Bills Requiring Health Insurers to Cover Certain Services May Lead to Loss of Coverage for Low-Income Families
California lawmakers have introduced a number of bills in the Legislature that would require health plans to cover a range of services -- from acupuncture treatment to programs for coffee addiction -- but columnist Daniel Weintraub writes in a Sacramento Bee opinion piece that the legislation could lead to a loss of health coverage for a number of low-income families. Although lawmakers hope that the bills will "broaden coverage for everyone," Weintraub writes that insurance companies would likely increase health insurance premiums to cover the additional cost, which could prompt employers to drop health coverage for employees or to require them to cover a larger share of the cost. He adds that low-income employees who lose their employer-sponsored health insurance as a result of the legislation "would end up, eventually, on the public dole." Legislation that would require health insurance companies to provide coverage for services such as wigs for cancer patients "might seem like a compassionate act," but Weintraub concludes that "it puts us on a slippery slope that can lead, ultimately, to the denial of insurance for some famil[ies] struggling to get by" (Weintraub, Sacramento Bee, 4/14).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.