HCAN!California

Archive for April, 2011

Get CONNECTED with HCAN-CA and Health Access

Posted on April 22nd, 2011 by HCAN California in Action

On Wednesday, over 100 people crammed an auditorium in Sacramento to be part of history: The California Health Benefits Exchange board met for the first time– the initial big step toward implementing the first ACA reform-prompted insurance exchange in the nation. “If we succeed, we will set the health care reform agenda for the rest of the nation,” board member Susan Kennedy said. “If we fail, we will precipitate the downfall of it nationally. And we are fully committed to seeing it succeed.”

Diana Dooley, Secretary of Health and Human Services in California, was elected interim chair of the exchange board. The work of the exchange, Dooley said, will go a long way toward healing the state’s fragmented health care system. “Right now, we don’t have a health care system in California. We have a lot of pieces of a health care system. What we have now is an illness-treatment system, and what we need is a health system.” Health Access was at this historic meeting both live tweeting the proceedings and as the first and most frequent commentator! Did you miss our live reports via Twitter?

Twitter  LogoFollow us on Twitter!

FacebookLike us on Facebook!

For nearly three years now, we’ve been working together to bring affordable, quality health care to California. Throughout this time, you’ve received countless e-mails from HCAN-California and our lead state partner, Health Access California, about what has been happening and how to get involved — but did you know you can also connect with us online for the most up to date information?

In the coming weeks and months, we will be covering state implementation bills in Sacramento such as AB 52, which would require health plans and insurers to seek approval from state regulators prior to any attempt to raise health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles and anti-consumer bills such as AB 736, which would amend the insurance code for the benefit of health insurance brokers and agents to the detriment of consumers. Other bills include maternity coverage, eligibility and enrollment and we’ll also be involved and reporting live at future exchange board meetings.

Influential social media tools like Facebook and Twitter will play a critical role in our continued work to implement and improve upon the Federal health care law here in California! They’re also a great way to connect with like-minded health care advocates like you, and will allow you to get real-time updates on actions and news from HCAN-CA and our lead state partner, Health Access.

Twitter  LogoFollow us on Twitter!

Facebook Like us on Facebook!

Not on Facebook or Twitter yet? No problem! Getting started is easy AND free!

Sign up and create a FREE account on Twitter & Facebook today!

Here’s how to create your free Facebook account:

  1. Go to www.facebook.com
  2. Fill in your information under the “sign-up” prompt
  3. Be sure to include a VALID e-mail address
  4. Click on “submit”
  5. Follow the prompts to get started on your profile
  6. Check your inbox for your confirmation e-mail

Here’s how to create your free Twitter account:

  1. Go to www.twitter.com
  2. Click the yellow “sign-up” button
  3. Fill in your information (including a VALID e-mail address)
  4. Click “Create my account”


Once you’ve signed up – be sure to connect with Health Access through Twitter and Facebook!

Social media tools like Facebook & Twitter offer a great way to stay in touch, easily share updates and alerts with friends and family, and take action all at the same time!

Our goal is to get 5,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter! Subscribe today and encourage the people in your networks to connected, too!

Follow us on Twitter to get live updates and urgent action alerts in 140 characters or less!

Like us on Facebook to get instant action alerts, updates and news from HCAN-CA and Health Access!

Share your story of outrageous rate hikes!

Posted on April 12th, 2011 by HCAN California in Private Insurance Industry

Last week, the Assembly Health Committee delayed the vote on AB 52 (key legislation that would empower state regulators to reject excessive health insurance rate increases) until later in the month.

That means there’s still time to share your story!

If you or your loved ones have ever been the victims of outrageous insurance company rate hikes, then tell us about it!

Click here to share your story and let us know how the rate hike impacted you and your family!

AB 52 would require health plans and insurers to seek approval from state regulators prior to any attempt to raise health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles.  It would build upon newly-implemented federal and state law improving the health insurance rate filing and review process, thus empowering California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to put the brakes on attempts by the insurance industry to artificially raise the cost of our health care!

Passing this important consumer and business protection is absolutely critical to our efforts to stem insurance industry abuse as we continue to implement and improve upon the Federal health care law here in California!

Your story can help illustrate to legislators, members of the media, and the public at large just how important it is to protect consumers and small businesses from outrageous rate hikes.

Click here to share your story and let us know how the rate hike impacted you and your family!

Vote today on AB52

Posted on April 5th, 2011 by HCAN California in Implement & Improve

The California Assembly Committee on health is scheduled to vote today on AB52, legislation drafted by Assemblymembers Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) that would empower state regulators to reject excessive rate hikes on consumers and businesses from private health insurers.

Over the course of the last year, there have been numerous instances where private insurance companies have attempted to surreptitiously raise rates on consumers, including Anthem’s notorious attempt to raise rates by as much as 39% last year, and the recent attempt by Blue Shield to raise rates on individual policy holders for the third time since October.

AB 52 would require health plans and insurers to seek approval from state regulators prior to any attempt to raise health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles.  It would build upon newly-implemented federal and state law improving the health insurance rate filing and review process, thus empowering California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to put the brakes on attempts by the insurance industry to artificially raise the cost of our health care!

In a letter released by Senator Diane Feinstein this week urging support for AB 52, the Senator stated, “Insurance companies are driven by the need to return profits to shareholders, and without proper regulatory oversight, will continue to raise rates and drop people from coverage to maximize their profits.  It is clear that California’s state regulators need the authority to reject excessive rate hikes.”