Archive for the ‘California Implementation’ Category

Write a Letter to the Editor of Your Local Newspaper

Posted on May 5th, 2011 by HCAN California in California Implementation

Last Friday, Anthem Blue Cross stated they are going ahead with yet another unjustified rate hike on California consumers. This time around, Anthem proposed rate increases averaging 16% — which also includes higher deductibles and co-pays for an estimated 120,000 Californians…even after regulators at the California Department of Managed Care (DMHC) declared the rate hike “unreasonable.”

Anthem’s latest attempt to raise health care premiums is just another example of why California MUST pass critical consumer and small business protections like AB 52 (Feuer) - which would empower state regulators to REJECT excessive rate hikes!

In a recent editorial for the LA Times, columnist George Skelton made a powerful case for why California must pass this important consumer protection bill. Skelton’s editorial, which references Health Care America Now’s national work to protect consumers and expose big-insurance’s profits, highlights the growing need to check insurance industry abuses - including attempts to impose outrageous rate-hikes on to California consumers.

You can help take a stand up against insurance industry abuse and show your support by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of AB 52 - legislation that would empower state regulators to REJECT excessive rate hikes. Click here to get started!

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board has also endorsed AB52 - calling it an important measure to “combat the cycle of ever-increasing premiums” by making the health insurance market comparable to that of auto-insurance or homeowners insurance by giving regulators the opportunity to scrutinize attempts to raise rates unjustifiably.

Meanwhile, HCAN-CA’s lead state partner, Health Access California, continues to organize and advocate in the statewide effort to organize support for AB52, legislation that helps prevent insurance companies from going ahead with unfair or unjustified rate hikes that make health coverage financially out of reach for families and individuals.

Your voice matters! Click here to write a letter to the editor of your local paper and show your support for comprehensive consumer protections against outrageous insurance industry abuses!

The Affordable Care Act represented an important first step in controlling health care costs and reducing the worst insurance industry abuses. Now we have an opportunity to go EVEN FURTHER and take the next critical step in protecting consumers and businesses form outrageous rate hikes!

Make your own personal case for controlling outrageous rate hikes and voice your support for AB52! Click here to get started!

Update: State Implementation & Consumer Protection Bills PASSED!

Posted on September 1st, 2010 by HCAN California in California Implementation

Thanks to EVERYONE who made calls to their State Senators and State Assemblymembers over the last few weeks in support of the critical State implementation and consumer protection bills.

We generated more than 5,000 calls to legislative offices - and the results of this tremendous effort speak for themselves!

On Tuesday, the legislature passed the following bills (the last day of the legislative session):

* AB2470(De La Torre) on Eliminating Rescissions
* SB890(Alquist), to Standardize Benefits to Allow for Better Comparisons of Plans
* SB1163(Leno), to Provide 60 Day Notice and Transparency on Rate Hikes

Bills past last week include:

* AB1602 (Perez) & SB900 (Alquist), to Create a New Health Insurance Exchange
* SB56 (Alquist), to Foster New Public Health Insurance Options
* AB1825 (De La Torre), to Phase-In Maternity Coverage as a Basic Benefit
* AB1600 (Beall), to Require Mental Health Parity in Health Coverage
* AB2244 (Feuer), to Limit Premiums for Children with Pre-existing Conditions
* SB1088 (Price), to Allow Young Adults up to Age 26 To Stay on Parental Coverage
* AB2042 (Feuer),to Limit Rate Hikes and Changes to Once a Year
* AB1503 (Lieu), to Prevent ER Doctor Overcharges for the Uninsured
* AB542 (Feuer), to Prevent Medi-Cal Payment for “Never Event” Medical Errors

(Source: Health Access WeBlog)

Only one important consumer protection bill remains - AB 2578 (Jones) - introducing important oversight and regulations for when insurance companies try to raise our rates!

What’s Your Health Insurance Horror Story?

Posted on August 12th, 2010 by HCAN California in California Implementation

In the coming weeks, critical state implementation and consumer protections bills calling for improved regulations of the private insurance industry will go to the floor for a vote. These important bills will not only help boost the provisions outlined in the new Federal health law, but will also allow us to go even further in protecting hard-working Californians against private insurance industry abuse & bad practices.

Your stories are the most powerful examples of why we need to pass these vital State implementation bills that improve insurance industry regulations! Here in California, with more than 7 million people uninsured - and millions more inadequately insured under “junk” policy plans - we cannot let up and let opponents defeat this critical opportunity to make the most of the new health law and improve our healthcare here in California!

If you’ve ever:

  • Purchased “junk” insurance, or realized your insurance plan didn’t cover the things you needed;
  • Paid high out-of-pocket costs;
  • Were hit with high rate increases;
  • Were hit with high out-of-network charges;
  • Had your child denied care due to “pre-existing conditions”

Click here to share your story today!

OVERVIEW: What the new health care law means to you

Posted on July 20th, 2010 by HCAN California in California Implementation

There’s been a lot of talk about the new health care law. And a lot of misinformation.

Here’s what the new will do:

  • Stop the abuses of big insurance, like denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll have good health coverage you can afford, even if you want to retire early, start a small business or you lose your job.
  • Give members of Congress the same choices in coverage as tens of millions of Americans.
  • Make health coverage more affordable for seniors on Medicare and small businesses.

The benefits of the new law start in 2010. Highlights include:

  • Insurance companies will not be able to deny children coverage for pre-existing conditions or cancel coverage because a person has been treated in the past.
  • The Medicare prescription drug donut hole will be reduced; seniors who fall into the donut hole will get $250 back.
  • Children will be able to stay on their parent’s health coverage until they turn 26.
  • Small businesses will get a 35% tax credit to help pay for their employees’ coverage.

Those who advocate repeal this year need to explain to the people and businesses that will have these specific benefits why they want to take them away.

In 2014, when the law if fully in place:

  • Insurance companies won’t be able to deny anyone coverage for pre-existing coverage or place limits on annual or lifetime payments for covered benefits.
  • People who don’t get health coverage at work will choose among health insurance plans in a new marketplace. The amount that a person will pay will be based on their income, on a sliding scale, so coverage will be affordable.
  • Members of Congress will get the same choices of coverage as other people in the new marketplace.
  • The Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” will continue to shrink until it is totally eliminated, helping millions of seniors with lower drug costs.

Members of Congress who voted for reform stood up against the insurance companies, their misleading ads, 1,700 lobbyists and campaign cash and voted to take our side.

It’s time to move beyond political games and fully realize the promise of reform - quality, affordable health care for all.

Sign Today and Take a Stand Against Insurance Industry Abuse!

Posted on July 8th, 2010 by HCAN California in California Implementation

As we’ve seen time and again - the insurance industry wants nothing to do with reforming our nation’s broken health care system to make it better, more affordable and more accessible for millions of Americans. In fact, they’ve gone to great lengths to oppose it - including spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a misinformation campaign to discredit the new law and working behind the scenes to obstruct it’s implementation at every step of the way.

Here in California, there are several critical state implementation bills that will ensure that Californians get the most out of the new health care law. Many of these also call for increased oversight of the insurance industry, including:

  • AB 2578 (Jones) - Would require approval by the Department of Managed Health Care OR the Department of Insurance whenever insurance companies attempt to raise premiums, co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles or other charges under a health plan.
  • SB 1163 (Leno) - Would require health plans to provide, in writing, specific reasons for denial of coverage or for charging higher than standard rates of coverage.
  • AB 2042 (Feuer) - Would prohibit insurers and HMOs from changing or increasing premiums, cost sharing or benefits more than once a year.

But even now that health reform is the law of the land, insurance industry giants like Anthem Blue Cross and Aetna are still trying to bleed hard-working Californians dry by unjustly and erroneously raising premiums. Perhaps most shocking is the arrogance in which these companies attempt to impose rate increases on California consumers in the individual market when their math is plagued with miscalculations and accounting errors.

But you can help end this, and other insurance industry abuses, by signing the HCAN-CA Petition today URGING State legislators to support these vital state implementation bills and protect California consumers!

Click here to sign today!

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