visit you might need during that time out of your pocket. Just because you do not have insurance to pay for something like a doctor visit or prescription drug does not mean that you can not get it. If you don't go to the doctor at all then paying for the benefit each month would be a waste of money. If you don't go to the doctor much, consider this option to save you money and give your dependent the coverage they need if they need a policy just on themselves.