California Regulators Call Meeting With Insurers To Discuss Cancellations
The Department of Managed Health Care will meet with health insurers today to discuss continuing efforts to ensure that individual health insurance policies are not being canceled improperly, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Insurers maintain that cancellations help protect against potential fraud, noting that only a small percentage of policies are ever canceled.
However, regulators have fined several insurers in the past year, finding that health plans canceled policies for inadvertent errors on coverage applications. The cancellations have received widespread media attention and drawn criticism from consumer advocates, legislators and judges.
DMHC spokesperson Lynne Randolph said the department called the hearing because it is close to completing its investigations of cancellation practices at Blue Shield of California, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente. She said results of the investigation would be announced soon but would remain confidential for the time being.
In today's closed meeting, regulators plan to discuss with insurers standards for canceling policies and potential strategies to resolve problems that state officials identified in their investigations, according to Randolph.
Randolph added that health insurers' proposal to adopt a third-party review system for policy cancellations was not on the agenda.
Consumer advocates strongly oppose the plan.
Beyond DMHC, the Times reports that the Department of Insurance is finalizing proposed regulations for policy cancellations and plans to release draft rules within a month (Girion, Los Angeles Times, 3/26).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.