California lawmakers look to provide consumers with more protection in the health insurance sector
California lawmakers have introduced two bills to Governor Jerry Brown this week. Each of the bills is awaiting Brown’s approval, which lawmakers expect to come in short order. The bills are meant to provide consumers with more protection in the health insurance sector, preventing insurers from refusing coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions and prohibiting the limitation of coverage or excessive charging for coverage of older consumers. The legislations are also meant to make the state more compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
Bills help make California more compliant with Affordable Care Act
The bills are the result of a special legislative session called by Governor Brown. The legislative session was tasked with addressing issues concerning the Affordable Care Act and the conflicts it created with the state’s health care laws. Notably, the federal law’s provision that insurers be required to provide health insurance coverage to those with pre-existing conditions was not upheld in California until the introduction of these bills. One of the bills bars insurance companies from charging older consumers significantly more for their health insurance coverage than younger consumers.
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Health insurance exchange receives more attention
The bills also establish 19 geographic regions for the state’s health insurance exchange. These regions will help determine the price of individual coverage but also offer some prohibitions concerning what factors insurance companies can use to price coverage. Tobacco use, for instance, cannot be used by health insurance companies to determine the rates that policyholders pay for their coverage in any part of the state. The bills also provide more resources, both legislative and financial, for the state’s efforts to expand Medicaid and promote its health insurance exchange.
Governor Brown continues to work to ensure bills are effective
Governor Brown is expected to sign the bills into law within the coming days, but he has been showing some concerns for the provisions of these bills. One of the Governor’s primary concerns regards the state’s efforts to expand its Medicaid program, which is known as Medi-Cal. The Governor is also working to limit the liabilities that the state is exposed to.