Bill Would Extend Health Plans’ Contract Termination Notification Period
The Assembly Health Committee last week unanimously approved a bill (AB 1522) that would require health plans to give members 90-days notice if the insurers plan to terminate a contract with a health care provider, the Oakland Tribune reports. Currently, health plans are required to give 30-days notice. The legislation also would allow members to remain with their doctors for 180 days after a contract has been terminated or until the next open enrollment period, whichever is sooner. The legislation, introduced by Assembly member Helen Thomson (D-Davis), is in response to the contract dispute between Sutter Health and Blue Cross of California, which forced "tens of thousands" of Blue Cross members to find another provider within 30 days of the contract expiration. Thomson said, "I think we need better rules of 'engagement and disengagement' when medical groups and health plans sever ties in the middle of an enrollee's contract year" (Oakland Tribune, 4/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.