Lawmakers have given their approval to a couple of consumer protection bills for discrimination prevention.
The lawmakers in California have just sent a couple of consumer protection bills to Governor Jerry Brown, which – if signed – will change the health insurance industry in the state by preventing insurers from discrimination against individuals who have pre-existing conditions, and placing a limit on the amount that they will be able to charge older people.
These bills are meant to change the laws in California in order to have them match federal healthcare regulations.
The updates to the law in the state will match those that have been set forward by the Affordable Care Act. It will provide state agencies with the authority to regulate and enforce the insurance industry rules on an individual basis. ABx1-2 was passed by the Assembly at a vote of 49 to 20, and SBx1-2 was passed by the Senate at a vote of 27 to 9.
The Assembly bill alters the insurance industry code, while health and safety code was changed by the Senate bill.
Now, the two bills are on the desk of Governor Brown. It is expected that he will be signing them to make the insurance industry changes official. These two bills were an element of a special session of the Legislature which Brown had convened specifically to be able to implement the federal healthcare reforms within the state.
According to Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) explained his reluctance to vote against the bill, but he was concerned that it will only lead health premiums to rise for the individuals who have to buy their own plans. To support his worry, he cited a Covered California commissioned actuarial report that determined that in the new insurance industry environment, residents in the middle income bracket could see their health premiums rise by approximately 30 percent.
At the same time, he pointed out that “It pains me to oppose this because I know how hard everyone’s been working.” That said, he did vote against the bill.
At the same time, Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Covina) said that while some people may see a rise in their premiums, as a whole, the health insurance industry in the state will provide many more people with coverage as a result.