Archive | Affordability

Health Reform 2.0: California Starts Sec. 1332 Waiver Discussions

As part of California’s ongoing efforts to implement and improve upon health reform, last Tuesday Covered California and the California Department of Health Care Services convened an exploratory discussion of options for California under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (see the panelists’ slide deck and all materials here). Under Section 1332, states may seek […]

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Covered CA Board Takes Big Steps on Standardized Benefit Design and Quality/Equity Measures; Considers New Barriers to Special Enrollment

Thursday’s Covered California Board meeting, the first since the last day of open enrollment 2013, offered a deep dive on the standardized benefit designs and the quality/equity framework that will guide contracting with insurers for the next 3-year cycle (2017-2019), and a heated discussion about the new documentation requirements that insurers are calling for to qualify […]

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Health Access CA Discussion Paper: Options and Opportunities for California under Section 1332 of the ACA

Covered California is collaborating with the California Department of Health Care Services to explore options for California under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (see Covered CA’s slide deck from last month’s informational webinar). Under Section 1332, states may seek a waiver from the federal government to pursue innovative approaches to achieve the primary […]

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Covered CA Board Meeting November 19, 2015: Highlights for Consumer Advocates

This week’s Covered California Board meeting, the last for 2015, focused on the Covered CA bus tour and related OE3 campaigns; early results from Open Enrollment 3 or OE3; how the Section 1332 waiver (an option within the Affordable Care Act to waive certain ACA provisions to demonstrate a new principle or model at the […]

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Governor Brown Signs Key Patient Protections Bills Against Unfair Out-of-Pocket Costs

California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday signed four patient protection bills that will address unfair out-of-pocket costs, including out-of-network bills due to inaccurate provider directories, huge cost-sharing for specialty drugs, double deductibles in family plans, as well as extend protections against “junk insurance” to benefits offered by large employers. These Health Access-sponsored bills address some of the […]

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Key Patient Protections Pass Legislature, Now On Governor’s Desk

With the California Legislature adjourning after midnight last Saturday, most of the action on priority bills for health consumers moves to the Governor’s desk. Most of the Heath Access-sponsored bills protecting consumers from unfair out-of-pocket costs are now one Governor’s signature away from enactment. There were disappointments in the final days of this year’s legislative […]

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End of Session Recap: Legislation to Stop Surprise Medical Bills Stalls in California Assembly; Other Key Patient Protection Measures Advance to Governor’s Desk

The California Assembly adjourned Saturday morning without passing legislation to prevent patients from facing surprise out-of-network bills after they get care in in-networks hospitals or other facilities. AB533 (Bonta), sponsored by Health Access California, would have held consumers harmless for surprise bills reflecting out-of-network charges that were outside of their control (See separate AB533 fact sheet). A broad coalition […]

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Most Patient Protection Bills Clear Final Hurdle, En Route to Governor’s Desk; Tobacco Measures Still Pending

Earlier today the California Senate voted 25-10, on a bipartisan basis, to pass legislation to prevent patients from facing surprise out-of-network medical bills after they receive care in in-network hospitals or other facilities. Sponsored by Health Access California, AB533 (Bonta) would protect patients from “surprise” bills from out-of-network doctors when they did the right thing by going to […]

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Final Week of Legislative Session: Where We Stand on Key Bills Protecting Consumers

Key patient protection bills hang in the balance this week, as Friday is the deadline for bills to pass from final floor votes in the California legislature to the Governor’s desk. In this last week of California’s legislative session, amendments have been taken on the key bills impacting health care consumers, but the substance of Health […]

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Key Health Care Consumer Protections to Prevent Unfair Out-of-Pocket Costs Advance to Final Floor Votes

SB137 (Ed Hernandez), to require updated, standardized & accurate health plan provider network directories, passed out of Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB533 (Bonta), to stop “surprise” billing from out-of-network doctors; AB339 (Gordon) to prevent unfair cost-sharing for specialty drugs, and AB1305 (Bonta) to limit out-of-pocket costs for individuals in family plans, passed out of Senate Appropriations Committee. SB248 (Roger Hernández), a bill to prevent […]

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