Final Day for Action on Bills To Bolster Regulation of Insurers
On Monday, the Senate failed to advance a bill that would require insurers to obtain state approval before increasing premiums, HealthyCal reports.
AB 2578, by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), stalled in a 17-17 Senate vote, failing to receive the four additional votes necessary for the bill to pass.
The Senate is expected to reconsider the bill on Tuesday. The Assembly previously passed the measure.
Details of AB 2578
The measure would require health insurers to receive approval from the Department of Insurance or the Department of Managed Health Care before raising health plan rates. The bill also would require state approval for changes to copayments, co-insurance or deductibles.
Many health, consumer and labor groups favor the bill, touting it as a missing element of the federal health reform law.
However, the health insurance industry generally opposes the bill because of concerns that it could lead to higher overall health care costs (Weintraub, HealthyCal, 8/30).
Final Vote Slated for SB 1163
Meanwhile, the Assembly approved SB 1163, by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), which would require health insurers to provide consumers with 60 days notice before increasing premiums.
Any premium increases also would need to be posted on the insurers' websites with a statement that explains the reason for the increase.
The measure now returns to the Senate for a final vote (AP/Ventura County Star, 8/30).
For additional coverage of legislative action on health care bills, see today's Capitol Desk post.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.