Archive | Consumer Protection

First Patient Protection Bills Up in Committee Next Week

UPDATE: The hearing for these bills has been pushed backed to a later date. Stay tuned for more information. (3/25/2016) When the Legislature comes back from Spring Break next week, the Senate Health Committee will be hearing two consumer protection bills, SB 908 and SB 1135 on Wednesday, March 30. Both of these bills are […]

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Budget Subcommittees Review DHCS and DMHC budget items

Last week, the Legislature’s budget subcommittees on health and human services held hearings on the budgets for the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 (March 14, 2016) The agenda, which includes details about each item heard, can be accessed here. Health Access […]

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Anthem Blue Cross-Cigna’s Troubling Track Records Spotlighted at DMHC Public Meeting

On March, 4, 2016, the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) held a public meeting on the proposed takeover of Cigna by Anthem Blue Cross. The public meeting was requested by consumer groups including Health Access, Consumers Union, and others to raise questions about the structure of the deal, its potential impact on California’s patients […]

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2015 Legislative Scorecard Evaluates CA Legislators’ Votes on Key Health Issues

Today, Health Access California released our 2015 Legislative Scorecard which evaluates and scores California legislators’ voting record on critical health care policies. The scorecard rates legislators based on how they voted on key health care consumer issues during the last legislative session. The scorecard reports on key pieces of legislation sponsored and supported by Health Access […]

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Centene/Health Net Executives Answer to Regulators, Consumer Advocates and the Public

Consumer advocates are still skeptical about the proposed merger between Centene and Health Net after a six-hour long hearing about the transaction, where insurance company executives provided vague explanations of how consumers would benefit for the merger, but were unwilling to make any specific commitments to protect consumers. On Friday, January 22, California Department of […]

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HHS Proposed Regulations Barring Discrimination on Basis of Sex, Gender, Gender Identity, Race and National Origin, Disability, and Age Need Work: Deadline to Comment is November 9, 2015

Last month the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which extends civil rights protections under Title VI, Title IX, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among others, to health programs that receive any federal funds.  No […]

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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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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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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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